I was sleeping soundly when Long John Silver came to the door begging for nachos. You're a fictional character, I told him, you've no right to my nachos, but he was so pitiful standing there with the bleached artificial parrot on his head and the three wooden legs (in addition to several perfectly healthy ones) and he promised me he'd only stay a while, so I let him in.

I soon grew to love this wacky fellow, even though I quickly realized that he wasn't really Long John Silver but one of the rats from "The Plague" by Albert Camus. We spent many fine evenings drinking beer and wearing huge diapers together. One day, though, he told me he must leave, for he had somebody in Austria to frighten. I pleaded with him for one last excursion, and he agreed.

We drove down to the Golden Arches. He ordered an archangel, and I got an archbishop. The architect at the drive-thru asked me if I wanted an archdiocese with that, but I declined. The archbishop was cranky but fun-loving, so I threw him into the fountain in the town square for luck. The archangel turned out to be rather chewy, which neither of us had expected. But Austria awaited, so I tossed the rest of it in the freezer, extracting from my newfound old friend a promise that someday he would return for it.

I monitored all channels for news of somebody in Austria being frightened that night, but I heard nothing. I feel used.