John's nose hair scissors are an instrument of torture – and that's just what it felt like as I made my way along the front window boxes snipping the life out of my prize tomato plants. The knowledge that my brash action was an act of compassion didn't help much either. In fact it probably only made the pain worse. As stalk and leaf broke off, fell and piled up in the yard my heart squealed in agony. It was a leafy massacre.

In a prime position, just behind and to my left, John sat watching events. On his face was a smug grin and in his lap was his Flamingo Plant. Every now and again he'd polish a leaf or fluff out its flowers. He was obviously trying his damnedest to accentuate my suffering.

Of course, it was due to John that I was giving the tomato plants a crew cut in the first place. It was a preventative measure against him being able to inflict a more sadistic torture upon them – and he had already begun. While I was waiting for the big Battleship bombs, John, right under my nose, had been making a more subtle air attack: 47 cigarette butts scrunched out on leaves then planted in the soil. When I confronted him with a palmful of evidence, he said he was “trying to grow a tobacco plant.”

Oh, how very smart! By morning he'll be wishing that he bloody well would have succeeded.

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