A retired man purchased a home near a high school. He spent the first few weeks of his retirement in peace, then the new school year began.
One afternoon early into the first semester, three loud young boys came down his street, beating merrily on every bin they came across. They then did so the following day and the day after that, until finally the retiree decided it was time to take some action.
The next afternoon, he walked out to meet the boys as they banged their way down the street.
Stopping them, he said, “You kids are a lot of fun. 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 boys were more than happy and continued to bang the bins every day on their walk home.
After a week, the old man walked out and greeted the kids again. However this time, he didn’t have a smile on his face.
“This recession’s really putting a big dent in my income.” he told them. “I’m going to have to cut it down to 50¢ a day to keep you kids banging the bins.” The kids were obviously unimpressed but they accepted the reduction in payment and continued their afternoon activities.
A few days later, the man approached them again. “Look,” he said, “I haven’t received my retirement checks yet so I’m not going to be able to give you more than 25¢ to bang on the bins. Will that be okay?”
“That’s it!?” the ‘drum leader’ exclaimed. “If you think we’re going to waste our time beating these around for 25¢ a day, you’re nuts! No way, mister. We quit!”
And the man enjoyed peace and serenity for the rest of his days.