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Samson Shillitoe, a rebellious Greenwich Village poet, is troubled by both overdue alimony payments and Rhoda, his current wife, who does not understand poetry and seductively interferes with his work. After losing his job as a carpet cleaner by seducing an office stenographer, he grudgingly accepts a $200 offer to read poetry at a cultural luncheon. This, too, turns into a shambles when he gets drunk and insults the ladies, including Lydia West, the wife of a prominent psychiatrist. Rhoda eventually gets Samson to Dr. West's sanitarium, and he easily seduces Dr. Vera Kropotkin, before ending up in a ripple bath with Lydia. All concerned finally agree that the only solution is to perform a lobotomy on Samson, but this also fails to tame him. When Lydia tells him that she is leaving her husband and wants to go away with him, Samson invites her to share his apartment with Rhoda. Furious, Lydia leaves him. As the long-suffering Rhoda is taking Samson home, she hesitantly informs him that she is pregnant. He knocks her unconscious, then dazedly picks her up and carries her back to their apartment.