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Uh-oh. Holden's a liar. In fact, he's "the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life."
Okay, so… can we believe any of this?
After a short discourse on lying, Holden moves on to tell us that he lives in a dormitory donated by an alumnus named Ossenburger, who made all his money with cheap funeral parlors.
Holden doesn't like the guy (Ossenburger came to Pencey to give a big, "corny speech" about praying to Jesus).
In fact, the only good part of the speech was when someone in the audience let one rip.
Back in his dorm, Holden and puts on a red hunting cap—he's partial to the thing and wears it with the peak swung around to the back.
No wonder this guy has trouble fitting in.
Time to relax. Holden chills out for a while by reading Out of Africa, which he got by mistake from the library.
Naturally, that means it's time for a discourse on books. Holden's brother D.B. is his favorite author (or Ring Lardner, who writes sports-related stories), but mostly Holden just likes books where you can laugh once in a while.
You know, books that, after you read them, you wish the author was a friend of yours that you could just call up and talk to. (Like, say, Catcher in the Rye?)
Holden wouldn't mind calling up old Thomas Hardy, which honestly makes us doubt his sanity. Again.
Anyway, a few pages into Out of Africa, this guy Robert Ackley busts in. He's a tall guy with dirty teeth and pimples.
After making sure Holden's roommate (Stradlater) isn't there, Ackley settles in for a good heart-to-heart.
Holden isn't interested.
So, Ackley does the next best thing: walk around Holden's room, pick up all his stuff, and put it back in the wrong place.
One such item is Holden's picture of a girl he "used to go around with" named Sally Hayes. (This is basically the equivalent of an "It's Complicated" Facebook status: it was somewhere between "hanging out" and "exchanging class rings.")
Holden finally gives up starts "horsing around," a.k.a. pulling a hunting cap over his eyes and pretending to be blind.
Remind us how he said he sometimes acts like he's twelve.
Ackley asks about Holden's red hat, informing him that it's a deer-hunting hat.
Nope, says Holden; it's a people-shooting hat. (This would earn you a quick visit from the police today, but apparently times were simpler back then.)
Ackley proceeds to cut his toenails and leave the clippings all over the floor. Ew.
The boys go back to talking about Stradlater, who is out on a date. Ackley is really not a fan of this guy, but it seems the reason is because Stradlater told him he should really brush his teeth once in a while.
Lay off him, says Holden. He might be conceited, but, if Stradlater were wearing a tie you really liked, he'd just take it off and give it to you.
(Clue #129 that times were different: teenage guys talk about wearing ties like it's an everyday thing.)