How To Boil An Egg

  1. Take one egg
  2. Boil it

I can see from your disapproving glance that more might be needed. Perhaps you’re right and I am just phoning it in using a disconnected Motorola Bravo LX Pager – which you can’t even use as a phone.

You got me.

The thing is, it was Sunday when I started writing this. Although I don’t go to church (and am, in fact, legally forbidden from approaching any Assembly of God building in the continental United States) I do hold the weekends sacred.

For some, this means communion with the God of their choice (e.g. Jesus, the NFL, over-eating, etc.) For me, this means generally being a lazy sod and avoiding thoughts like a disconnected pager avoids my frustrated attempts to install Angry Birds.

I thought I’d snake by with a simple post on how to boil an egg, but that’s really not sufficient, is it? I mean, you totally busted me.

There are undoubtedly more steps than the two listed. So, since I hold you in such high regard, here are the instructions on how to boil an egg.


1. Find an egg. You don’t have to literally find one at random. You can specifically search for one. I suggest at a grocery store, Farmer’s Market, dépanneur, egg-broker, chicken tamer, or anywhere else where fine eggs are sold. May I suggest Florence, Italy? It’s lovely there.


2. If you cannot find an egg, you will have to create one from scratch. Evolution generally has a “good enough” attitude about things, so don’t feel any pressure to come up with the Platonic ideal of an egg. You’re not reaching beyond the shadows of the cave you’ve been chained to in order to make an omelet out of the real. Incidentally, yes: this is the use I am putting my classical education towards. Why do you ask?

In any case, don’t sweat it. Just don’t fall into the rookie mistakes. Which came first? The egg. There’s one riddle solved for you. So you don’t need a chicken. Take carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen. Combine them – a lot. Keep doing it until you start to form proteins. Things will get exhausting for the first three billion years or so. Keep at it. Occasionally a comet, asteroid, or hella-drunk alien craft will crash into your workspace and mess things up. It happens. Just keep working. Eventually, an egg will develop.

On second thought, just go to the store. Or Florence, Italy. It’s lovely there.

Eggs! Italian eggs!

3. Find some water. This should be pretty easy: it’s everywhere. Although you are made up of around 60% water, I don’t suggest you use yourself as a source. It makes the egg taste all coppery. Use a faucet, sink, pump, well, rainwater, or someone else’s sixty percent. Barring all other options, find two hydrogens and one oxygen. Smush them together.

4. Find some fire. Fire is a little more difficult to make, and in the right circumstances is also illegal. You’re going to want to contain this fire into a small area. Fire, like my prose, can get uncontrollable, and then what do you end up with? A blog post that makes no sense and wastes your time, that’s what. So, that’s fire.

Pictured: the ruin after a blog post

5. Once you have your fire in a contained place, you’ll need a container to place your water in. Although it seems like it would be more efficient, you cannot pour the water on the fire for instant boiling happiness. You will need a metal pot of some sort. Here’s where I talk about smelting.

You can’t just grab a rock, place it over the fire, extrude the metal, and melt it into a pot shape. What were you thinking and who raised you?! I mean sure, you had the fire just sitting there doing nothing. Why not use the fire to smelt the ore out of your base metal?

You know what? Now that I type that, I recognize the brilliant idea you’ve had. Please forgive me. If I knew where you lived, I would send you some apology celery.

My apologies now come with almond butter!

Barring smelting and the heartbreak of third-degree burns it brings, you could just use a pot. Especially the one you bought in Florance, Italy. It’s lovely there.

What DOESN’T Florence, Italy have?

6. Place the water in the pot. There are a number of ways you can do this, ranging from holding it under the faucet and filling it up like a sane person to building a Rube Goldberg machine using pumps and pullies.

Pictured: You SERIOUSLY over-thinking this

Anyway, fill the pot with water, then re-ignite the fire. I am sure the fire has long since gone out in the time we’ve taken to get to this step.

7. Place the pot over the fire. At this point, it occurred to me that I have never mentioned any kind of grill system, so your dropping a pot full of water on top of your fire is pretty much my fault. Still, you could have considered this. I mean, why should I take all the blame? Take some initiative!

Oh, I can’t stay mad at you, you little goose! Look at you there; so cute!

8. Re-ignite the fire, fill the pot with water, extrude metal, create a grill-like support system that can bear the weight of a metal pot full of water, then place the pot with the water on top of the grill which is preventing your pot of water from crushing your fire again while at the same time letting flicks of flame reach the bottom the pot.

NOTE: A brief discussion about pyromaniacs.  There may be some pyromaniacs out there reading this. To them, the post probably reads something like “take the fire….then fire…. fire, fire…. FIRE… grab the fire…. don’t…. fire FIRE! FIRE!!!!”

Please calm down. In this case, we are merely harnessing a fundamental force of the universe to harden proteins. Now is not the time to unleash the golden flame goddess that promises breathless excitement. Those hypnotic, sexual flames… the flames. FIRE! AIEEEEE!

9. Wait.

A watched pot WILL boil. There is an old saying that denies this. That old saying, like most old sayings, is lying to you. You don’t have magical, boil-preventing powers. The boil isn’t waiting until you collapse the waveform with your inattention. You are not a wizard.

No, not even a water wizard. What the hell is a water wizard, anyway? That makes no sense at all. Are you deliberately throwing me off track?!

And to think: I almost sent you celery!

“Water wizard…” FEH! This could’ve been yours, smart ass!

10. Sooner than later, the water will boil. Stick your hand in there to make sure the water is warm and the bubbles aren’t merely air being blown into the water by an invisible prankster who is filming you for TV.

NOTE: PLEASE don’t stick your hand into the water. On brief reflection, that was a stupid thing to advise.

11. Place the egg in the water. At this point, I suggest casually dropping the egg rather than gracefully dipping them into the water with your fingers. Be as cavalier as you wish within the realms of reason.

If you have formed an emotional bond with the egg and cannot bear to think of what you are about to do, use this as an opportunity to reflect on the transient nature of the universe and mortality and realize that the Buddha has laid out this path for you to practice letting go. I almost typed that the Buddha laid this egg for you, but I am glad I didn’t. Masterful self-control!


12. Wait for five minutes, then remove the pot from the fire. I would not suggest using your hands directly. Use some kind of a tool. Many would use a towel to prevent the heat from the pot from scolding them. Many are feeble. You’re better than that. I suggest a well-placed roundhouse kick to strike. Hit with your heel, not with your toes.

For an extra challenge, try to move the pot with your mind. If you can, stay away from me. My jealousy would ruin our friendship.

You have boiled the egg! Now that the process is finished, leave it alone. The egg is undoubtedly disgusting. There is a much better recipe here:


Technically, I filled my brief. You now know how to boil an egg. Like evolution, I have a “good enough” attitude about things.