Ambrose stumbled on outside and squinted irritably at the sun and the cloud-free sky. “Sammy’s Place isn’t that far from here. But I will not walk it.”
He pulled out his phone and dialed information. “Hello? I need the number for a reliable and fast taxi service. What? No. I am not in London, ya stupid fishmonger. I am here in Pinkerlee. No. No spaces between Pinker or Lee. It’s just one cotton picking word. What? You don’t know where it is? WELL, GIVE ME TO SOMEONE WHO DOES! Thank you.”
A squeaky-voiced boy belted out “Tomorrow” in the fakest and lousiest New York accent as Ambrose waited on hold.
“Taaaaaamar–rah. I love ya, taaaaamar-rah. Yar only a daaaaaaaaaaaaaay aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawaaaaaaaaaaaay! Yah! Yah! Yah! Ooooo-obee-doobee-doobee-shooooo-waaaah! Uhh. Uhh. Oh! Taaaaaaamar–rah! Taaaaaaaamar–rah! I love ya…”
Ambrose leaned against the door frame. Why doesn’t he just drop the accent and sing it normally? Why doesn’t he just shut up? Why won’t the sun just away? Why can’t that recording just spontaneously combust? Why does that song even exist?
“Oooooo. Ohhhhhh. Ahhhhhh! Taaaaaaaamar-rah. I love ya. Oooo-ooo-oooo. I love ya! ohh ohh ohh. I loooooooove ya! Hey! Hey! Hey! Taaaaamar-rah. I love who? I love ya! Taaaaaaaaamar-rah.”
“SHUT UP! Oh. Hello. Yes. Taxi in Pinkerlee. Now. Do NOT put me on hold. Thank you. Yes. No. I don’t have a pen and paper on hand. Call them for me. Now! Wha?” He closed his eyes. “Yes. I’ll wait.”
Back on hold.
This time, it was a little girl singing with all of her own badly accented might. “Thee soon will coom owwt tomoorow. Bate your bouttom doolare dat tomoorow thare’ll bae soon.”
Ambrose sighed heavily. “I just want a taxi. NOT 5,000 little kid renditions of ‘The Sun Will Freaking Come Out Tomorrow.’ Just a taxi. That’s it. That’s all I want.”
“Tooooooomooorow. Tooooomoorow. I louve yaou, tomoorow. Ye’re ownlay…”
A man with all the vocal qualities of a jar of dirt came on the line. “Hi. This is Tom and Tom and Toya’s Topline Taxis.”
Ambrose almost kissed the phone. “I need a taxi now. Not later. Right now.”
“Yeah. Yeah. Keep your clothes on. Where are you?”
Ambrose gave him all of the necessary information.
“Yeah, we’ll be there in…bout half an hour.”
“Yeah. Now. Uh-huh. Half an hour, buddy or nothin’.”
Ambrose wanted to introduce him to the world of foul French curses, but he managed a sick headache smile and, “Okay. Half an hour. Or less.”
“Yeah. Dream on, buddy. Half an hour. See ya.”