John Finch is an aging surfer who dwells undetected in the basement of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. He has a secret obsession and a following of homeless denizens of Kapiolani Park who gather under an ancient banyan tree to hear him lecture on the conspiracy of plant life, the mystery of its spun fibers, and how they are giving us enough rope to hang ourselves. He thinks he was a professor once, a contemporary of Bill Clinton at Oxford. He was at the pub the night the future president did NOT inhale smoke from a smoldering joint of Cannabis sativa. Meanwhile girls keep disappearing from Waikiki. All goes well, relatively speaking, until Finch falls in love with Leilani, a beautiful hula dancer with a few secrets of her own.