Lorraine relates how she argued with John that he should not cash the check, and they should not go to the zoo with Mr. Pignati.
We finally meet Lorraine's mother in this chapter; Lorraine relates that her father left the family fifteen years earlier. When she got home, her mother began to grill her about where she was, and Lorraine lied and said that she was at drama club. (For more on Lorraine's mother, see her Character Analysis.)
The next day, when they meet Mr. Pignati at the zoo, Lorraine thinks she sees three omens of doom: an antagonistic peanut-vender, an aggressive peacock that backs her against a wall, and a creepy child who is supposed to be looking at the bats in the bat house, but is actually looking through the glass at the people. (Cages! Major symbol alert here – check out "Symbols, Imagery, Allegory.")
Mr. Pignati introduces them to a large baboon, Bobo, whom he calls "his best friend." He feeds Bobo peanuts and talks to him as if Bobo were a child.
John and a gorilla start making gorilla-noises at each other, and soon Lorraine and Mr. Pignati join in. This is the first of their wacky escapades.