The Random Writings of Rachel: Science Experiment Gone Wrong

Science Experiment Gone Wrong

Looking back, it seems like our parents left us home alone in the afternoons fairly frequently during my high school years. I'm not sure if that's actually true, or if it's somehow related to the fact that afternoons with no parental supervision typically turned out far more exciting and memorable than afternoons when Mom was home.


One afternoon, we'd mostly finished with schoolwork by the time lunch was over, and we decided to do a science experiment/competition together. We had plenty of eggs on hand, which was usual, seeing as we always bought eggs in sets of 30, so we decided to do the famous experiment where you create containers for eggs out of paper and tape and straws and then drop the eggs off of a certain height and see if they crack or not.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

We sure thought it did.

So, the six of us worked on our project at the dining table, each creating our own egg cartons. We carried our contraptions solemnly up to the 2nd floor balcony outside of my bedroom, and on the count of 3, we all held out our egg containers and dropped them at the same time.

Only...that's not what happened. All of us dropped our containers, except one of our number, who opted to throw her egg wrapped in paper and cardboard as far as she could with all the strength in her little arms. We saw the ill-fated egg carton hurtle in an arc through the air and land smack in the middle of our neighbors' tiled yard.

In only an instant, the entire balcony was empty of the 6 teens and children who had been out there moments before. We were now cowering inside my bedroom in sheer terror. I mean--good kids just don't do things like throw egg-filled paper cartons into their neighbors' yards. Not even bad kids do that kind of stuff. This was serious, and we had no idea what to do.

It's not like we could just walk into the yard and pick up what belonged to us and scoot quickly back to our side. There was a five-foot fence separating the two yards, and our neighbors had several German Shepherds housed in theirs.

This was an occasion when my sister Lizzy truly shined. I was too scared to do anything. Isaac was giggling too much to do anything. Anna, Rebekah, and MaryGrace--one of them had caused the whole fiasco in the first place--they were too little to do anything. Lizzy was the one who stuck to her guns that the right response was to walk over and talk to the neighbors and get our eggy contraption back.

By this point, we'd forgotten completely about the 5 other eggs that had landed in our own yard. Those were of no concern given the much larger emergency at hand, and we weren't even interested in figuring out whether any of us had succeeded in keeping our egg from cracking. 

Isaac and I hid in the kitchen and peeked out from between the bars on the window as Lizzy marched over across the little yard and started calling out towards our neighbors' house. The only one home was the elderly grandma who didn't speak much English at all. Lizzy tried to communicate what she wanted, with the result that the little grandma first gave her limes from their lime tree, and then curry leaves from their curry tree. Lizzy jumped and tried to point to the oozing cardboard package lying on the tile, and finally the grandma understood what she wanted. She picked up the dripping package and handed it to Lizzy, asking, "Food for your dog?"

Lizzy, confounded, mumbled a quick, "Uhh..no. Thank you!" and rushed back into the house. She was rather disappointed in Isaac's and my failure to provide any help in resolving the situation, but I thought she handled it quite well while the two of us were paralyzed with horror at the awkward situation our experiment had caused. We all vowed not to tell Mom and Dad about this adventure until some later date, because it's a proven fact that they don't get nearly as mad about something when you can honestly tell them, "Oh, that? That happened a really long time ago." Strategy.

{This is Day 7 in my 31 Days series: 31 Days of Growing Up in Malaysia}

13 comments:

  1. Oh this cracked me up! I would totally have cowered with you. I'm very impressed with Lizzy. Also, I have to know, do your parents know now? Or will they read about it on your blog for the first time?

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  2. Oh wow! Sounds like some excitement! Good for Lizzy on being brave enough to do the right thing!

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  3. Was this story in your book? I know I've read it before! Loved to hear it again of course.

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  4. Hahahaha! Nothing better than the secrets siblings keep together! :)

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  5. That's so true about telling parents about things after the fact. I've waited to tell my mom so many things because the longer you wait, the less it matters. :) Thanks for sharing! Fun story.

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  6. I don't know if you ever saw the show "Ghost Writer" but when I was little, a friend and I were pretending that we were part of ghost writer's detective team and we "saw" a burglar going into a neighbors house. So we dumped some slimy goop at the bottom of the stairs for the bad guy to slip in... oh boy.

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  7. I love when the unexpected ones save the day! Yay for Lizzy!

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  8. LOL! My cousins and I lost a ball we were throwing in a neighbor's backyard. So in an effort to retrieve it, we taped a note to a stone and threw it over the fence too-- hoping they'd read it. After we tossed it, we heard a splash. The note was now at the bottom of their swimming pool. Never told a soul.

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  9. Ha ha!!! What a hilarious story. I could totally see myself and my neighbor friends doing the exact same thing, and responding the same way when we knew we were in for it! I could also picture my kids in this situation!

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  10. What a fun story! I remember seeing my junior high students with their egg parachutes!

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  11. I love this! Hysterical. It's funny the things that terrified us when we were younger.

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  12. hehehe, we had to do an experiment like that for a science class I was taking, and it definitely didn't work so well. :[ That little grandma sounds so sweet, hahaha. <3

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  13. I think the funniest part of this story is the language barrier resulting in a lime and curry leaves!

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