As Enduring Prank, Eggings More Than a Throwback
In Boissonnault's case, he said the Luby family came to his house to apologize the weekend before police pressed charges. But Boissonnault said that the apology was not sincere and that he felt strongly about pressing charges.
Boissonnault, the parent of a third-grader at Lyles-Crouch Elementary School, has criticized the School Board's decision to allow Superintendent Rebecca L. Perry to keep her job after she was arrested for drunken driving in April.
"All the issues with the board are about leadership and accountability," Boissonnault said. "Why would I not hold an adult accountable for breaking the law?"
James Luby is scheduled to appear in court Thursday, and Woodson is scheduled to appear Aug. 4. If convicted, each faces a maximum fine of $500.
Some egging victims said getting retribution isn't easy without evidence. And they're usually left only with the gloppy, sticky mess of the eggs. After his Kettering home was egged, Phil Lee sighed, headed inside to tell his wife and children and began the hours-long process of cleaning. As he soaked and soaped, scrubbed and wiped, the youthful faces of the teenagers he had most recently reported for truancy came to mind.
"Some things come with the turf," Lee said. "I am very visible in the community during school times. . . . I could figure out who it was if I gave it enough time. I don't want to take police time to take a report for someone who's thrown eggs."
Police said that though eggings often occur randomly, a high number of the targeted victims are activists, teachers and politicians. During a heated campaign in fall 2002, Maryland Sen. Alex X. Mooney (R-Frederick) discovered that his car had been egged while parked in front of his home.
A year after his victory, Mooney said he again found himself a target, with about 10 eggs splattered across his house, front door and carport. Unlike after the first egging, this time he called police to investigate. No arrests were made.
"There are certainly people who don't like me," Mooney said. "But I just figure it's kids making pranks. What kids think is a childish prank can really work people up. My wife wants an alarm put in."
Some experts on pranks take a different view of eggings.
"It's totally unoriginal. They were probably doing that 2,000 years ago," said Alex Boese, author of the book "The Museum of Hoaxes: The World's Greatest Hoaxes" and curator of the Web site museumofhoaxes.com. "If you're going to create a hierarchy of prank, originality is high up there, and egging is not original at all."
Boese said that though teenage computer hackers generally receive more media attention than youths who throw eggs, he believes egging will endure.
"We live in an age of technology, but sometimes the sheer fear of physical crudeness is still appealing," he said. "Some things never go out of style."
© 2004 The Washington Post Company