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March 7, 2013

The Price of Peace

A wise old gentleman retired and purchased a modest home near a junior high school.

He loved his peaceful new home until the school year began. That very afternoon, three teen boys chased down his street, banging on every single trashcan they passed. The racket was unbelievable and continued day after day.

Finally, one day, the man walked out to meet the young percussionists as they banged their way down the street. “You kids are a lot of fun,” he said. “I used to do the same thing when I was your age. In fact, I’ll give you each a dollar if you’ll promise to come around every day and do your thing.”

The elated teens agreed and continued their bang-up job.

After a few days, the old-timer greeted the kids with a sad smile.

“I’m sorry, but this recession’s put 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 disappointed but accepted the offer. A few days later, however, the retiree met them again.

“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 OK?”

“A lousy quarter?” the leader exclaimed. “If you think we’re going to waste our time beating these cans for a quarter, you’re nuts! No way, Mister. We quit!”

And the old man lived peacefully ever after.

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