No. 480 – The Con

Tom was almost as tall as his older brother, Rob.

As Halloween approached, Tom was busy thinking of ways to put this similarity to good use.

The scheme that he decided on required equal parts cunning, and ice-cold nerve.


First, Tom laid the groundwork. He told a few close friends that he would be dressing up as a ghost for Halloween. He described the costume in great detail.

He knew that word would get back to Rob, and the Rob would try to steal his idea.

Sure enough, that’s what happened, and Rob announced that he would be trick-or-treating as a ghost.

Tom bowed out gracefully.

Rob should have realized that his victory was too easy.


Then, Tom began to pay very close attention to Rob’s itinerary. He faked a call to Rob’s boss at the sandwich shop and indicated that another employee would be absent on Halloween. Sure enough, Rob was scheduled to work until nine.


When the holiday arrived, Tom had considered every outcome and was ready for action.

At precisely six thirty, he snuck into his brother’s room and stole the costume. Putting it on quickly, he left the house and began asking neighbors for candy.


By eight forty-five, he had covered his block, and several others. He returned home, his bags full of sugary goodness.

He’d even waved to Rob’s girlfriend, Jen, who was out with her friends.


He removed the costume, and laid it carefully back where he’d found it.


Rob came home at quarter-past nine. He saw Tom putting on a cowboy costume, and went to prepare his own.


The brothers left the house together, soon after.


They arrived on the first porch. Tom got a chocolate bar, but Rob got nothing.

“Didn’t you think I’d remember you, Rob? I already gave you candy, now move along and leave some for the others,” said Mrs. Farmer.

Rob was shocked.  “But I’ve been at work,” he protested.

“No more for you,” said Mrs. Farmer.

The brothers turned away and walked back to the sidewalk.


About halfway to the next house, Rob began to suspect foul play.