An elderly – and very wise – man finally retired and bought a home in a neighborhood near a junior high school. Since it was summer, he spent the first few weeks of retirement in quiet contentment.
But then school resumed…and middle school kids began canvassing the neighborhood.
The boys seemed to be the most mischievous. A particular group of three young men would use sticks they found along the sidewalk to bang on every garbage can they came across. Not only was the boys’ chosen activity an unnecessarily loud one, it was also ruining the garbage cans.
So the old man with now-dented garbage cans hatched a plan.
The following afternoon, he walked out onto the sidewalk as the adolescent percussionists made their way home from school. “Hey boys,” he said as they strode down his sidewalk. “Can you do me a favor? I’d love for you guys to keep banging on my trashcans. In fact, I’ll even pay you fellas a dollar each week to do so.”
The boys were beside themselves with delight. “Get paid to break stuff? Sure!” they thought to themselves. For the next two weeks, the boys banged their way up and down the old man’s street. Just as he’d promised, he met them on Fridays with a dollar each.
But on the third week, he met them on Monday morning and said, “Boys, I’m afraid my pension is not what I’d hoped it’d be. I’m terribly sorry to do this, but I’m gonna have to cut your pay down to 25 cents per week instead of the agreed upon dollar.”
“One lousy quarter?” moaned a particularly upset lad. “You want us to bang on these cans for one lousy quarter, mister? No way! We quit!”
The old man enjoyed peace and quiet the rest of his days.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)