Cracking Up

Location: New Times news rack, 1 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables

Starting time: 4:10 p.m.

Ending time: 4:30 p.m.

Highest surface temperature: 108 degrees

Glutination index: 2

Part Three

EGGILOGUE

In retrospect, the eggsperiment, like any such endeavor, had its flaws. There were hot spots we didn't try -- mall parking lots, downtown rooftops, the torrid steel jungles of industrial parks. And, of course, the local equivalent of the Sahara -- Metrozoo.

The last oversight, though, wasn't our fault. We issued a request to the appropriate zoo personnel, and Ron McGill in the media-relations department responded with affable but surprisingly weenielike reluctance: "There are many hotter places, and we're not comfortable with you coming out here with the eggs. The administration just didn't think it was a positive image thing. You can go just outside the park, where it's the same temperature. But we don't want you cracking eggs inside the park."

One bright, broiling day, when the zoo guys least expect it (maybe an afternoon when they're in a recording studio laying down backing vocals for the "Metrozoo's Got Wings" 12-inch), we'll pack into a car and take a crack at it. Break eggs, prove that we can fry them, then heave the evidence heedlessly into the cages.

But we'll keep one of the successes, of course, pack it carefully in a small cedar box and drive north and then west until we come to the narrow old graveyard on the banks of the Ochlockonee River. Birds will hover motionless above us as we remove the egg, sprinkle the yolk with healing herbs, and set it gently atop the plain gray gravestone. Tallahassee Dranes, R.I.P.

We decided on a locally potent cultural blasphemy: egg-drop soup atop the Gloria Estefan marker in the Latin Stars Walk of Fame.

When they spotted the camera, they jumped right in as if they were born to watch a bunch of idiots attempt asidewalk omelet.

What kind of country is this if a man can't even crack an egg on the steps of a public building in the name of legitimate scientific inquiry?

Metrozoo's Ron McGill responded with affable but surprisingly weenie-like reluctance: "We don't want you cracking eggs inside the park.

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