Duck Legs: A Parable

by Mr. Nobel

W has decided to make cassoulet for dinner tomorrow. The recipe he’s using requires duck legs as part of the base. Despite having called many stores in the region, he has yet to find a single purveyor of fine duck legs.

Act 1: H-Mart

Enter W. W picks up his cell phone and dials for H-Mart.

H-Mart Employee: This is H-Mart.

W: Hello. Do you sell duck legs?

H-Mart: Excuse me?

W: Duck legs?

H-Mart: We only have whole ducks.

W: So no duck legs?

H-Mart: Right.

W: Okay, thanks.

Act 2: H&A Supermarket

H&A Supermarket Employee: H&A.

W: Hello, do you sell duck legs?

H&A:…

W: Hello?

H&A:…

W: Anyone there?

H&A hangs up. 

Act 3: Korean Korner

Korean Korner Automated Dialer: Press 1 for Korean, Press 2 for English.

W presses 2.

Korean Korner Employee #1: [greeting in Korean]

W: Hello?

Korean Korner 1: [more Korean]…Hello? What you looking?

W: Do you have duck legs?

Korean Korner 1: What?

W: Duck legs.

Korean Korner 1: [jabbers in Korean]

W: I’m sorry?

Korean Korner 1: How many?

W: Uh…three…so you have duck legs?

Korean Korner 1: Are you catering?

W: What? No. So you have duck legs?

Korean Korner 1: What?

W: Duck legs?

Korean Korner 1: [some Korean not directed at W]

Korean Korner Employee #1 hands the phone to Korean Korner Employee #2.

Korean Korner Employee #2: Hello.

W: Hi. Do you sell duck legs?

Korean Korner 2: What?

W: Duck legs.

Korean Korner 2: Uh, sorry, do you speak, uh, Spanish?

W: No, well, uh…I can look it up on Google.

Phone goes back to Korean Korner 1.

Korean Korner 1: Hello?

W: Good morning.

Korean Korner 1: What, er, you want?

W: I’m looking for duck legs.

Korean Korner 1: Uh, bug?

W: Duck legs.

Korean Korner 1: What?

W: Duck. Uh, like, er, quack quack, legs.

Korean Korner 1: [something, presumably profanity, in Korean]

W: So, uh, D-U-C-K.

Korean Korner 1: B-U-C-K.

W: No, uh, Duck. D-U-C-K.

Korean Korner 1: T-U-C-K.

W: No, D. D.

Korean Korner 1: D- U-C-K.

W: Yes, L-E-G-S.

Korean Korner 1: L-E-G-S.

W: Yes, duck legs.

Korean Korner 1: Duck legs?

W: Duck legs.

Korean Korner 1 speaks to someone else in Korean for a minute, before…

Korean Korner 2: Hello.

W: Hi.

Korean Korner 2: How many?

W: I’m looking for duck legs.

Korean Korner 2: Yes, how many do you want?”

W: Uh, three. So you do have duck legs?

Korean Korner 2: You want three duck legs?

W: That’s right. You have duck legs?

Korean Korner 2: Yes, we sell duck.

W: Duck legs?

Korean Korner 2: Yes, duck legs.

A beat.

Korean Korner 2: You could have just come into the store and asked.

W: Yeah, I’ll definitely do that. Thank you.

Korean Korner 2: Okay.

Korean Korner 2 hangs up.

Epilogue:

W gets off the bus and starts making his way through the Korean Korner parking lot. He notices that two store employees are setting up a grill in front of the store which is currently hosting a makeshift outdoor market that features incredibly overexerted speakers blasting Gangnam Style. Never change, Korean Korner. Never ever change.

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