Storey's debut is The Mary Tyler Moore Show updated, set in a funky apartment house in the Montrose section of Houston. The super, known as St. Francis, dispenses carrot juice during New Age Happy Hour to a collection of hip dorm-dwellers: Barbara, a Texas farm girl turned loan officer, pregnant by a welder; Gigi, into computers and sex at least three times a week; and, last but not least, Colleen, a real doll who works at the public library, does aerobics, drinks PMS tea, and keeps trying to transform herself ``from a tart on a heroic quest into a handmaiden of higher consciousness.'' But, as she says, ``Where are all the red-blooded American boys I was promised for my virtue?'' Clearly not in her bed, since she's currently sleeping with one Web Desiderio, a cruise-ship social director who knows exactly how to get her to do what he wants, like dancing semi-nude at stag parties. So, when Colleen meets a man who looks like a real contender--an ER doctor named Gabriel who's endearingly disconsolate over his divorce-- she's hard-pressed to explain how it is that she's up on a prostitution rap (resulting from a kinky evening with Web and friends). But good guys like Gabe understand, ergo happy ending. Every other line is a punch line--or trying to be. Occasionally a glimmer of light shows through, but generally this is a novel that asks insistently: Aren't I cute? Isn't my life nifty?