It's that time again - time for Jinsy's wedding lottery, when all the residents will be assigned their new marriage partners. Mr Slightlyman has been busy rehearsing for the grand lottery show, but what other naughty things has he been doing on the side?
Maven will do anything to get his gloved hand on the cover of the new edition of 'Glove Hygiene Monthly'. He invites its editor, the meticulous Roopina Crale round to the tower and tries to persuade her that his versatile hand is ready for island-wide stardom. Sporall is trying to find some recognition of his own by entering himself into the Beardboy contest. The residents are out in force, until a phantom beard nibbler strikes, and places the whole competition in jeopardy. The prime suspect is the goat that's been following Sporall around, which means that Sporall ...
Maven is about to announce the opening of the fourth wonder of Jinsy: The Arbiter Maven Bridge. On the verge of its completion, however, island eco-warrior, Edery Molt, abseils in and raises the Glamorous Arrow - to protect the rare She-Hair-Hair mushroom that's grown in the bridge's path. There's nothing Maven can do, except invite Edery over to dinner to try and persuade him to drop the Glamorous Arrow. Things start to look up when Sporall discovers an Ool Bat in the Tower, a favourite of the eco-warrior's, and something of a bargaining tool for Maven.
An unfortunate contestant in Sporall's weekly meat quiz dies during the popular island game. As is Jinsy custom, her nameworm must be removed, and the worm itself passed on to the most recent newborn. For Arbiter Maven, this spells bad news for many reasons. Firstly, it's snowing; second, the infant is on the far side of the island; and third, the procedure has to be carried out by Maven's old teacher, Ernest P. Threcker, who has nothing but contempt for Maven, and isn't shy about showing it.
Arbiter Maven is the only Arbiter in Jinsy's history not to be selected as a member of the Cranial Lodge. He's determined to put that right by creating an invention of his own that will guarantee him membership. Sadly, he has no ideas of any worth, until he sees what looks like a car at a visit to the White Apron Playgroup. He persuades Sporall that they must steal the 'Vel' from its schoolboy inventor, Caravel Didd-Onion, and pass it off as their own, without letting on to the playgroup's stern Headmistress Mrs Stenton, or her glove puppet, Tiddly Eye.
Jinsy's postal pigs are running amok. Maven decides to tackle the problem head-on by paying a visit to Mrs Oon, the island postmistress. While there, he discovers some flyers for the banned underground folk-thrash band, Mool Perpya (with lead singer, The Zoop), who are playing an illegal gig at Doker's Quarry. Maven's determined to take action, until Mrs Oon offers him some of her special soup of 'something and apricot'.
The tessellator is out on Lickhou, and the Great He (Jinsy Praise Him!) sends Maven and Sporall to sort it out. They are accompanied by the island mapmaker, Melty Harris, whose unreliable map leaves them stranded on Lickhou overnight. When Melty tells Maven about the mysterious Kelpman of Lickhou - which ruffles his victims' hair before sucking out their brains through their ears - Maven goes into a blind panic... while Sporall discovers the real reason the tessellator has been broken in the first place.