After Grayson gives Maniac some soup and a zep, Maniac asks for some butterscotch Krimpets.
Maniac, homeless, had been living on his own at the zoo in the bison pen. Grayson, who works at the zoo, finds him one morning unconscious; Maniac is terribly malnourished, and is in bad shape. Grayson picks up the boy and takes him back to the baseball-equipment room where he himself lives at the park. Maniac looks awful;
"his clothes (are) scraps, rags. Wherever his body show(s) through, it (is) bony and dirty and scratched".
Sensing that the boy is hungry, Grayson goes to his hot plate and makes up some chicken noodle Cup-a-Soup. Although he barely has the strength to lift the cup, Maniac gulps the food down before Grayson can even find him a spoon. Grayson then goes out to get Maniac a zep, which is a kind of deli sandwich. Although the zep is a large, Maniac "polish(es) it off" as quickly as he had devoured the soup. When he is done, Maniac politely asks Grayson if they can "go somewhere and get some butterscotch Krimpets". Grayson is stunned that the boy is still hungry after eating the soup and the huge sandwich, and asks Maniac some questions about how he came to be living at the zoo first. When Maniac has answered Grayson's questions to the old man's satisfaction, he again asks for some Krumpets, and Grayson obliges, taking him to get some in his pickup (Chapter 22).