Max was late to the airport (again!). But she had a good reason: she was baking a cake. She must have known I was coming.

By the time we got around to eating it, it had sort of imploded; the marshmallow had disappeared over, through, under, and around the chocolate cake and run all over the platter. And the caramel icing was all over the place, too.

It was delicious. I had some every day I was there (usually early in the morning, when we'd come crawling in).

(By the way, the Wagner on the table is indeed Fake Wagner; Wagner himself was on a trip to the midwest with Molly K. & Ted Casino.)

The aluminum helicopter is from a place called Montage, where Max & Marci took me for "gourmet" macaroni and cheese. ("Montage" -- ha! Where i come from, we call such things "Casserole.") The owner of Montage had been murdered by the police just the week before. Hurray for police everywhere.

Max had taken our friend Krishna here on his Portland visit, and he'd raved. It wasn't bad. But it was just mac & cheese. I didn't see stars or anything. Lotsa scenesters, though. And I had Psychic Moment One, when I remarked, "All that's lacking is a goateed hipster thoughtfully absorbing a slim volume of poetry," and we looked around and behold! there he be. Hipsterism -- zzzzzzz.

Max made sure not to finish her meal because the Montage staff will wrap your leftovers in aluminum foil folded to look like animals & stuff. It's a classy joint, see? We requested that Max's be wrapped to look like Wagner. "Like what?" the waitress asked. Like Wagner, we repeated. The composer. She said she'd see what she could do and disappeared into the back. When she returned, she brought Max's food in the aluminum helicopter. (Bum-bum-bum-BUM-bum!) Robert Duvall would be proud.

(But would Wagner? Maybe I'll find out when I die.)