Eggbert was a very normal egg. Sure, he was smooth and white and shined a little bit in the morning sun, but mostly he was incredibly normal.
Eggbert’s one true wish was to be something special. He watched all the other folks going about their days, happy and content and he told himself that he should be happier too. But he wasn’t.
One day, out of a desperate need to do something, he decided to place a large red dot on the top of his shell. This, he knew, would mark him as someone special, someone important.
All day long Eggbert waited for someone to notice his special red dot. But, no one did.
Finally, tired and frustrated he went to see his mother Eggdwina and when she saw him she opened her arms to give him a big hug, but before Eggbert could reach his mother’s comforting shell, she flicked the red dot from his head and said, “Oh, Eggbert. You’ve got some schmutz.”
Eggbert endured the hug and quickly left for home. On his long unhappy walk he saw a flyer on a telephone poll, it read, “Open Mike Night at Ye Olde Muffin bar and stand up club, tomorrow night.”
Eggbert felt his insides churn, this was it. He was going to be a stand up comedian and everyone would see how special he was. Running at full speed, he stopped at the book store, bought a joke book and ran home.
Eggbert stayed up all night reading the jokes and all day memorizing them for the show.
When the time came to go to the club, Eggbert was bleary eyed, but excited. This was going to be the big day!
After the first two acts finished, Eggbert took the stage. In a small and almost whiny voice he recited the first joke from his book. “Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road?” he asked the audience.
He was met with utter quiet. No one in the audience responded. “Um, because he didn’t have the guts!” Eggbert said all at once. Again, no reaction from the audience.
Eggbert continued, unable to bare the silence, “You see, skeletons have no body, and so they literally have no guts and guts also means bravery, like being brave enough to cross the road…”
Someone in the back of the crowd let out a huge, “Boo!!! Get off the stage! You stink!”
Eggbert tried to continue, stammering, his hands shaking he began again, “What goes stomp, stomp, stomp, squish?” He looked out into the crowd for a friendly face.
“You do!” a woman shouted from the left side of the audience. Then the first spit wad sailed up on to the stage and splattered against Eggbert’s side.
His confidence failing, Eggbert slunk off stage to a nearby bar stool.
After his first drink he heard a warm and mellow voice at his side, “Hey there, Mate. Hang in there.”
“The name’s Toasters. I am the English Muffin who owns this comedy club.”
Eggbert looked over at the source of the voice, and sure enough, a distinguished looking English Muffin sat perched upon the bar stool to his left.
“Hello, Toasters,” Eggbert mentioned without any enthusiasm.
“Open microphone night not up to snuff for you, eh?” Toaster asked, his buttery shine glimmering with mischief.
“I was horrible,” Eggbert said, his tone indicating that his state of horribleness was what always was and what always will be.
“Chin up, Mate. All you did was get it wrong the first try, who doesn’t? You got to see it as one step in the overall process, not as failure.”
“You think I’m a failure?” Eggbert whined.
“Not unless you sit on the stool for the rest of your life whining about how you stink. See here. The trick with the comedy is to talk about stuff which is very much about you. Not just reading jokes out of a book. What works for me might now work for you.”
Dragging the words out of some deep place in his soul Eggbert asked, “What works for you?”
“What works for me, is being me! Think about it. What kind of jokes do you think I did when I was doing stand up?”
“Knock-knock jokes,” Eggbert asked cautiously.
“No, of course not! I’m an English muffin, so I come out on stage and tell them that it’s easy to be a comic, there’s muffin to it.”
Eggbert smiled a bit. “I get it, Muffin to it and you are a muffin.”
“And your name is Toasters!”
“Because I am a muffin and because I own a bar.”
Eggbert’s voice gained a note of excitement, “Two jokes!”
“Yes, but sadly being an English muffin does not provide as much material as I would have hoped.”
“Don’t be, I own the bar and am very happy, but you my friend, are an egg!”
Eggbert stared at Toasters without comprehension. “You mean I have to be a muffin to be funny?”
“No, you are an egg and when you find the humor in being an egg…”
“I’ll really be funny!”
“That’s right. Will you come back and try next week?”
“But I don’t know what I will say; I don’t know what the jokes will be.”
Toaster slid off the bar stool and began to walk away, “You’ll think of it. See you next week, kid.”
Eggbert felt the beginnings of excitement as he raced home to discover the jokes that came with being an egg.
And Eggbert thought about it until he thought he would explode. He thought about jokes which would be right for him in the morning when he showered. He thought about jokes during lunch. He thought about jokes when he drove around to get his shell polished and he thought about jokes all night long in his dreams.
Every time he thought he had the right kind of joke he would decide that it wasn’t exactly what he wanted.
Finally the day of the show arrived and Eggbert nervously got himself to the club, he wanted his jokes to be exactly the right kind. Even his mother Eggdwina was in the audience this time. He could not have possible been more nervous.
The act before him was a real ham and the audience looked angry. Carefully, with slow and deliberate movement Eggbert approached the microphone. The sharp whine of amplified feedback nearly caused him to run from the stage, but he held his ground.
Nervously he began, “Hello, folks. My name is Eggbert.”
The audience quieted with expectation and Eggbert was sure he remembered a few people from the week before. No one smiled.
“My name is Eggbert, and I am here to CRACK you up!” Eggbert yelled into the microphone. His last word echoed into the silence as the audience stared at him without expression.
Eggbert felt his heart drop to the floor and was about to continue when he heard someone in the audience yell out, “Oh, I get it. You are an egg and you are going to crack us up!”
Someone else in the audience laughed. “It’s a joke.”
Eggbert wasn’t sure if this was working, so he decided to charge on ahead.
“Anyway, I am so
Again, it was quiet for a moment and then a small group of folks in the audience laughed. “He’s an egg and he’s egg-cited!” one of them said through his chuckles.
“You guessed it,” Eggbert replied, “I guess the YOLK is on me!”
At this half of the audience began to laugh.
“Hmm,” Eggbert said, pretended to not know what to say, “What SHELL I say next?”
Now the other half of the audience began to laugh.
“Seriously,” Eggbert continued, getting exited, “I am SCRAMBLING for another joke!”
Now the audience was howling with laughter. They were falling out of their chairs and slapping each other on the back with delight.
Eggbert yelled to the audience’s delight. “Hey you guys are great, I wasn’t sure that I would like you, but you won me OVER EASY!”
The audience was in a frenzy now, chanting, “Eggbert! Eggbert! Eggbert!”
Toaster joined Eggbert on the stage and took the microphone, “Brilliant. How about a big hand for Eggbert everybody!” and the applause was deafening.
As Eggbert made his way off the stage, Toaster called to him, “You did it kid, you looked deep inside and you found your very own voice!”
Eggbert smiled and called over his shoulder, “EGG-zactly.”