Scene: my backyard. The mister and I are digging in a patio. And by “the mister and I” I mean “I” as he is mostly just standing there critiquing my shoveling technique, which makes me want to dig a big hole, shove him into it, and bury him, but that’s neither here nor there.
The mister takes a wheelbarrow of dirt and sod to the driveway and shoves it up the ramp into the back of his pickup. (This might be why I don’t bury him under the patio; every time I try the wheelbarrow/ramp/pickup thing, even after years of working on a landscaping crew, I either spill the wheelbarrow or fall of the ramp and hurt myself.) I have to stand on the bottom of the ramp to keep it from moving. The mister comes back down with the empty wheelbarrow and we stroll back into the back yard.
And there he is, Hans, our elderly German neighbor. He is recovering from having surgery two weeks ago, unblocking the blood vessels in his neck. He is wearing a bandana around his head. He is crouched behind one of his bushes and he is cradling a BB gun in his arms, commando style.
The mister and I pause. Is he going to shoot at us? Did he finally tire of hearing our squabbling as we (I) dug in the backyard? And then our other neighbor, the one who lives east of us, well, his small, yappy dog rushes the fence and starts doing its yappy, barky thing.
And we hear it. Pop. Hans fires off a round. The yappy dog, unhurt, but definitely surprised, turns tail and runs back to her house.
Hans cackles and grins at us, the scar from his surgery standing out against his pale neck.
The mister and I load up another wheelbarrow and take it into the driveway. When we return, the dog rushes the fence and barks again, and Hans cracks off another shot. Yipe! The yappy dog retreats again.
This continues for another two loads of the wheelbarrow until Hans’ wife calls him for dinner.
And, with his thick German accent, he looks at the dog, which is standing silent and bewildered at the fence and says, “I’ll be back.”