Call and response, with missing fried chicken

The phone rings. The caller, a woman, says in a frantic voice: “I cain’t find the fried chicken. I cain’t find the fried chicken.” In the background are car horns, indistinguishable voices. “Wrong number,” I say. She doesn’t hear above the noise. I have to repeat: “Wrong number.” A while later the phone rings again. I forget to check the number, but I’m thinking it’s still the chicken lady, desperate for her dinner. I wonder if I should ask her why the chicken crossed the road. Or where. Or why not baked or rotisserie chicken. But it’s not the chicken lady; it’s my contractor with the bad attitude, responding to my query from a week ago about roof repair. Scratch that: more like, hectoring. I can hardly get a word in edgewise— “You oughta’ be grateful it’s only a leak. You know I’ve got xyz jobs in far worse shape than what you got, that need my immediate attention. I’m running all over the place. I really don’t have the time. I coulda’ told you when you bought that house that the roof was bad.” Yeah? Well I don’t need to be lectured, mister. Pulverize is a word that applies to a number of materials. Pressure pulls the wire to decrease the stitch. Goodbye, wrong number. I don’t think I’ll be doing business with you again.

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