John begins this chapter by justifying his decision to have a party by declaring that Mr. Pignati would have wanted them to have a few friends over. John allows Dennis to come, but warns him not to say anything to Norton who has a tendency to go berserk at parties. Lorraine begins making hors d’oeuvres with everything in the house, but the snails which she saves for the Pigman. The other guests soon begin arriving and John observes that they all are young people who problems of their own. He tells them it’s his uncle’s house – another lie by John Conlan – and it begins to fill up with more and more people. He and Lorraine had started out inviting just a small group, but as they realized how many parties they had been invited to and had not reciprocated, they added to their list. Lorraine uses Jane Appling to help her lie to her mother so she can stay. Then, people begin crashing the party instead of going to a dance at St. Mary’s Hall.
John talks in detail about a few people and the kinds of problems they have (many are social misfits) which foreshadows even more problems to come. Then, a live band sets up their equipment and as John says, “The house really started to jump,” with forty or more kids. They rapidly begin getting drunk and some damage is done to the house, but not much, according to John. He waits until about 10:30 and brings out the roller skates. He dances all over the floor with a girl named Melissa Dumas and Lorraine becomes “pink with jealousy.” Unfortunately, all good things come to an end when Norton Kelly arrives at the same time. He is furious at not being invited. John lies and tells him he has been trying to get in touch with him all night and then, watches him closely as Norton begins “casing the joint.”
Lorraine is angry that John allowed Melissa to wear her skates and dance with him, but then, she and a fat girl named Helen Kazinski go upstairs to put on Conchetta Pignati’s clothes. Helen can’t zip the dress she puts on, but wears it anyway with a “mangy fur stole.” However, Lorraine once again looks as beautiful as she did when she and John first tried on the Pignatis’ clothes.
About a half hour after Norton arrives, John notices that he’s disappeared. He finds him upstairs about to cart away a junky old oscilloscope. He threatens Norton, holding up his fist, but he is interrupted by Lorraine calling his name. This gives Norton the opportunity to punch John in the stomach and take off. John figures the oscilloscope is just a piece of junk and worth the loss if it gets Norton out of the house. Unfortunately, more problems are about to crop up, because a taxi has stopped outside, unloading Mr. Pignati, and Norton has gone into the pig room and is systematically breaking the figurines into pieces, looking for money. John finds him and punches him in the mouth, but he slips on the skates again, allowing Norton to get away once more. John catches up to him this time, punches him some more, before they both fall to the floor at Mr. Pignati’s feet. Just before he passes out from drinking too much, John’s thinks that the Pigman is not smiling this time at all.
The fact that John has to justify to himself that Mr. Pignati would have wanted them to have the party is only the beginning of this recipe for disaster. Not inviting Norton will have grave consequences as will the fact that they have invited more than forty people, not including the gate crashers. To add to all of this, the guests are all people who have social problems and they quickly become drunk. John and Lorraine also allow them to wear Mrs. Pignati’s clothes and insult quickly results in injury. This has been an extremely poor choice on John and Lorraine’s part. Lorraine had the feeling that this was a mistake, but she is not assertive enough to stop John and John has been known for his poor decisions since the story began. Unfortunately, given the benefits they have reaped from Mr. Pignati’s friendship, this decision will no doubt come to haunt them.