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Sy Parrish is the middle-aged manager of the photo-printing department of a large Wal-Mart-like emporium. He is a devoted perfectionist, providing service to the self-obsessed inhabitants of this insular community, but he lives a rather lonely existence, eating his meals in the local coffee shops and going home to a nearly bare apartment. However, Sy harbors a secret fantasy. Having developed the pictures of the Yorkin clan, a model American family with their two kids, for years, he has begun to see himself as part of it: "Uncle" Sy, who buys toys for the kids and awaits their homecoming while sitting on the couch. Eventually the fantasy begins to blur with reality, and Sy's projection into the Yorkins' life prompts a demand for order and harmony that leads inexorably to calamity.