He first noticed the weed growing in his garden when he’d dashed out in the middle of a hails storm to place plastic buckets over his tomato starters. If the tomatoes were smashed, he’d have to reseed them and might not have a long enough growing season. After last year’s debacle, he decided a few bruises were worth it.
Once the storm subsided, he went into the back yard to assess the damage. One of his starters was smashed, completely ruined under the icy onslaught. He was sure he’d covered all of them, but must have missed this one. As he collected the sturdy painter’s buckets, he admired his remaining tomato plants, until the last bucket, a little out of line with his other tomatoes. Underneath the last bucket he found a weed. How on earth could he have mistaken that ungainly thing for one of his prize San Marzano tomato plants?
He frowned and traded the buckets for a pair of gloves and his favorite trowel from the shed. He’d take care of this weed right now. When he returned to his garden, the weed somehow seemed a little bigger than he’d first thought. As he dug into the loose soil of the raised garden-bed, the leaves were much thicker and spikier than he’d remembered, and he had to dig much deeper than he thought he would have to.
The deeper he dug, the more roots he found. This weed, whatever it was, certainly was tenacious. He traded the trowel for his favorite spade and returned to finish the job. Careful not to disturb the rest of the garden, he set to digging a deeper and deeper hole. It became obvious he wasn’t getting anywhere.
Spade replaced with post-hole digger, and now he was making a very deep hole indeed. Only briefly did he stop to consider that maybe he ought to check with the city to make sure he wasn’t in danger of hitting a power line or some other utility. And that weed was still growing!
Too late, he noticed the weed had flowered, sprouted teeth, and without so much as a by-your-leave, the noxious weed had chomped down on his face, pinning his arms to his side, and proceeded to suffocate him. His last thought was regret that he’d left the job undone, the root of the weed had bested him.