The remote control plane was starting to spin out of control. I pulled back on the joystick and it landed in the neighbor’s birdbath. My neighbor came out of his house and stood in the yard with his hands on his hips. “What am I going to say? He said. He put his hands in his pockets and did something with his fingers. “I’m sorry?” I said. “What are you sorry for, exactly?” He said. He picked up a small stone out of the rock garden and threw it at my feet. “I’ll just get my plane, and the boy and I will be off,” I said. He jumped over the tulips and checked a birdfeeder against a tree, then started to jog sideways toward the plane. “Don’t you even think about it,” I said. “Think about what exactly?” He said. I ran for the plane. He grabbed it out of the birdbath, snapped its wing off, and held the pieces above his head like King Kong. “I can’t believe you just did that,” I said. “Did what? He said. “You just destroyed my son’s plane,” I said. “Jon, would you be so kind as to go and get the baseball bat out of the garage and bring it to Daddy?” I kicked over the birdbath and ran into my trailer, then peered through the blinds to see where Dick was. “Jon, did you get that baseball bat? Stick something in the mail slot just in case he decides to come in that way again,” I said. There was a knock on the door. “I have a flame thrower made out of household appliances,” I said. There was another knock. “Mr. Pudding, it’s Candice from next door, and we heard some shouting over here. Are you okay in there?” She said. “You’re not Candice, Dick. Nice try.” I said. The phone rang. I picked it up. “Hi sir, my name is Matt, and if you give me a minute of your time I think you’ll be happy you did,” he said. “Dick, tell Dick, he’s not getting me through my phone.” I said. I hung up. Dick came through the mail slot in the front door. He got past me and ran down the hallway, darting back out through the side door. “I’ll see you later, Dick.” I said. “What are your plans for tonight?” He said. “Same old, same old,” I said. “Same here,” he said. “I’ll make extra on the grill tonight. Chicken or Veggie Burgers?” I said. “What’s in the veggie burgers?” he said. “The same thing that’s in most of them,” I said. “Johnny, what do you want?” I said. “You buried Johnny five years ago, Bernard,” he said. “Well, what do you think he’d want if he were still alive?” I said. “I think he’d choose chicken,” he said. “Chicken, then,” I said.

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