Today I had a run-in with a concept that I’ve only ever used as a metaphor or a generic negative idea. For the first time in my 30+ years, a rotten egg broke in my hand. I was washing off the chicken dung that many of our eggs are coated with, and it just exploded. We get our eggs from my father-in-law’s chickens, you see, so they come from wherever they decide to lay them, which is often where they excrete other stuff. The improvement in taste over grocery store eggs is worth the extra scrubbing hassle.
My only previous experience with rotten eggs were from the childhood phrase, “Last one to [achieve some goal] is a rotten egg!” and from chemistry class when learning how to describe the chemical element sulfur.
Anyway, the kitchen was unenterable for several minutes, and it took about a half hour to get the smell out of my nose. I have now washed my hands at least 25 times and I can still smell it on my hands.
So just in case you are a rotten egg virgin like I was when I woke up this morning, I can assure you that its place at the archetypal throne of bad smells is well deserved.