The egg banjo, contrary to popular belief, is not a musical instrument. In fact, if the truth is to be known, you are about as likely to be able to strum out a tune on an egg banjo as you are to write a novel with a herd of Wildebeest. That's not to say it's impossible, just technically very, very difficult.
The exact origins of the term egg banjo are lost in the mists of time, although it is almost undoubtedly of military origin, and almost undoubtedly British at that.
What is it?
Picture the scene: you stagger home from a night on the tiles, a little the worse for wear, and not a little esurient - peckish, if you will.
What would quell that aching pain, calm the gut-wrenching gurgles, and yet be sufficiently easy to prepare so that you don't need to think too hard? Of course - a fried egg sandwich, or, as it is known, an egg banjo.
But why is it called an egg banjo? Once again you need to picture the scene...
You've fried your egg (for full effect, the consistency of the yolk should be runny), and laid it lovingly on a slice of bread. The type of bread (including bread rolls), and whether or not it is buttered, is of little importance: it's the consistency of the yolk that counts. Having applied the necessary seasonings, you close your sandwich and take this gastronomic masterpiece in your hand. Then with no small amount of anticipation, you take your first bite.
If you have constructed your banjo with a sufficient degree of care and diligence, at this point the yolk will spew forth from the far edge of the sandwich and splatter its yellowness down your best pulling shirt1.
Transferring the fruits of your labours into one hand, you hold it to the side, and with a futile strumming action attempt to wipe the spilt and rapidly-drying yolk from your shirt. Congratulations! You've just passed Grade I in egg banjo.
Beyond the Banjo
It is hard to improve upon the classic egg banjo of old, but in these days of high technology, there are no end of options available to the discerning banjo maker.
Anything from anchovy paste to Worcestershire Sauce could be added to the standard template, and that includes entirely separate foodstuffs, such as bacon or tomato. Whether such additions can enhance what is already a sublime piece of culinary engineering is purely down to personal preference, though it must be said that many a colourful ejaculate can be achieved through diligent usage of condiments and sauces.
So There it is ...
There you have it: the egg banjo. Thrill your friends, and disarm your enemies with a group sing-song around an egg banjo.