Right of Way by Rex Bolt is a short story about property rights and the dispute over whether anything you do on your property can be allowed when it bothers the neighbors. Reid wants to build a tennis court on his property but Frank, his neighbor, believes that the type of tennis Reid wants to play will be too noisy. At night, the lights for the planned court will be too bright. Reid tries several methods to convince Frank. Reid thought that dinner at his and Elena’s home accompanied by expensive liquor would work. Nope. A bribe of USD 10 000 seemed to secure the necessary building permits without complaint but then Frank complained to zoning inspectors about the noise when tennis was played. Something more was needed.
Reid offered Bridget, Frank’s wife, extra playing time on the new court. There were hints of possible off-court playtime but Bridget was having none of that. Finally, Reid knew he would have to kill Frank. Not that he would do it personally, Reid had friends. They advised him he was overreacting and that such a thing was too easily detected. Reid and a friend discussed the idea of a possible accident. This seemed to be the solution. Frank liked to run. Reid had some bikes he liked to ride. Outfitted with larger than normal tires, Reid should be able to kill Frank by hitting and riding over him. Reid even met Frank on a running trail and told Frank what he was going to do. Frank was amused and then came up with an alternate solution.
So, the way to get a guy to change his mind is through his wife? I am not so sure that is the moral of this story but it fits as well as any other. At the very least, this is a story told with very understated humor.