This year my wife decided she was going to make the Halloween costumes for the children. They’re excited but the boy wants desperately to be a Power Ranger. “The Red one because pink is for girls” he says twelve times a day.

So I told my wife that we could likely pick up a cheap costume for him so we went to Toys R Us to price them. We found a cheap one that fit him (roughly) so I decided to buy it.

The six of us went up to the most disinterested cashier I’ve ever met and when she rings us up she mumbles, “Would you like to save ten percent?”

No thanks, I say because we all know that’s just another credit card. But I look at my five year old daughter and she seems shocked by something I said. Her eyes go wide and she looks at me imploringly. I throw the costume in the bag and we all get into the van. As she’s getting in she gives me another look like she’s disappointed in me.

OK. I’m interested. “What’s wrong?” I ask.

She looks at me sadly and asks me, “Dad why didn’t you save Pepperton?”


“The lady asked you if you would like to save Pepperton and you said no. Why didn’t you want to save him?”

Now I know that you’re not supposed to laugh at children especially when they’re confused or disappointed in your callousness at not saving a stranger with a rather dignified name. But I laughed. And thankfully she did too when I explained it to her.

Now, a few nights a week I typically make up a bedtime story for the children. Last night I told them about a dignified little sweater-vest wearing mouse named Pepperton who desperately needed saving.