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When my parents lived with me on Holmes Street, Papa asked Mama one day if we could have some of those good Kentucky Fried chicken breasts. Mama sent “Sonny Boy” to get it. In the KFC on Summer Avenue there was a person marching not just to the sound of a different drummer; she was bopping to the sound of an entire band in her head somewhere.


She rang up my bill and I saw $3.49 on the cash register. By the time I got my wallet, it said $3.76. “That’s more than before.” “Whatever the machine say.” “Was that after the tax was added?” “Whatever the machine say,” bopping all the time.


Then the cash register said, “Change - $62.19.” Suddenly the band halted in its tracks, the music in her head went silent and the bopping came to a screeching halt.” She hollered toward the back, “Mabel! Come up here and help me quick!” I had great difficulty in not saying, “Whatever the machine say.”