Over the years Miss Farnsworth, now nearing 50, has found the world of reality to be a more and more painful experience, and has begun drifting off into increasingly frequent and wildly extreme fantasies involving herself and her fellow employees at the Goodwill store where she works. A young employee, Ralph, has begun to take a compassionate, kid-brother sort of interest in her—which she has completely misinterpreted—and he soon becomes the center of her fantasies. However, this is all shattered when Hymie, Ralph's partner in the storeroom, tells her of Ralph's wife and children. In a tender and moving fantasy scene Miss Farnsworth informs Ralph that she must go away because "you're too real, there's too much truth in you." She cannot go on seeing him every day, knowing that it had never been as she imagined, or ever could be, and she transfers to a Goodwill branch in the suburbs. The play ends on a tragic note as Miss Farnsworth, no longer able to escape into fantasy and yet unwilling to face the sterility of what real life has brought her, drifts helplessly into the futile half-world between.
Part of the trilogy entitled "Variations on an Untitled Theme." First presented at West Texas State University, this touching and highly imaginative play mingles humor and pathos in its affecting examination of a lonely spinster who seeks in fantasy what she does not—or cannot—find in the real life.