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Scene: A suburban house on Halloween, shortly before dark. Two men walk to the front door and knock. A woman answers…
Woman: Can I help you?
Man 1: Hello ma’am. We’ve come for your things. Oh, and trick or treat!
Woman: I’m sorry? My things?
Man 1: Yes, ma’am.
Man 2: Your TV, laptop, maybe some jewels.
Woman: I don’t understand.
Man 1: We’re burglars, ma’am, but instead of breaking in and getting what we want the traditional way, we thought it would be best to negotiate with you about what we’ll take.
Man 2: Yes. We’re willing to compromise.
Woman: But…what? These are our things. Why would we give them to you? If you want things go out and buy them yourselves.
Man 2: Are you saying you won’t even negotiate?
Woman: Negotiate? About what?
Man 1: Ma’am, as we explained, we’re perfectly willing to compromise, but if you won’t even negotiate with us we’ll have no other choice than to shut you down.
Woman: Shut us down?
Man 2: It’s Halloween, ma’am. No trick-or-treaters in, no candy out.
Woman: You wouldn’t!
Man 1: We don’t want to, but you’re giving us no choice. Be reasonable. All we’re asking for is a compromise.
Woman: This is absurd. The law is the law. You have no right to any of our things. Compromise? About giving you our legally-purchased things? This is absurd.
Man 1: Have it your way.
A van appears. Several men get out and wrap yellow tape emblazoned with elephants around the house. Just then a large group of trick-or-treaters approach.
Man 1: Sorry, kids. We’ve approached these people with a very reasonable request, and they won’t even sit down to negotiate with us. So we think it best that we shut them down.
Trick-or-treater: But they give the best candy in the neighborhood! And the most!
Man 1: I understand. But they’ve shot down every one of our attempts to have a serious discussion about a reasonable compromise. They’ve brought this upon themselves. And all of you are victims of their arrogance.
The trick-or-treater crowd grows larger. Some trick-or-treaters in soldier costumes push against the tape but it holds fast. They glare at Man 1. He walks back to the house.
Man 1: How about if I let you give candy to just the trick-or-treaters in soldier costumes?
Woman: But I don’t think it’s fair to pick and choose who gets candy and who doesn’t!
Man 1: I don’t understand why you keep rejecting my sincere attempts to make this situation work for everyone. It’s like you think you know what’s best for all of us…
Woman: YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO ANY OF OUR THINGS AND NO STANDING TO NEGOTIATE!
Man 2: Now, now. Stubbornness isn’t going to get us anywhere. That’s what’s caused this whole situation.
A TV satellite truck pulls up to the house. A reporter and a cameraman clamber out. They talk to some of the trick-or-treaters, then to Man 1 and Man 2. The Woman leaves the house and walks toward them. The reporter sees her.
Reporter: Whose fault is this?
Woman: His. (Pointing at Man 1.)
Man 1: Her’s. (Pointing at the Woman.)
Reporter: How come you both can’t reach some sort of compromise that will make these trick-or-treaters happy? Shouldn’t they be the top concern?
Man 1: That’s all we’ve asked for. I want these kids to get their candy.
Woman: So do I!
Reporter: And yet there they are with no candy.
Man 1: If she was only willing to negotiate we could have avoided all of this.
The reporter and cameraman move away to set up their live shot. The cameraman counts 3, 2, 1…
Reporter: A sad situation today that left a lot of trick-or-treaters with empty baskets and broken hearts, all because two parties couldn’t resolve their differences…
This program aired on October 3, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.
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