The novel is a plotless, stream-of-consciousness examination greatly detailing the lunch-hour activities of young office worker Howie. His simple lunch of popcorn, a hot dog, cookie, and milk, and buying a new pair of shoelaces are contrasted with his reading of a paperback edition of Marcus Aurelius's Meditations. Baker's digressive novel is partly made up of extensive footnotes, some several pages long, while following Howie's contemplations of a variety of everyday objects and occurrences, including how paper milk cartons replaced glass milk bottles, the miracle of perforation, and the nature of plastic straws to float, vending machines, paper towel dispensers, and popcorn poppers.
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