Does meeting a giant, talking egg that knows your name sound like a good way to spend the holidays? If you live near New Windsor, New York, you can meet and greet "Eggbert" who has been dusted off and taken out of long-term storage.
The New York Times reports that Devitt's Nursery and Supply has brought back the popular, local tradition. Frankly, it all sounds a bit terrifying to me:
Alexandria Krol, 5, grew wide-eyed as she walked in the darkness up to the strange-looking egg.
It wore a crown and rested upon a large throne. Its eyes moved, and then its lips, as it greeted her by name — It knew her name! — and told a joke and asked her to pose for a picture with him. It felt like a scene out of "Alice in Wonderland."
Then the egg said, "Did your mommy used to come to see Eggbert when she was your age?"
Trying to explain what Eggbert really is doesn't help much, either--"a plexiglass ellipsoid with eyes and lips that move mechanically." When Devitt's sold the retail section of its operation in 1999, Eggbert was unseated and left in storage until this year.
Thankfully, though, Eggbert doesn't actually know your name. Instead, it is equipped with a microphone and a speaker. A Devitt's employee hides behind one-way glass nearby and reads the nametags off of kids who make their way through the line to meet the talking egg. As the children make their way through the long line, passing by Christmas exhibits and a petting zoo, they've typically long-since forgotten about giving their names on the way past the ticket counter.
But whatever you think of Eggbert, it's a popular tradition, drawing more than 80,000 annual visitors during the peak of the holiday season. More than 3,000 people showed up on Eggbert's first day back, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Still, I couldn't help but take Eggbert's parting words to one child as more a threat than a promise: As children said goodbye to Eggbert, he replied to some of them, "Tell your friends I'm back and I'll be here every Christmas from now on."
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