The Pigman Questions and Answers
by Paul Zindel

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Why does John describe the game he played on the telephone as a “telephone marathon”?

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In the novel The Pigman, the game that John and his friends refer to as “telephone marathon” consists on choosing a random phone number from the telephone book with their eyes closed.  Once they get the phone number, they call it and try their best to keep the person on the other side of the line speaking with the caller.  The player that spends the longest time speaking to the individual that was randomly called is the winner of the game.

One could argue that there is significance in the way that fate and destiny play a role in the game of “telephone marathon.” In fact, John and Lorraine at one point wondered whether it was fate what guided them straight to Mr. Pignati’s phone number and, consequently, to the experiences that they lived after meeting him.  Therefore, one could conclude that “the telephone marathon” was not only a game. It was also the conduit that joined John, Lorraine and Mr. Pignati.

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