The French Secret Servicemen, following an anonymous tip-off from me (I put a bag on my head, they had no idea who I was) had gone to Peru to search for Max. Mr Potato had gone with them to shout at the locals. My mother was still gone, and Max - free from pursuit for the moment - was at my place, drinking tea. For a man pursued by Secret chaps in suits, he was remarkably calm, although he refused to tell me what he'd done that had so offended France, and I thought it better not to push the point, as there are some things man is better not knowing.
The orphan-children were also back, running 'round the place, smashing my many priceless vases I'd foolishly balanced on small tables and the like.
"What I don't get," I began, "Is where they all came from."
"Well, I can help you there!" Max said, "You see, over the time we've know each other, I've been secretly replacing your birth control pills with tiny mints!"
I sighed, as one is often compelled to do in Max's company. I considered a long, structured list of the many flaws of this explanation. Instead, I got up and fetched a broom.
Chasing Max from the house, waving the broom manically, I wondered what the neighbours thought of me. At least I was dressed this time. If they were to pull back their curtains, watch and listen, they may have heard Max's parting message:
"You might not thank me for the kids," he yelled, "But you'll thank me for the fresh breath!"