Running With Scissors is a memoir in which Augusten Burroughs recounts his unusual childhood after his mother sends him to live with her psychiatrist, Dr. Finch, at age twelve. There are few rules in the Finch household, and both Augusten and Dr. Finch's other children do mostly as they please, including smoking pot and having sex. At age thirteen, Augusten begins a sexual relationship with Finch's thirty-three-year-old son. Despite this unorthodox, and at times damaging, parenting method, Augusten comes to think of the Finches as his family.
Natalie and Augusten spend much of their spare time singing. They either have patients of Dr. Finch play the piano, or they sing along with records. They decide to perform live and for some reason choose to do so in a Mental Ward. During an a capella version of "You Light Up My Life" a hostile patient spits a wad of phlegm large enough to hit both of them. Natalie, without hesitation, spits back.