Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Another Food Related Post

Although only slightly. Really it’s a post about how I'm not the only one who gets dumb phone calls.

A few days ago I went to Ezell’s to get some fried chicken for Max and I. We go there every couple of weeks, when we feel our bad-cholesterol level needs a boost. You can practically feel your arteries narrowing from just breathing the air. But it’s very tasty.

Behind the counter, as usual, was a trio of black teenagers and an older woman, also black, who I see there every time I go in. She’s the one who usually takes my order, and I believe I would describe her as matriarchal in both appearance and in manner. She’s friendly, but she’s in charge of that kitchen and she knows it. Everyone else knows it too. I grew up in the South, and my childhood was populated by a number of kind but commanding black ladies of a certain age and Junoesque proportions, so she always makes me smile.

I told her what I wanted and as she moved to get it, one of the teenagers handed her a cordless phone. She talked into it as she got out a Styrofoam box.

“Ezell’s Chicken, can I help you?”

I could hear the voice of the person on the other end, but not well enough to understand what they were saying. The matriarch’s brow knit as she listened.

“Re-heat it? Well, just put it in the oven.”


“On low. Turn the oven on low, and put the chicken in.”


The matriarch let out a little sound of annoyance and replied to the caller.“250 degrees. That’s low.”


“Well, it depends how hot you want it. Leave it in there for five minutes. Then check it.”


“No, not in the box,” said the matriarch, as she selected a pair of original-recipe thighs with a pair of large steel tongs. “Put it on a cookie sheet or something, and put it in the oven for five or ten minutes.”


But the Queen of Ezell’s patience had reached its end. “I have to go now, I have customers to take care of, good-bye.” She handed the phone back to her assistant, shaking her head “Lord…”

The teenager asked, “Was that someone who lives with you?”

She rolled her eyes. “Oh, no it was not. My children know how to cook chicken. I don’t know who that was.” She met my eye and shook her head, giving a gentle snort. “Calling up here, asking me how to warm up chicken.” I smiled and said something about silly people. She gave me my chicken and I thanked her and left.

Maybe I should let her answer my phone calls.

No comments: