On the day of the NASCAR Pepsi 400 race and a party in its honor CALVIN BARKER has found his mother Ola Mae unconscious on the floor and rushed her to the hospital where she is placed in the care of DR. SUE MORRISON. Sue genuinely wants to save Ola Mae but she also has her eyes on a bigger prize--a research paper about this most unusual case for a major medical journal. Calvin has meanwhile begun receiving ghostly visitations from SWIMMER, a Cherokee shaman who claims to have intimate knowledge of Ola Mae's condition. Meanwhile Calvin's girlfriend ALABAMA stops by the hospital to tell him she's leaving him for good to go on tour as the manager for a local country & western band. Calvin's sister TRACY and Ola Mae's minister PREACHER BOBBY also descend on Calvin seeking financial gain. As they all back Calvin literally into a corner and fight over ownership of a dying woman who cannot speak for herself, the inarticulate Calvin seeks a way to speak for her.