- Working in a University laboratory for seventeen years Frank and his faithful assistant, Barbara, have given their lives to the search for a cure for the common cold.
- Just as he is about to achieve a breakthrough, his world crashes about him.
- His laboratory is threatened with shutdown in the cause of economy and almost worse, the Vice-Chancellor raises the question whether anyone really wants a cure.
- In addition to this Frank has to cope with his shifting and uncertain relationship with Barbara, a trade-unionist porter who among other things, causes Frank's bicycle to be "destructed" to a lump of shapeless metal), and the arrival of a young and sexy student.
- Finally, driven nearly out of his mind, he makes a random phone call and finds himself talking to the Um Al Quaiwan branch of the Samaritans.
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