Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the King’s horses,
And all the King’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
As if Humpty Dumpty did not have enough self-esteem problems from his name, he suffered the indignity of the most publicized klutz-move of all time. How would you like it if your late-night fall on the way to the bathroom became an overnight tabloid sensation? MOTHER TRIPS OVER OWN TWO FEET; DOCTORS STYMIED. One might argue, what was an egg doing up on the wall in the first place?
As a child I always assumed that Humpty’s fall was his own fault, that maybe he got what he deserved for his foolish actions. Admittedly, this assumption was based on the fact that this giant egghead with spindly arms and legs gave me the heebie-jeebies.
Nevertheless, the accident does smell of foul play. Or in this case, rotten eggs.
Who were the detectives assigned to this case? Did they bother to ask why the horses were even involved in the recovery process? I know whenever I break a dish, I summon all neighborhood HORSES to put it back together again. I’m sure their heavy hooves were designed just perfectly for reassembling a delicate egg.
If you ask me, it was an inside job.
Motive, you ask? Revenge.
We must look beyond the scene of the crime. One prime suspect should be Alice, a young girl who coincidently also suffered a legendary fall, albeit down a rabbit hole. Alice had a somewhat suspicious history with Humpty, as observed in the following conversation recorded by Lewis Carroll:
“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”
“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
Did anyone bother to check Alice’s alibi on the day of the accident? Apparently Humpty was an insufferable snob, and he never stood a chance. Sweet Alice did NOT want to go down in history as the number one klutz of all time. And she certainly would not tolerate being mocked by an egghead. But Alice did not have the ability to wipe Humpty out while such a strong force of soldiers surrounded the area. Unless, of course, they were involved. Perhaps we should check the offshore bank accounts of said “King’s Men.”
Motive Number Two: The Hit Men and the Brunch
How did an egg get to the top of the wall in the first place? Even with arms and legs he couldn’t scale up a flat wall like Spiderman. Someone had to PUT him there. Coincidently, the King’s Men were the first to arrive at the scene of the crime. No doubt they were on their way to the royal brunch. We all know that kings are prone to gluttony, and eggs are a staple of any decent brunch. Poor Humpty, who up until that time had a limited vantage point, would have been easily convinced by the Men to sit on top of the wall. Knowing Mr. Dumpty’s propensity for pontificating, they offered him an opportunity he couldn’t refuse: the chance to look down on the rest of the world.
Undisclosed sources close to the investigation claim a witness saw one of the King’s Men with a whisk in his back pocket. The witness was unavailable for questioning, as he was later mysteriously found floating face-down in a pool of Tabasco sauce.
Conclusion: The King’s Men had gotten reamed out by the King that morning for forgetting the eggs, and on their way to town they were approached by Alice to bump off Humpty. They enticed Humpty to the top of the wall, gave him a shove, and voilà, the King had scrambled eggs for brunch.
It was a messy death, but through his tragic end Humpty rose to fame. Kids always sympathize with him, for the poor egg never saw it coming. And it’s true, Humpty Dumpty deserved a break. He just got the wrong kind.
Credit: L. Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass (Raleigh, NC: Hayes Barton Press, 1872), p. 72.