Quote: "Your phone has been out for two days? Why didn’t you call before?" Phone company representative, speaking to Figaro.
Figure of Speech: Catch-22; or autophasia (auto-FAY-sia), the rule that eats itself.
Forgive us our absence, but we have been disconnected from the world for the past few days. Figaro lives in an isolated, signal-free part of northern New England where broadband is a type of stretch pant. He maintains his website by dialup, over a phone line that has a fainting spell during every storm.
He finally reached the phone company over a crackling voice connection, and received a perfect Catch-22 — a sort of closed loop of illogic that requires the violation of a rule in order to carry it out. The rhetorical name for this is autophasia ("speaking of oneself").
The profane name for it begins with "cluster" and ends with a four-letter word. Figaro himself would never use it, of course. But no one could hear him if he did.
Snappy Answer: "I did call you. Why couldn’t you hear me?"