I don't know about you, but some of my best daydreams consist of plotting sinister and often violent revenge against those who annoy me. Sadly, most of these dreams remain unrealized.
One of my more enduring and wonderful criminal fantasies began to take shape after I moved into my new home.
I was enjoying a delicious and well-earned Saturday morning sleep-in when my charming neighbour decided to spark up his electric weed whacker and noisily trim his lawn.
Did I mention it was 5 a.m.?
His trimmer sounded like a mosquito the size of a Volkswagen, and my
(open) bedroom window faces the small plot of land upon which he focused his energies.
Instead of my delicious sleep-in, I stood at my window and, with spittle flying and eyeballs bulging, vocally expressed my extreme displeasure at his actions ("Excuse me? Would you mind turning off your machine please? I'm trying to sleep! Thank you!")
This shamefully un-Canadian outburst gave me some satisfaction, but sadly he did not wither beneath my stream of vitriol. He is deaf - a condition brought on by prolonged, unprotected weed whacking, or being bashed in the head by temporarily insane neighbours armed with two-by-fours and garden implements.
I laid back down and twitched in the fetal position, plotting and scheming as my mind raced with various plans (most involving clubs with enormous spikes through them) for ending my neighbour's wretched existence.
I mean really. It was 5 a.m., for Pete's sake.
I have a different annoying neighbour, who smokes.
Normally, I wouldn't care about this, but this soon-to-be-maimed victim (in my dreams, at least) emerges from his lair early each morning, lights up a cigarette, then spends the next 10 minutes loudly hocking up lung-slugs. His dreadful and tortured coughing is, I admit, performed with considerable artistry.
He begins by inhaling great rattling lungfuls of tobacco smoke, rich with impurities and tar, deep into his chest, past his internal organs and swallowed metal objects, and buries the cloud down near his shins.
Thus stimulated, his wracked and quivering anatomy emits a ghastly rumbling sound, similar to an Italian earthquake, or a train shunting oil cars, or Senator Mike Duffy pushing his chair back from a dining table.
This cavernous thunder dislodges great chunks of quasi-solid material from the walls of his blackened lungs, chunks which coalesce into the thick mucous magma about to erupt volcanically from his esophagus in a cloud of tobacco ash and super-heated sputum. (Warning! Do not attempt metaphors like this without proper literary supervision. I am a trained professional).
The actual cough begins somewhere below his knees, rippling upwards with dreadful speed and ominous sound, then bursts forth in a spray-laden blast which darkens the landscape in a fan-shaped arc.
Purple head now between his knees, dentures blown out and neck veins distended, his tortured lungs then reverse the process, such that this pneumatic ebb and flow can repeat itself.
Cigarette finished, airways refreshed and yard denuded, he eventually retreats back inside until the tobacco urge returns one hour hence, just as I am dozing off to sleep again.
For this kind of behaviour, I'm sure you will agree that medieval torture, or getting whacked upside the head with a spiked club, would be far too kind.
My delicious plans progress. Don't tell anyone.
David Crawford lives in Kelowna and can be reached at