Agatha Milstrom sat on her front porch in a white metal folding chair, gripping her fresh-lettered sign and waiting for a car, or better yet, a pedestrian. But here on the slap edge of town where houses and cars were scarce, the only person in sight was Gladys Pollyweather, down on her knees in her garden, packing her azaleas for frost. A waste of time if Agatha had ever seen one in a world fixing to burn any minute. She’d have waved her new sign at Gladys, Everything Is Bound for Fire, but her neighbor would just take that as an invitation to come over and talk about nothing till the sun went down. Gladys never knew when enough was enough . . .
Abner is shuffling out to the front porch of his brick mid-century where a row of hanging spider ferns continue to petrify. He notices them just twice a year, on December 24th when he strings bubble lights across them and again on January 2nd when he takes the lights down. By then he’s too tired to do anything about the plants, and the next day he’s forgotten again. The bubble lights are on every hazard list known to man, but Abner doesn’t care. He likes a little risk in life . . .