There's an alligator living in Danny Foster's basement, but that's not what has him worried. He's worried one day his wife will realize she's married to a jerk and leave him. He's worried the principal at the middle school where he teaches English will find out he doesn't know what he's doing and fire him. Mostly he's worried that his father was right, that he's a loser who will never amount to anything.
The alligator's about the only thing that doesn't have him worried. He's been taking care of it since his father got it years before. But when it escapes its enclosure and takes to sitting at the foot of the basement stairs trying to figure out how to climb them, Danny realizes he's going to have to deal with the single problem he thought he had a handle on. Because an alligator on the loose is the one thing that can shatter Danny's tenuous existence.