57 pages 1 hour read

Sharon Creech

Absolutely Normal Chaos

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1990

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Chapters 49-86

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 49 Summary: “Monday, July 30”

Loath to use the outhouse, Mary Lou uses the chamber pot under her bed. However, she knocks it over, spilling pee on the floor. As she sneaks downstairs to get a rag to mop it, Mary Lou hears her Uncle and Aunt arguing. The words “my goddamn son” escape Uncle Carl Joe’s mouth (146). Because she does not want them to think that she has been snooping, Mary Lou uses her socks to mop up the pee and leaves them in the chamber pot. The next day at breakfast, Sue Ann announces that she found Mary Lou’s socks in the chamber pot after she used it. Everyone laughs and Mary Lou wishes she could go home.

That night, Mary Lou has a nightmare in which Mr. Furtz’s dead body runs around looking for its head.

Chapter 50 Summary: “Tuesday, July 31”

Mary Lou accompanies Arvie Jo on his paper route, and he marvels at how bad she is at throwing. He concludes that they do not teach her anything useful “up there in The City” (148). Later, her cousins John Roy and Sally Lynn scare her witless with a story about an escaped convict on Booger Hill. Mary Lou takes off running, but when she gets home she finds that it was all a joke.