Hoot, sometimes we get so familiar with a recipe that we have made over and over with success that we tend to take little shortcuts. And then disaster strikes. The recipe doesn't work. Unlike a stalk of celery, eggs are delicate and you can't take them for granted. And like GLC has stated, even just a very light coating of grease or oil on any of the instruments used, can changed everything.
If your recipe call for three eggs and they have been sitting in the fridge for more than a week, they have lost a lot of their water in the whites through evaporation through the shells. That's why you find a bigger space at the top of the egg than you do with a fresh egg. Even storing them improperly with the pointed side up can make a difference.