A wise old gentleman retired and purchased

A wise old gentleman retired and purchased a modest home near a

junior high school. He spent the first few weeks of his

retirement in peace and contentment. Then a new school year

began. The very next afternoon three young boys, full of

youthful, after-school enthusiasm, came down his street, beating

merrily on every trash can they encountered. The crashing
percussion continued day after day, until finally the wise old

man decided it was time to take some action.

The next afternoon, he walked out to meet the young

percussionists as they banged their way down the street.
Stopping them, he said, “You kids are a lot of fun. I like to

see you express your exuberance like that. In fact, I used to do
the same thing when I was your age. Will you do me a favor? I’ll

give you each a dollar if you’ll promise to come around every
day and do your thing.” The kids were elated and continued to do
a bang-up job on the trashcans.

After a few days, the old-timer greeted the kids again, but this
time he had a sad smile on his face. “This recession’s really

putting a big dent in my income,” he told them. “From now on,
I’ll only be able to pay you 50 cents to beat on the cans.”

The noisemakers were obviously displeased, but they accepted his
offer and continued their afternoon ruckus. A few days later,

the wily retiree approached them again as they drummed their way
down the street.

“Look,” he said, “I haven’t received my Social Security check
yet, so I’m not going to be able to give you more than 25 cents.

Will that be okay?”

“A lousy quarter?” the drum leader exclaimed. “If you think
we’re going to waste our time, beating these cans around for a

quarter, you’re nuts! No way, mister. We quit!” And the old man
enjoyed peace and serenity for the rest of his days