My wife and son have gone out without me. Think of it as a date. They’re going to a concert and will maybe get a dessert afterwards.

Meanwhile I’m left at home. I’ve already scrubbed the pots and pans, loaded and run the dishwasher, then vacuumed. Now I’m going to put on some Tom Waits, fire up the writing computer, and revise that essay to acceptability. First, though, I’ll perform the ritual that will summon my guardian angel, Mac Freedomiel.