Tuesday, June 2, 2015

E is for Eglah.

How fun is this! I would hard boil
dozens of eggs just to see them
magically stripped by this machine.
Who or what is an eglah? Is it a new generic knockoff of Eggo waffles? Is it a kitchen device making it easier to prepare eggs? Like the Eggstractor, which I desperately want, but not enough to pay $14.99 plus processing and handling. Still, the idea of peeling eggs in a totally unyucky way tempts me.

Eglah is neither of those. It is the name I have chosen for my somewhat new car. Since summer, 2003, I had driven a green Kia Rio. It had many names and descriptions, most derisive. Even a Kia dealer called the color “baby poop green,” although she didn’t say “poop.” I immediately asked her if she meant a breastfed or bottle-fed baby, and she, being an unmarried non-mom, had no idea what I meant.

One of my more polite students took to calling the Kia the Lima Bean. I found that fitting. It’s small and green.

Then in summer 2014, I acquired a purple PT Cruiser, and my husband claimed the Lima Bean. But what would I call the Cruiser? It’s big and purple, and in keeping with the vegetable theme, I decided it is an eggplant. So the Cruiser is now Eglah the Eggplant.

This is not Eglah. This generic purple PT Cruiser
belongs to someone else.
But where did I get Eglah from? I’m so glad you asked. Eglah was one of King David’s wives. Second Samuel chapter 3 lists Davd’s sons, “And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.” 2 Samuel 3:5

Before I realized Eglah was a bona fide royal wife, I encountered her in what is a contender for the cheesiest Bible movie of all time. I regularly showed it to my Old Testament classes. The only well-known actor was a huge, glowering Orson Welles as King Saul. The young shepherd David, dressed in an obscenely short tunic, had a girlfriend named Eglah who continuously gushed, “Oh David, I’m so afraid!” right up until the moment when she was struck by sideways lightning. 

Yes, sideways lightning in an old black and white movie. We replayed that scene over and over again in my classroom to the devious delight of students and teacher alike. David eventually overcame his sorrow and went to Jerusalem (which had not yet been conquered) to confront the priests in front of the Temple (which would not be built by David’s son Solomon until after David’s death many decades later).

What the film lacked in historical accuracy it made up for in state-of-the-art special effects.

And so in memory of poor, sweet, dead Eglah, every morning I power up Eglah the Eggplant and go forth to seize the day, taking special care during thunder storms.