From Zindel's The Pigman, what is the fruit roll? Describe the one time when the ''fruit roll'' was not successful.

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

John created the "super-colossal fruit roll" when he got bored of being the Bathroom Bomber (2). The "fruit roll" could only be done on Wednesdays when a substitute was teaching. First, John would tell the kids in the class after lunch to buy the old apples sold on Wednesdays in the lunchroom. Then, the kids would bring their apples to class and wait for John to clear his throat. That was the signal to get their apples in hand. Then after he would sneeze, all of the students were to place their apples down near the floor and wait for his whistle. Once John whistled, the kids would roll them towards the substitute teacher. He said that the sound of the apples rolling sounded like "a herd of buffalo stampeding" (3).

The one time the fruit roll did not work is when John felt sad for the substitute who was a former postman. John explains as follows:

"He was so enthusiastic about the old days at the P.O. I just didn't have the heart to give the signals, and the kids were a little put out because they all got stuck with old apples" (3).

The anecdote about the "fruit roll" is significant to the indirect characterization of John. John is portrayed as a rebel and a bad boy, but he also shows compassion and the fact that he does have a heart.