Things are worse for Scanlin than he admits. Unknown to his family, he has lost his job as an insurance broker because he wasn't making it hard enough for clients to claim insurance compensation. The bank shows no understanding when he fails to keep up his mortgage payments and this brings him to the brink of financial ruin. Like so many Americans, he is under enormous financial pressure. Scanlin's strictly moralistic world view crumbles and he begins to identify with the stray dog that slopes around his newly built home on the edge of the plains, eating rubbish and drinking from the pool. Propelled by his need to survive Scanlin turns to crime and before long he becomes a modern Robin Hood who carefully chooses his victims before giving them a lesson - and bringing home the bacon again at last. His new friend is a policeman who doesn't exactly follow the law to the letter. A world of double standards soon reveals itself to Scanlin.