Ronald Farrington Sharp, author
Hanky-Pank is carnival slang for the type of game everyone wins but the prize is worth less than the cost of playing. Pop a balloon with a dart and win a pencil with a feather attached. That kind of thing. The story is of the relationship of Dime and Roxanne. He’s a door to door cemetery lot salesman while she administers euthanasia rather enthusiastically at the local animal shelter. He had been her prom date from hell years ago and she had never gotten over it. Roxanne is now in her late twenties and is burdened with the care of her brother with muscular dystrophy, her autistic sister, and her father - a retired carnival worker with cancer. Dime reappears, being forced through serious criminal, legal and financial problems to move in with Roxanne's family, hiding out while he looks for options. The option he chooses is the carnival life since carnivals ask for no references, operate on cash, and spend winters in warm climates, all positives for Dime and Roxanne. While making the arrangements he gets in even deeper trouble, Roxanne misinterprets his intentions and takes irrevocable actions of her own. Dime grow however and comes to appreciate, love, and understand the individual personalities and qualities of the family members; seeing beyond their disabilities. Hanky-Pank becomes a story of love, obsession, misunderstanding and bad decisions, leading both Roxanne and Dime to achieve what they thought they wanted, but at a tragic cost.