- While at Ilium, John let a poet named Sherman Krebbs stay in his apartment—for free, no less.
- This poet was a nihilist and the National Chairman of Poets and Painters for Immediate Nuclear War.
- In short, he's one classy fellow.
- When John returns, his apartment is—for lack of a viler term—trashed. Poetry is written in excrement on the linoleum, and his poor cat is dead.
- The incident helps John realize that nihilism is not for him.
- Or, for that matter, for his cat.