Study Guide

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Chapter 11

By Ben Fountain

Chapter 11

This Is Everything There Is

  • Billy decides he's gotta give his football away, but not to just anyone.
  • Billy finds a kid who reminds him of himself: disadvantaged and miserable. The kid is somehow sure that this is just a prelude to some kind of nasty prank, but Billy feels a little bit better.
  • Mango decides he wants to do the same thing.
  • Norm invites the Bravos to watch the kick-off from his suite, and the dudes all basically see it as an invitation to get blind drunk.
  • While there, Billy is approached by March Hawey and his trophy wife. They applaud him for his heroism and then ask him, "[W]asn't he scared?" Uhhh…yeah, duh, of course he was.
  • Billy tunes out the empty accolades and watches Dime as he skillfully plays the role the room expects of him.
  • This reminds Billy of the time Dime made Bravo walk patrol, and they ended up teaching a group of boys the correct way of begging for money. "Correct" meaning using proper English, with some profanity for good measure.
  • Some of the views being aired in the suite are—shall we say—problematic. No, ignorant. No, misogynist. No, privileged. No, all of the above.
  • Norm brags to his buddies that Billy had been recommended for the Medal of Honor but had been rejected. That's Billy's cue to go get a drink.
  • But Billy just orders a Coke. Not a drop of Jack Daniels. He's a changed man—hallelujah.
  • Dime tells Billy to watch himself in this crowd—they're "the deciders," which sounds pretty dang ominous to us.
  • Billy is subjected to more patriotic blather by the extraordinarily privileged guests in the owner's suite.
  • Then it's time for the "Star-Spangled Banner." Billy starts out thinking about Shroom, and the battle…but then he gets Faison in his sights, and he's the kid from Inside Out.
  • Meanwhile, Billy's being held by a maternal woman who is misinterpreting his sounds of lust for Faison as pained expressions of his patriotism. Like, who else doesn't make that mistake all the time?
  • After Billy gets mauled by some more patriotic women at the end of the song, Billy seeks refuge in the lower levels of the suite, where a few of his Bravo buddies are also hiding and watching the game.
  • Mango announces that football is boring.
  • The Bravos enthusiastically order a round of drinks while Dime's not watching.
  • Dime pops up unexpectedly, but the Bravos distract him with Mango's opinions on football—to which Dime gives Mango a full, expletive and racial-slur-filled reaming-out. Good, clean entertainment, y'all.
  • Dime uses his binoculars to spot Faison with Billy's guidance, and he gives his solemn approval.
  • Dime bequeaths the binoculars to Billy, who continues to spy on his love and get some people-watching in.
  • Then Billy's reveries about Faison are interrupted by March Hawey—the rich guy with the trophy wife. He wants to borrow Billy's binoculars and talk about dove hunting. A real man of the people, this guy.
  • Hawey gives Billy advice about business, philosophy, inner peace—you know, the usual football conversation stuff.

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