An old friend and his gentle, kindly wife are allowing me to crash at their condo during the 10-day Toronto Film Festival. This morning I sent them the following: “Thanks again to you both. I arrive in Toronto on Wednesday afternoon, 9.9, around 3:30. Flying in on Porter. I’ll go right to Bell Lightbox for my press pass & materials and whatnot. I’ll be at your place by 6 or 6:30 pm…something like that.

“Over the first five days I’ll be rising earlyish and attending screenings by 10 am or sometimes earlier, and then back around 11 or midnight. During the second five days everything slacks off. No promises but I’ll try to wangle some screening tickets. We’ll see how it goes. Maybe we can do a dinner on Wednesday night. On me, of course.

“Before it all starts we need to address the inevitable, which is referenced in that famous Chinese saying: ‘House guest like fish. After three days, stink.’

“Please try not to give me dirty looks after the third day. Or after the fifth day. I know that you’ll give them to me sooner or later, and when you do I’ll just smile and say thanks and head downtown. It’s inevitable. I am a fish who is destined to stink. I accept that.

“But to alleviate this inevitable atmosphere, I’d like the number of a local house-cleaning person whom you trust, and I’ll call them and arrange for them to come in and clean the place top to bottom. I can arrange for this to happen at midpoint or at the end of my stay…your call. I really think this is a good idea, and that you’ll be happier for it.”