Chapter 6 Summary
Ignoring Lorraine’s protests, John cashed the Pigman’s check and bought a six-pack of beer and some cigarettes. He then tried to convince her that they should go to the zoo with Mr. Pignati.
Lorraine did not get home until after six-thirty that evening. Her mother, who is very controlling of her daughter’s behavior, demanded to know where she had been. Lorraine’s mother is a single parent, having been left by her husband fifteen years previous. Possibly because of her own negative experiences with men, she is paranoid about the boys with whom Lorraine might come in contact; she monitors her whereabouts closely.
Lorraine’s mother works as a private nurse. Her latest client, an old man with terminal cancer, had just died that day. She talks about her patients in a callous manner. She proudly showed Lorraine some canned goods she had stolen from the old man’s house, rationalizing that they would never be missed. Lorraine’s mother talked about the under-the-table commission she would get for referring the deceased to a particular undertaker, and she lamented that her next assignment, “another terminal cancer,” would not start until the day after tomorrow. Complaining that she could not both “go out and earn a living and keep [the] house decent,” she asked Lorraine to stay at home from school the next day to help her clean.
Lorraine told her mother that she could not miss school because there was going to be an important test in Latin. As her mother groused that she could “take a year off from that school and not miss anything,” Lorraine pretended she was consulting a girlfriend about homework and called John. She heard a lot of yelling in the background; John’s father was livid at his son’s recalcitrant behavior. Talking quietly and quickly so as not to be overheard, John and Lorraine decided to ditch school the next day and go to the zoo with Mr. Pignati.
John and Lorraine arranged to meet the Pigman at the front of the zoo at ten o’clock in the morning. At precisely the correct time, Mr. Pignati arrived, with a smile that “stretched clear across his face.” Despite the Pigman’s merry mood, Lorraine was filled with a feeling of foreboding. A series of “bad omens” occurred within the next few minutes. First, the lady who sold popcorn at the zoo was antagonistic to her, and then Lorraine was “attacked” by a peacock. Finally, in the nocturnal room...
(The entire section is 636 words.)