A small, isolated mythical town called Eavin is populated by smiling Christians who obey their pastor; they never venture outside the town's borders. One day, however, a stranger from "the outside" enters Eavin and sells a special ice cream that he claims will magically give people talents and abilities when eaten. The Eavinites try it and, sure enough, begin to notice faculties they did not have before. The mysterious ice cream vendor names P.R. Magenta as the recipe's inventor. But who is this "P.R. Magenta"? And what does his identity mean for the psychological future of the Eavinites?