The down-the-lane neighbor came home twice a year. He arrived in a milky polyester suit and red tie. Changed into khakis, but couldn’t talk anymore. “Don’t they take speech out East?” Betsy asked, popping a fat pink bubble. “All I know,” Ted said, figuring perhaps we wouldn’t regret mice tattoos if we couldn’t see them ourselves—or if he told us a good tale, “is that in New York City they’ve got colorful high-rises and people sit for days in traffic jams.” Seemed reasonable enough. I held up the mirror so Mary Ellen could see. She wriggled and wrinkled her nose. Well, could be worse, I thought, at least the apples look real.