Les Vincent, fresh from Graduate School with a Zoology degree and pining to get back together with the breathlessly beautiful Janet, has found a job working with the threatened Fringe-toed lizards in the Mojave Desert. He soon discovers that two of his lazy co-workers are killing the very animals they were hired to help, just to save themselves some work. After much conflict he blows the whistle, but it is Les that's fired and unable to get another job.
A year of frustration, Janet's contemptuous treatment, and subsistence living finally take their toll. Les plots revenge on those who have destroyed his career. He initiates a series of pranks that will result in their loss of funding and reputations as well.