"Spiritual kinship. A shared sensitivity of the spirit, combined with what I like to call untapped potential." Silas admits that he's applying to college, snagged an application before they left town. He makes Andy promise not to tell Nancy, because it would kill her. Or more precisely, because she would find a way to make him stay. Something really gross or scary.
"There's this question on the application: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, or ethical dilemma you've faced." They laugh, getting buzzier. Ethical dilemmas. He doesn't know what he'll write about, he giggles, and gets sad. "But I do know I don't want to end up like Mom and Shane." Andy tries to put a nice face on it, as Silas gets wicked stoned: They're flawed, just like us, just like anybody. But Silas is nearly crying now: "I'm serious, I feel like a complete asshole for stealing Kimmi's car. I want to earn my own way or whatever... Do things... Do things right." Andy feels for him, remembers that feeling. He feels that way half the time, he knows what it's like. He knows what the other side looks like. They have to call the Newmen to the butter several times before Randy notices.
The contest, we are not fucking talking about. Doug gets nice grouping on a shooting game; Stevie's impressed, in his great big cute safety goggles. Nancy and Shane can't stop smiling as they wait for the coaster. It's not ego, she's not a city mouse, she's not a kuntry mouse. Ego would have blown the guy's head off. This is sensible, this is what life looks like outside the roving snail-shell, and something Shane's going to have to understand. How to squeak without getting squashed.
"Don't smile. You have to try things the right way first. Then, and only then, incite a crowd, whatever." Absolutes are easy. Kids get absolutes. But walking the tightrope, riding the coaster, that's the only thing Daredevil Girl has left to teach. It's not good and evil they should worry about, it's proportion. I don't think being Shane is a terrible way to grow up. "Don't tell Uncle Andy we cut the line," she says, as the coaster starts. He wouldn't understand.
Doug loads himself into the Zipper with Stevie in his lap while Randy barfs. A guy drops with a heart attack, Mike's only competition. John Ross holds his arms up in the air. Nancy's never been so happy. This is what it was like.
"Minor heart attack," John Ross explains. "Not good for the ticker, eating that much butter." Silas is white, Andy looks like a zombie movie. They're proud of themselves, for a second.