(///reading.readjust.nominations – Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone, Wyoming, USA)
Egbert hated many things, chief among them his name. But his angry adolescence had given way to a mature acceptance, and he had vowed to make a virtue of his anger. His Egbert’s Eggs café was a roaring success.
He continued to loathe specific objects though, and needed outlandish diversions to cope. So he invented Extreme Egg Cookery, and was soon frying, poaching and scrambling in deserts, forests and oceans.
Eggs-treme omelette became his most popular dish, and nominations for ever more dangerous locations flooded in. Reading them, Egbert decided on the ultimate challenge.
Old Faithful, world-famous geyser – hot and dependable, while suggesting an inner rage that could only be satisfied by its regular plumes of boiling water.
Authorities agreed. Egbert brainstormed. One method emerged. The omelette mix would need to be encased.
He created a metal ball to be shot into the air with the jet, with the heat of the water trusted to do the cooking. He simulated a geyser to try, test, adjust, test again, readjust, and test again until he had the perfect size and weight.
The day arrived. The cooking sphere sat on a stand above Old Faithful. The waiting proved interminable – Old Faithful was toying with them, but eventually it burst into life and carried the vessel skywards, keeping it up there while superheating it.
As Old Faithful shrank back, the sphere was thrown in an unexpected direction at extreme velocity. The crowd scattered, but Egbert was too slow and the cooking ball smacked him on the head. He lay dazed on the ground. But the crowd seemed more interested in the contents of the dome, which now lay open on the ground next to him.
A perfectly cooked omelette.
People whooped and cheered.
Egbert lay back, his world view confirmed.
He really, really hated eggs.