When my wife, Judy, finished fixing their plates she emerged onto the porch and squealed, “When did you get that great car?” I could tell she wanted me to ask Jody if it was for sale and how much he’d want for it. We were still talking about the Buick when a cherry 1957 Ford pickup with a man and woman in it stopped in front of the house. The man jumped out, leaving the truck, engine running, in the road with his wife or girlfriend still behind the wheel.
The guy from the pickup, long-legged with wet black hair combed straight back, walked fast up to the Buick and started yelling at us.
“Whose car is this? That ain’t the original front-end in this car. Fact, that ain’t even a Buick front-end in it.” The guy, was hot about it.
Jody left his food on our porch table and walked, slow, out the front door. “That’s mine.”
“Then how come you didn’t put the ’48 Buick front-end into it?”
“That’s the right front-end. You can be sure of that.”
“You sayin’ I’m wrong, buddy?”
Since it was my house I was thinking I should go out there too, but I figured Jody could handle that joker. He had sleeve tattoos on both arms and looked like you could blow him over. Then his old lady started leaning on the horn in his truck. She was shouting for him to shut up and get back in the truck. He never turned around, but kept yelling at Jody about the front-end. Jody insisted, but not loud, that it was the right front-end.
I jumped when I heard the shotgun. The guy who’d been yelling at Jody stopped talking—he had a funny look on his face, his knees buckled, and he fell forward in our yard.
I heard the Ford pickup door slam. Then it peeled out and headed up the road. The rest of us stared at the guy with the black hair and tattoos lying face down. He wasn’t moving.
I went in the house to call 9-1-1. When I came back Jody, his wife, and his kids stood around looking down at the black-haired guy. I guessed that was the end of our picnic.