Butchie charges into the surf shop and is greeted with "Shit!" He is not fazed by this. He probably gets that a lot. Kai lets him know that the reason she's not thrilled to see him is because she was hoping John would be with him. Then they move on to why John might have taken off. Butchie sensitively asks, "Did he freak out about boning you?" Kai replies, "He doesn't even know what boning means. Maybe I'd have wound up showing him, except my pussy overheated like it was cooking on a George Foreman grill. My tits too -- like in a blast furnace." Butchie looks stunned by this. Not the ease with which Kai slings around the colloquial terms for her own anatomy, but rather how she's accessorizing it: "You got hardware in your box?" Then he gets all hyped because the metal implants in his head were overheating too: "It felt like my head was going up in smoke -- faaaaaack!" Kai's all, "It was. We were in my trailer, figuring out he was a virgin? And John says, 'See God, Kai,' just like that. And then I went into some hallucinatory state. And there was smoke coming out of your head!" Butchie can only reiterate, "Fuck!" The two decide to go look for John together. Kai grabs the front of Butchie's shirt and yanks him down, saying, "For not knowing what the word meant, I wonder how John got the idea to bone me." As Butchie leads Kai out by the hand, he explains, "I was trying to tell him he picked a nice person to like."
And now, it's time for media criticism, courtesy of Bill and Zippy the zombie parakeet. Bill says, "This fills me with misgivings, bandying words like 'miracle' in the newspaper headline. This can only attract new types of shitheel into that boy's life, which wasn't short of shitheels before." Yes, but won't the variety provide a pleasant diversion from the types of shitheel Shaun has to put up with now? Bill stalks to the end of his living room, passing a circular wire staircase with the treads padded with bubble wrap, and tells Zippy they'll be keeping their distance from the pending trouble, since he doesn't want to risk the wrath of Cissy. Bill is also afraid of communing with fellow well-wishers like Freddy and Palaka, or the guys at the Snug Harbor; he'll stay in his house and wrap layer upon layer of bubble wrap on his stair treads. And then Bill tears off some duct tape with his teeth, loops out into the type of anti-Clinton rant my rock-ribbed Republican dad used to muster as a special treat for me every time I went home, and then swings back into expository lucidity: "That will never happen again, a sequence of events so complicated that Butchie Yost, aged ten, could help the only woman in the world that, when I pass a remark about some airhead pisspot that I collar, she has the sweetness to recall, 'I wonder if it's that Yost boy that used to help me with my groceries.' I throw him a break because of my darling Lois, keep one eye out for him since I unloosed him on society. Looking out for Butchie would later cross my path with Shaun, when Butchie became a junkie dumpster tenant. Now who in his right mind would believe that that sequence of events could be repeated?" Don't y'all answer at once. I personally am still working out the chronology, since Bill is not what we'd call a master of the linear narrative. Bill concludes, "That boy is gone from us. And I don't regret one thing." He looks up at the top of the stairs and says roughly, "Children or not, the time I spent with you was the joy of my life."