I wasn’t sure if I had dug the grave deep enough. After all, he was tall as me. But here, under the willow tree he loved so much, seemed a fitting place to bury him. He would have wanted it this way.

I mean, there is very little I am sure of in this life, but following the literal advice of the same man who had once claimed to be a walrus is not the beginning of an adventure I may someday relate to my grandchildren. Even as I pressed that “Start” button on the microwave I should have known it would end in disaster.

And so here I was, with the weeping willow’s sharp branches stinging the top of my head, jabbing into me as I continued digging. It was more tiring than I would have expected, but it felt somehow satisfying as the spade sliced clinically into the soft earth of my garden.

I had only set the microwave to cook for four minutes, but even that was three minutes and sixteen seconds too long. It felt right, at the time, to test the theory: to see if John Lennon meant it literally or metaphorically. Now the words rang hollow in my ears.

I had watched from the other side of the kitchen as the microwave sprang to life, the turntable inside rotating the pistol and the familiar hum of convenience cookery. Perhaps I should have taken out the bullets. With a whirr the machine rotated its deadly dish, unaware of the potential implications of nuking this 9mm entrée.

After fifteen seconds I retreated to the hallway, poking my head around the door just enough to see what would happen. I giggled under my breath as the adrenaline began to trickle into my system.

Thirty seconds and the sparks were flying inside the viewing window.

Forty seconds and Paul, my Irish wolfhound, sprinted down the hall into the kitchen and skidded to a halt on the polished floor, looking at me and panting heavily. I leaped forward to grab him but, all of a sudden: bang, bang, shoot, shoot.

Paul was indeed dead.