Author(s): Daniel Manus Pinkwater
Mr. Plumbean lives on a street where the houses are all painted exactly the same. He and his neighbors all like this, characterizing their street as a “neat street.” One day, a seagull drops a can of bright orange paint on Mr. Plumbean’s house, leaving a big orange splot on the house. This leads to Mr. Plumbean deciding to repaint his house in a rainbow of colors, and story describes the resulting effects on the neighborhood. The story inspires conversations about conformity and independence and our obligations to our communities. Was Mr. Plumbean was right to paint his house in a way different from his neighbors, when part of the community agreement was that they would keep their houses looking the same? Does Mr. Plumbean have the right to have his house look the way he wants it to look, even if it offends his neighbors?