When Christopher gets home from the park, Ed’s employee and friend Rhodri is over for a drink. Christopher tells his dad another white lie—that he went to get candy and talked to Mrs. Alexander’s dog.
Christopher continues to stretch the truth to avoid his father’s wrath, this time concealing Mrs. Alexander’s very important revelation about his mother’s affair.
Rhodri asks Christopher what 251 times 864 is. Christopher works it out in his head only to find that Rhodri has no idea what the right answer is. Rhodri laughs at him, as he often does. Ed offers to heat up some Indian food for Christopher, who puts red food coloring in it so it won’t be yellow.
Rhodri regards Christopher as a spectacle more than as a person to be respected, as he only wants to marvel at Christopher’s math abilities. Ed doesn’t intervene, although he does make it easy for Christopher to eat in a way that works for him.
Christopher goes into the garden and decides to write a description of it, because Siobhan has told him that books should include descriptions of people and places so that readers can imagine them. Christopher thinks the garden looks pretty plain, but the sky has various types of clouds in it that make it look particularly big. He provides a drawing of a large cloud near the horizon, which he thinks looks like an alien spaceship. People have a fixed idea of what an alien spaceship would look like, but Christopher points out that aliens might be entirely different than anyone thinks. He listens to his surroundings and sees if he can smell anything, then goes to feed Toby.
Even though Christopher doesn’t like most normal novels, he still tries to include some of their features in his book. However, even his descriptions show how his mind works differently than most people’s do. He draws the cloud so that his reader can see its true form rather than having some metaphorical image of it, and even when he does liken the cloud to an alien spaceship, he makes it clear that logically, people can’t know what an alien spaceship would look like. He constantly thinks outside the standard response to any idea or situation.