Earlier today I was returning from the kitchen with a piece of strawberry pie when I spied Rafe lying on the sofa, bleeding a bit at the nostril. “What did you do?” I asked, readying my fork. After a long pause and a series of pathetic sighs, he looked me in the eye. “I taunted a man on the street. He wanted my forty-three cents for a bus ticket to Saint Louis. I called him a cretin and a one-eyed fatty, so he lunged at the woman next to me and punched her in the nose. She apparently found this unfair, so she turned and punched me in the nose. Then I punched her back, and so forth. Anyway, there’s something burning in the foyer.” I set my pie on the mantle and hurried into the foyer, where I noticed the hat rack ablaze. I opened the door and threw the rack out. The fire quickly smoldered and extinguished. When I returned to the living room, Rafe was gone and my pie plate was empty. Am considering replacing the rack with a low porcelain shelf, as this is not the first time I’ve lost pie due to hat rack fire.