The opening scene of Skinny Legs finds newlywed, Ellen Cherry Charles and Randolph "Boomer" Petway III driving cross-country in an Airstream that has been welded into the shape of a giant turkey by Cherry's betrothed. During her journey to seek freedom as an artist, Cherry loses precious objects and observes Boomer attain greater artistic recognition. Through a metaphorical belly dancer, Skinny Legs and All confronts the veils of society, and the pain, pleasure and freedom derived as they are lifted. Irony, opposites and parallels, in relationships, art, artists, sex, politics and religion expose the danger of deeper issues in humanity; regarding outmoded gender and cultural roles and rituals, insecurity, guilt, indulgence, gluttony, occultism, war, violence, hypocrisy, greed, and psychosis.
The reader is introduced to an array of off-beat and whimsical characters, including the estranged couple of artist/waitress Ellen Cherry and welder/accidental artist Randolph "Boomer" Petway; Spike Cohen and Roland Abu Hadee (a Jew and an Arab who co-own a Middle-Eastern restaurant across from the UN building in New York); fundamentalist preacher Buddy Winkler; a doe-eyed belly dancer named Salome; Detective Jackie Shaftoe; Raoul Ritz, the libidinous doorman turned rock star; pretentious art gallery owner Ultima Sommerville; a mysterious performance artist known as Turn Around Norman; and Verlin and Patsy Charles, Ellen Cherry's parents. A host of inanimate objects (Can o' Beans, Dirty Sock, Spoon, Painted Stick and Conch Shell) also play a key role in the novel, and even biblical "harlot" Jezebel and Dan Quayle make cameo appearances.