Considering all the seriousness of my recent posts, I thought it was time for a short bit of levity....
Not long after I moved into my new place in the flatlands, I began to suspect that my neighbor was spying on me. He smokes, so I would be in the back yard busily working and the scent of cigarette smoke would waft over the block wall that separates our yards. At first I thought it was coincidence; he seemed to be taking a cigarette break every time I chose to work in the yard. And then there was the day when I heard someone start to ask him what he was doing--and he shushed her.
Hmmm, I thought, as I dug out shovelful after shovelful of sod for the garden. Why is he sitting on the other side of the fence eavesdropping on what's going on over here? I mean, it's got to be boring. All I'm doing is digging, day after day, trying to get the garden--oh holy moley, that's when it hit me. From his side of the fence, all he could hear was the shovel going into the ground over and over. He had to be wondering what the heck his strange new neighbor was up to.
That's when I started talking to Sugar Plum while we were out there. Now, I could have given my curious neighbor some honest exposition, said things like, "Yep, we've gotta get this sod out of here soon, Sug, so we can get the garden planted by spring." But my mind went in a different direction. I'm going to say it's because I'm a writer, and, well, it's what we do. So the next time I was out there digging and I caught the scent of cigarette smoke, this is what I said (with dramatic pauses, of course, in between shovelfuls):
"Yeah, Sug, Mama has a lot of work to do... but it's like Sheriff Tate said.... There's just some kind of men... you have to shoot... before you can say hello to them... and even then... they're not worth... the bullet it takes to shoot them... Don't you worry... I'll get this all... taken care of...."