This is a story of a young man's unusual rebellion against his environment, told in a difference and humorous way. Royal Barnhill, a meek misfit, is dominated by his mother who in turn is dominated by the memory of her dead husband, a leader in the community. Royal feels "unnoticed" by the town and attempts to assert himself by spreading the rumor that he resigned his bank job by hitting the bank president. He also dumps a pitcher of lemonade on the town gossip, but nothing works - the community still ignores him. He can't even run away successfully, and when he auditions for a touring jazz bank he fails miserably. Even changing his name to Jack Dempsey only creates more problems. After accidently knocking out a wrestling champion he realizes, with the aid of his shy girlfriend, that he must earn a right to be proud of his own name.