Jim opened the front door and smiled. It was a sunny Saturday morning. The neighborhood trees were alive with fall colors. The air was fresh and clean. And, for a change, the newspaper was on the front steps—not in the bushes.
“Hey, buddy, looks like you got tee–peed.”
Jim turned reluctantly towards the voice which belonged to Benson, his irritating next door neighbor.
“Those are Halloween decorations,” replied Jim.
“Looks like gray toilet paper to me.”
In seconds Benson had soured Jim’s morning. He thought about yesterday afternoon when his two kids had carefully and joyfully placed the gray streamers in the lower branches of two small trees in the front yard along with other festive items strewn about the lawn. That night Jim and his wife had sat on the front steps admiring their children’s efforts.
“Pretty soon, they’ll be too old for this,” he had said.
“You never get too old for fun,” his wife had replied.
“I guess that’s why we had kids—for the fun.” He laughed.
She poked him in the side with her elbow and then they kissed.
Now in his bathrobe, he stood about ten feet from a man who never had anything nice to say. He wasn’t going to let Benson ruin his Halloween.
“If you have time, come on over tonight for some egg nog,” said Jim. “It’s Halloween.”
“I hate Halloween—I’ll be hiding in the back of the house,” replied Benson.
Jim grinned: Good, he won’t see me let the air out of his tires tonight.