Terrence McNally's late 1960s-set drama portrays the life and attitude of one Tommy Flowers—irrepressible
cut-up, determined freeloader and disenchanted rebel against society.
In the course of his adventures, Tommy befriends a destitute old actor, acquires an oversized sheep dog (his best friend) and finds love with a beautiful music student (whom he meets in the ladies' room at Bloomingdale's). But as Tommy moves from scene to scene, his bright red shopping bag at the ready for pilfering and his agile wit poised to hoodwink everyone in sight, we also glimpse the root causes of his alienation—his ailing, complaining mother back home; an unhappily married brother; a former girlfriend who has settled for a suffocating domesticity; and a venturing forth that has brought more rejection than acceptance. In the end, betrayed yet again, but still buoyantly defiant, Tommy devises his final rip-off—a bomb to blow him, and at least some small portion of a world he cannot accept, into oblivion.