Discussion Topic

John's initial impression and description of the start of the incident with Mr. Pignati in The Pigman

Summary:

John's initial impression of the incident with Mr. Pignati in The Pigman is one of curiosity mixed with apprehension. At the start, he describes the situation as unusual and slightly unsettling, setting the tone for the unpredictable events that follow.

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What is John's first impression of Mr. Pignati in The Pigman?

When John and Lorraine first visited the Pigman's house, John was blown away by how happy the old man seemed to be to see them, even though it was the first time they had met.  He says,

"...the part that slaughtered me was this great big smile on his face.  He looked so glad to see us I thought his eyes were going to twinkle out of his head.  He wouldn've made one @#$% of a Santa Claus if you had put a white beard on him and stuck him on a street corner in December with a little whiskey on his breath".

Despite this, John admits to being "scared stiff" when Mr. Pignati went into the kitchen to get some wine.  John realized that he and Lorraine knew nothing about the man;

"He could've been some psycho with an electric carving knife who'd dismember our bodies and wouldn't get caught until our teeth clogged up a sewer or something like that".

Ultimately, however, it was Mr. Pignati's undeniably obvious pleasure at having their company that was the strongest element in John's first impression of the old man.  John remembers that Mr. Pignati looked "just like a great big kid - so happy we were there", and when he and Lorraine insisted that they had to leave, "his smile and bright eyes faded in front of (them)", and John "couldn't help feeling sorry" (Chapter 5).

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How does John describe the start of the incident with Mr. Pignati in The Pigman?

John tells us how the whole incident with the Pigman started in the fourth paragraph of Chapter 3. He says,

"I suppose it all started when Lorraine and I and these two amoebae called Dennis Kobin and Norton Kelly were hot on these phone gags last September."

John goes on to describe how the four of them pulled the usual pranks of calling random numbers out of the phone book and asking the person answering lame questions such as if their refrigerator was running, and then telling them to "go catch it" when the answer was affirmative. The kids had recently made up a new variation of the game in which "the object was to keep a stranger talking on the phone as long as possible. One afternoon when they were playing the game, Lorraine picked the number of Mr. Angelo Pignati out of the pnone book when it was her turn. Lorraine had actually cheated a little, peeking so that she could see Mr. Pignati lived on Howard Street, not far from her house. She decided that, since he lived close by, she could pretend she was from a philanthropic society which was soliciting donations in the area, and engage him in conversation about contributing. Upon dialing, she discovered that she had connected with an old man who was more than happy to talk with her, about anything, just because he was lonely. One thing led to another, and before long, she and John had visited Mr. Pignati and begun a friendship of mutual need (Chapters 3 and 4).

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