Back from Maine, Babbitt once again resolves to quit smoking. Once again, though, he fails because he keeps making up excuses to have "one last smoke."
Next, he decides he's going to start taking more time away from work to go watch the local baseball team. Even this doesn't last long, though, because he becomes too nervous about being away from the office when something important happens. Like his attempt to cut back on smoking, his attempt to cut back on working also fails.
He tries playing more golf than usual to help his fitness. But even this leaves him feeling unfulfilled.
Finally, Babbitt spends more time taking Myra and his youngest daughter Tinka to the movies. They seem to cheer him up more than anything else. But as the narrator suggests, these are all just distractions from bigger problems in Babbitt's life.