It's winter, and the walk to school has been turned into one long snowball fight. When Beans spots Dorothy coming, he and the other boys get ready to stage an "enemy ambush" against her. Sure enough, they proceed to launch a volley of snowballs that lands on the back of Dorothy's red coat.
Palmer has never seen the red coat before. But then he hasn't spoken to Dorothy since the previous summer. The reason is that he's found out that there's not just enough room in his life for both her and his friends. They're like peanut butter and pickles: they don't mix. And everything that the boys like or stand for Dorothy hates. Thanks to the boys, Palmer says that he now sees Dorothy for the "pooper" she always was, and so he no longer speaks to her.