- Harold Makepiece, a redundant Civil Servant, while taking a quiet holiday at the seaside, gets into conversation with Joyce, whose main preoccupation is feeding sparrows, in whose welfare she seems to take a somewhat exaggerated interest.
- What starts as an odd but moderately reasonable exchange gradually turns into a nightmare as Harold becomes involved also with a freakish Edward and the seaweed-eating Sandra.
- It turns out that all three are planning to bomb a large power station nearly because of the pollution it causes.
- They try and rope in Harold as an accessory, until events are taken out of all their hands in a totally unexpected way.
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