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