The next morning is Colin and Hassan’s twenty-second morning in Gutshot, which is “indubitably the worst.” Colin is in pain from walking, running, getting stung, and being beat up. Lindsey has decided she is never speaking to TOC again. Colin sees Hassan, who is also in bad shape, in the bathroom. Hassan jokes that if he could do it again, “I’d just let myself be trampled to death by the Satan Pig.”
Although everyone is unhappy, Colin, Hassan, and Lindsey experience the after effects of the events in the graveyard as a community. They might wish that the events had not transpired as they did, but everyone has learned something from the experience.
Downstairs, Lindsey says she doesn’t want to talk about what happened, but that she hopes Colin’s genitals are okay. That day, they are to go interview Mabel Bertrand, who is at the home for when you’re “really old.” Lindsey doesn’t want to go, but Colin convinces her that Mabel could use the company. Lindsey drives the Hearse, and no one speaks. Colin wants to think about Katherine III, but his head hurts too much.
Although Lindsey does not want to talk about her breakup, Colin’s encouragement to go see one of the “oldsters” who cares about Lindsey shows that just as Hassan has been trying to help Colin reconnect with himself in the wake of Katherine XIX, Colin is trying to help Lindsey reconnect with her old self.
At the assisted living facility, Mabel, who seems to have memory problems, recounts memories of Dr. Dinzanfar. He once gave her free candy. She tells Lindsey she missed holding her hand, and Lindsey starts crying. She stops in the bathroom on the way out. While waiting for Lindsey on the curb, Hassan says that the fact that the nursing home isn’t funny is getting to him. Colin challenges him as to why everything has to be funny, but Hassan objects to being psychoanalyzed. At this point, Lindsey returns and says she doesn’t need to talk about it.
Lindsey is confronted in this scene not only with memories of when she used to visit Mabel and the other “oldsters” often, but also with Mabel’s increasing age and with stories of Gutshot’s history from before she was even born. Combined with her belief that Hollis is selling land, Lindsey feels an intense sense of nostalgia and seems to worry that she will not be able to retrieve her former, “oldster”-visiting self from the past.
That night, Colin finishes the Theorem and gets an accurate graph for his true relationship with Katherine III. He shows the graph to Hassan and Lindsey. Hassan wants to know if it works to predict the future for anyone, and Colin says yes. He asks Hassan who he’s looking to date; Hassan says that he is not looking to date anyone, electing to eliminate “breakup” from the list of three romantic possibilities Colin always discusses (breakup, divorce, or death). Lindsey asks if Colin can model her and TOC’s relationship. Colin clarifies that getting cheated on counts as getting dumped and plots a graph that shows TOC dumping Lindsey. Lindsey says all she feels about breaking up is relief. That, Colin says, is a Dumper emotion. Lindsey says she has realized two things: “I don’t want to date assholes, and I’m not actually turned on by big muscles.”
Colin’s success with the Theorem is a mark of achievement. However, it seems that the Theorem offers Hassan and Lindsey more opportunity for growth than it offers Colin. It prompts Hassan to announce that he is not dating anymore, not because he can’t find anyone to date but because he does not want to date. For Lindsey, the Theorem prompts the realization that if she dates anyone, she wants that person to treat her well. Both Hassan and Lindsey seem surer of themselves than before their breakups.
Hassan tells Colin the formula seems to work, but it really only proves what everyone already knew: that football players like TOC play the field, and that Katherines dump Colins. Colin says the real test will be whether the formula can predict how a relationship will go. Lindsey interrupts to tell Colin he should ask Hassan what he was doing in the game room. Hassan lets Colin know that he was registering for two college classes.
The fact that completing the Theorem is not enough for Colin demonstrates again that his markers of success are always moving farther away. Lindsey’s interruption just when Colin is talking about whether the formula can predict a relationship foreshadows that Colin and Lindsey will get together by the end of the novel.