We finally figured out a way to kill the old man. It was simple, really: wait till he starts talking again, then quickly pour the pills in his mouth, hold it shut to make him swallow, stroke the neck a little like pilling a cat. It worked. He (played by Nick Nolte) was dead, and in a panic we (me, played by me, and you, variously played by John Cusack, Samuel Beckett, and several actors I didn’t recognize) fled the country. Nobody at the airport noticed that our only luggage was a suitcase full of corpse. We scampered across Europe in a quick, madcap montage, flitting from Amsterdam to Zurich in the blink of an eye. After a few minutes it seemed that nobody would ever catch up with us, because nobody was trying to, and so we headed back to the States to continue our adventures on the family houseboat on the Bay. We were finally free — except for the dog. I forgot about the dog. The one-eyed mangy poodle had been there when we did it, and he was still there on the houseboat, waiting for us. He knew everything. He blinked that rheumy eye at me, and I knew he’d told the cops; he didn’t care about the old man, he didn’t care about us, he didn’t care about justice, but he turned us in anyway. Damn dog! Why won’t he let us be in our carefree romantic comedy? Why does everything have to be a thriller or a tragedy?