The day doesn't start out great. After a month of hot sun, it's the first time since Nicholas came to live here that the day is cold and rainy. Nicholas is puzzled and disheartened by this. He's hoped it wouldn't rain in this place; after all, he came such a long way from the last place he lived (Beaverton)*.
In the evening, though, the tall man who calls him dog and the woman with the lap take Nicholas out to a party at the home of the woman who makes everyone laugh and the man who writes pornography.
No, no! says the woman with the lap, the book is called A Common Pornography. Nicholas doesn't get the distinction, or why the woman with the lap seems so horrified by his blunder - he isn't quite sure what pornography is.
The party is called the End of Summer Party, but the tall man who calls him dog laughs sadly and says it should probably have been called the Party to End Summer. As they round the backyard to head inside, they see one man smoking in the wet dark and a ping pong table lonely under a plastic cover shiny with pools of rain.
But the man who writes pornography, standing by the barbecue at the edge of the house, looks happy and grins as he meets Nicholas, and offers to cook them some hotdogs. Inside, the house is packed full of people. There's a big wall with trees and a squirrel painted on it, and a low coffee table covered with food. The refreshments include crumbs at people's feet and a dollop of key lime whipped cream, which Nicholas finds on the carpet. People want to hold Nicholas, and he is passed from person to person.
One group of three get excited and have their picture taken, all holding Nicholas together. They say they are the proprietors of Smalldoggies (a magazine and press and also a reading series), but they've never been photographed with an actual small doggie before (they have cats). On their card is a logo of a Chihuahua looking a lot like Nicholas except that it has two heads. Nicholas has never seen a Chihuahua like this before.
There are so many people at the party, Nicholas can't remember all their names. There's the woman with the blues tattoo and the woman with the girlish voice and the man who lets Nicholas lick his mouth and the man who writes and the woman who writes and the man who writes and the woman who writes. At the end of the evening, when it's time to go, the woman who makes everyone laugh does a little goodbye dance to the Captain and Tennille.
Overall Nicholas enjoys his night on the town.
*[editor's note: the woman with the lap would like to go on record saying she's not actually sure where nicholas' foster home was, so she chose beaverton, since this was where she first met nicholas.]