• Henry Chinaski arrives in New Orleans looking for a job.
• Henry finds a room and after turning down a job shucking clams, he applies for a delivery job.
• Henry bets his friends that he can turn up unshaved at the job interview and still get the job. Henry gets the job, but quits after he is refused a raise.
• Henry finds another job at a newspaper, but is soon fired for drinking too much. With nothing left, Henry takes a train to Texas.
• The train stops in El Paso and Henry is given a hotel and meal ticket. He gives away his tickets to a bum and sleeps in a park.
• Henry arrives back at his parents' house in Los Angeles. His mother is overjoyed to see him, but his father demands Henry pays them board.
• While Henry's parents work, Henry stays at home...
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