Letter to the Editors: “Egg disaster” response

Virginia Smedberg

Cracked eggs cover the road after the Oct. 13 egg fight incident between Palo Alto High School juniors and seniors. Parks, cars, and houses across town were left covered in raw eggs, including the driveway of Palo Alto resident Virginia Smedberg. “Those who make a mess, as we hope people would have learned by kindergarten age, should clean it up,” Smedberg wrote in a letter to The Paly Voice.​ Photo: Jeffrey Tu.​

Note: This letter was written in response to The Paly Voice’s article “Point incentives prompt clean-up” published on Oct. 14, 2021.

Thanks for your article about the egg disaster, which was linked by someone in Nextdoor. My comment: all damage caused must be repaired. And I think Paly — staff and students — should establish a hotline (email and/or phone) for residents to contact, to report damage done by eggs that hasn’t yet been cleaned up or repaired. Then someone can decide who should do the clean-up or, if repairs cost money, who should pay for it (obviously NOT the victim).

The only damage I sustained was one egg smashed on my driveway ramp — which delayed my getting to my student because I took the time to cover it with leaves so no one would track the goo into the house. But that wasn’t a real clean-up, just a temporary fix, so I want someone to come and actually wash the goo off. I consider that a reasonable request. Those who make a mess, as we hope people would have learned by kindergarten age, should clean it up. And high school juniors and seniors are old enough to find out how to really clean or repair things thoroughly.

Evidently some are not mature enough to recognize that damaging someone else’s belongings is unacceptable in a civilized society. If I were to suggest and “eye-for-an-eye” retribution, I’d say take the perpetrator’s phone (likely his/her most prized possession) and smoosh an egg on it and let it dry. But I don’t believe in that kind of response. (But perhaps if some who did the egging think about how they’d feel if that were done to their phone, they might grow up a bit.)

Virginia Smedberg

P.S. I’m 76 — grandma age to most of you.