Set amidst 2004’s polarizing election fears—immigrants and job takeovers, terrorists in waiting, the homosexual and outsider agendas—Shirtless Men Drink Free makes vivid the human soul’s struggle in a world bedeviled by desire and the fears that leave us all asking—Why?
Slightly wicked, always irreverent, yet steeped in the honest working clothes of the social anthropologist, Geis finds stuff, and he lets you know about it. It’s bad-boy philosophy: part Blaise Pascal, zest of Slavoj Zizek, and a smattering of Mallarmé, and there you have Geis on the half-shell.
On a crisp April day in Philadelphia, Poppy Starkweather, in her mid-twenties, begins the rounds of her clients—Penelope, Fauna, Horatio, Bliss, and Chutney, accompanied by her own hound, Spock—assuming that this will be another ordinary day. Since abandoning a Ph.D. program in literature, Poppy has stumbled into walking dogs as a stopgap while she figures out what to do with her life.
Although happy in a steady relationship, Poppy is leery of further commitment while in career limbo, fearing she might commit the age-old error of hiding from herself inside marriage. Shouldn’t she get it all figured out first?
By noon her day will be careening off course, diverted by an unexpected visit from her brother, a scary medical appointment with her boyfriend, and an urgent request from a client. By the small hours of the night, Poppy will be questioning her assumptions about what it means to be truly adult.