Last night Mr. Isbel and I were finishing our marathon of all seasons of “The Office” when he paused it and asked me, “Do you hear that?” “That” was a sort of electric grinding noise, like a power tool, and it was coming from the neighbor’s backyard.

Now, the neighbors in the house south of my building are strange. They have a pirate flag on their porch, so I call it Pirate House. After nine months, I still haven’t figured out who lives in the Pirate House and who just visits. Once, Mr. Isbell swore that he saw a couple of dudes walking into Pirate House carrying a battle axe. I didn’t really believe him. I should have.

It turns out that last night’s power tool noise was a grinder in Pirate House’s backyard. A man was using the grinder to sharpen a blade at the end of a 12-foot spear. After it was sharpened, he proceeded to practice his spear moves in the backyard, including whirling it around, striking a post, and thrusting. We watched in disbelief from my bedroom window—until we realized we didn’t want to be discovered spying on a man who was obviously pretty expert with a spear.

As we (regretfully) turned away, I was speechless. But Mr. Isbel said, with awe in his voice, “We should party with that dude.”