Two accidental inventors in competition for the love of the same woman discover that the winner of the Nobel Prize will lose the girl.
Former buddies Codwell Gutterman and Dan Downey could not be more different. Born into a wealthy Boston family, Codwell is ravishingly handsome, cunning, and charming on demand. Dan is a humble, plain-spoken, and overly trusting lad from Houston. Codwell, a liar and a manipulator, outfoxes everyone he meets. Dan is a simple, honest fellow whose vulnerabilities date back to his mother’s death-by-mauling and the desertion of his father.
Codwell’s and Dan’s love for Connie Flynn pits them against one another. At first, Dan seems to have the lead. He is living with Connie in the middle of the oil-rich Permian Basin in Texas. Codwell, who has failed miserably in his quest for Connie in the past, surges back into contention, however, on the fateful afternoon of an accidental discovery.
Codwell finds that reversing the polarity of gunpowder molecules yields a substance possessing amazing properties -- malleability, light weight, color stability, and fragrance. Codwell names the compound Quog. Codwell has long believed that men deserve the freedom of exposure enjoyed by women in bikinis and he wants to free men from their baggy knee-length swim wear. Quog is the breakthrough that leads to Codwell’s invention of makinis, bikinis for men.
Makinis take the world by storm. Codwell can hardly keep up with demand as men throw away their baggy surfer duds and strut on the world’s beaches in tiny patches of Quog-infused fabric. An unforeseen benefit of the makini phenomenon is a world-wide shortage of gunpowder. Production of bullets, cannon shells, missiles, and even nuclear warheads grinds to a halt as Codwell buys up every stock of gunpowder in the world. Wars end overnight and peace treaties proliferate. Fighter jets, tanks, and submarines are scrapped as peace blossoms all over.
Codwell’s wealth and fame grow logarithmically. When Codwell is nominated for the Nobel Prize, Connie’s affections migrate from Dan to Codwell. She leaves Dan and rushes to Codwell’s arms in New York City. She quickly adapts to a life of glitz, high fashion, and excess.
Wounded by Connie’s rejection, Dan’s morale and confidence spiral downwards. He continues working half-hearted at his oil fracking job, but, eventually, his decline is so severe that he decides to end his life by injecting fracking waste water into his arm. The next morning, to his astonishment, not only is he quite alive, but the epidermis at the site of his injection is as soft as the skin of a newborn baby. Dan is so excited by the discovery that he injects fracking waste water into a wart on his foot, a scar on his chin, and a pimple on his forehead. Miraculously, the wart, scar, and pimple disappear! Keeping his formula a secret, he launches a product he calls Yút that is a universal sensation.
Very quickly, Dan becomes wealthy and famous. Like Codwell before him, Dan is nominated for a Nobel Prize. Connie rushes back to Dan’s side and the war between Codwell and Dan turns vicious. Connie moves back and forth between suitors as the love-race escalates. The contest ultimately leads to a dilemma for Dan and Codwell: Connie’s hand will go to the man who turns down the Nobel Prize. To complicate matters, Codwell discovers that Quog has a half-life of 200 days and Dan is shocked to find that Yút reverses itself in only 150 days. As makinis crumble and leave men as naked as jay birds around the world and as warts, scars, and pimples re-emerge worse than ever among the world’s masses, Codwell and Dan engage in a final primitive battle for Connie’s heart.