I'm plotting a story about a perfect crime; the killer sneaks in, leaves no fingerprint, no stray hair, no particle of dirt, no DNA, nothing. It's hard to get very far into the story without Nancy's interrupting me.
It seems I've been leaving greasy hand prints on the shower curtain. Nancy points out the soiled areas of the curtain to me. I'm not certain what she wants from me. By the very purpose of a shower, I only get into it when I'm dirty. Does she wish me to take a shower before I get into the shower? She does not see the clear logic of this, but instead tells me to take the curtain down and put it in the washer.
I do this and then return to working on my story, first getting myself a good fistful of nourishing popcorn from a pot on the stove. The trick to this crime as I see it, is the remarkable care the killer must take to prevent any sign of his presence. Silent, camouflaged, imperceptible. He enters and exits like a ghost, or a shadow, or the shadow of a ghost.
Again, Nancy interrupts.
It seems in getting myself popcorn, I did not get all of it into my mouth but distributed a certain amount on the floor. There is not mistaking that I am the culprit because the trail of spilled popcorn leads from the stove directly to the chair where I am sitting.
I give Zoe the skunk-eye because in my mind it's the clear duty of the family dog to eat up all spilled food matter. Zoe certainly acts fast enough when it comes to spilled chicken, I can tell you, but it can't all be chicken, Zoe, sometimes it's just popcorn, and I still expect you to eat it up and be quick about it before Nancy sees. But I don't berate the dog; it's my way when a member of the household falls down on the job to take up the slack without comment. We're all pulling together in the same boat, is the way I look at it.
So I get the broom and sweep up the popcorn, which Zoe comes and eats some of before I get to it. So now you're eating the popcorn. Little Miss Doggie-Come-Lately. Thanks loads.
Back to work. Nancy asks what I'm writing and I tell her: I'm getting into the head of a mastermind who commits the perfect crime, leaving no trace, no sign, no evidence whatsoever behind.
She stares at me a while and says, "So this is fiction."
What a silly remark. Honestly, Nancy says the strangest things sometimes.