Exhibit 5.5

I watched The Silent Partner last night and it's pretty fantastic, full of intrigue and 70s-era Elliott Gould and more intrigue. Gould plays a staid Toronto bank worker who spots a man casing the bank and decides to steal most of the money himself during the robbery attempt. The robber, Christopher Plummer, is understandably upset (though why it causes him to start wearing very sinister eyeliner the rest of the movie is unclear) and begins to harass Gould into giving up the loot.

The movie starts to click with Plummer on the loose, and each time it begins to feel like a by-the-numbers caper drama, Plummer shows up to act like a sociopath. Surprising even himself, Gould proves both willing to fight for the money and effective at it. He has wits and Plummer has violence, but both are cold, methodical men. The emotional torpor that stagnates Gould in his personal life allows him to react to Plummer's threats as just another transaction to be handled as if at his teller counter.

Eye liner and all, Plummer is pretty incredible here though I wonder if he would have been without the clothes of the era. Even when we see him briefly in prison, he's wearing a wide-collared shirt unbuttoned to the bottom of his sternum and tight, tall pants that prominently display a belt he sometimes wields as a weapon. If they made this movie today, he'd probably be played as a suit-wearing criminal sophisticate rather than the strutting sex criminal he is here.

Other notes:

•This movie also has a young John Candy as an awkward, chubby cuckold. It's the role he was born to play.

•The first third or so of the movie takes place in December, and everyone keeps saying Merry Christmas to Elliott Gould's character without so much as a Happy Holidays. Apparently Hanukkah didn't come to Canada until 1984.

•Curtis Hanson wrote the screenplay. I don't know what this means, except that Curtis Hanson has been around a long time.

•Somehow Christopher Plummer has aged 125 years since this movie was made. Look at him now:

Good god. Whatever Christopher Plummer has done, you shouldn't do.


Exhibit 5.4

I've been vaguely aware of the name 'Peterson' popping up a lot on news sites I read. I hadn't actually looked at any of the articles as I was pretty sure they weren't about my fantasy football exploits and I haven't really done anything else of note since high school debate. The articles all seemed to be about some Peterson's wife being murdered and I assumed it was a rehashing of the Laci Peterson thing. For the first time I clicked on one of the articles today and it turns out yet another Peterson has allegedly murdered his wife. For some reason, this has really captured the nation's attention again.

This time the guy--Drew Peterson (not to be confused with Scott Peterson)--possibly killed his 3rd and 4th wives, one of whom is named Stacy Peterson (not to be confused with Laci Peterson). You know who's worried right now? Mrs. Traci Peterson.

For those keeping track, the most famous Petersons of recent memory are:

Scott Peterson (murderer)
Drew Peterson (murderer)
Norm Peterson (fictional drunk)
Cassandra Peterson (Elvira)
Adrian Peterson (murderer of defenses)

Thank god the Petersons have Adrian, otherwise I might be changing my name to something with fewer negative connotations like Simpson or Dahmer or maybe Stalin.

UPDATE: Heather reminded me of Kelsey Peterson, the Nebraska teacher who recently ran away with her 13-year-old student. This was mostly a Nebraska case, but still, what the hell is wrong with the Petersons? And it's all people who spell it the right way, too. Now, people named Pederson or Petersen, those people have something to be upset about.


Exhibit 5.3


*It was Thanksgiving. You probably realized this.

*Bill Callahan was fired. No, not the guy from Smog.

*Heather might guest blog on Thursday or Friday to share her experiences in the criminal justice system. She's going to be a witness in a case against a guy who's defending himself. Hilarity will, presumably, ensue.

*I learned how to play backgammon and am willing to take on any challengers. I haven't yet used the doubling cube or won with so much as a gammon, but I do know a lot of the lingo. Also, bear off.

*Might go see No Country for Old Men tonight. You're welcome to come. I haven't been this excited about a movie for awhile.

*You also should come over tomorrow night for the Dolphins versus the Steelers on Monday Night Football. If I were an ESPN promo I'd say something like, "Can the floundering Phins steal a win when they visit Pittsburgh?" We should all be glad I'm not an ESPN promo.

*My top candidates to replace Bill Callahan are mostly fictional characters except for Sgt. Slaughter and Bruce Springsteen.

*We've winterized the apartment with plastic wrap over all of the windows and now it's like living in quarantine. You'll laugh until the plague comes. Then we'll see whose laughing.

*I went to a new dentist where they have LCD screens above all of the chairs which let you watch TV or a movie or whatever. They even told me I could bring in a DVD to watch during the exam if I wanted. What would be the worst movie you could bring in (both in terms of general creepiness and in the reaction it would get from the dental staff)? My list:

  • Bringing in your own home movies on DVD. Well, I suppose bringing in the dentist's home movies would be worse, but this would be pretty bad. Especially if there was an obnoxious song that played on a loop over them. I'm imagining "Big Girls Don't Cry" over a 45-minute video from a daughter's 5th birthday party.

  • Corbin Bernsen in The Dentist II which was an HBO classic from my childhood. Basically, in the first one he finds his wife cheating on him and then takes it out on his patients. In the second one, he's escaped from a mental institution, set up another practice, met a girl, and...the exact same thing happens. God, I love Corbin Bernsen. Anyway, watching it at the dentists' office would be a little bit like watching Leprechaun with happy-go-lucky leprechauns or Dead Ringers at the gynecologist.

  • Speaking of which, Dead Ringers. That's creepy anywhere. In fact, any David Cronenberg movie could probably be on this list. Miike, too.

  • Space Jam. Here's my thinking: It's not as if it's a classic and to be an adult who, on their own accord and out of all the world's movies, brings Space Jam into a dentist office would be profoundly weird. If you still don't believe me, imagine bringing it in on VHS and then acting deeply disappointed when they say the office only has DVD players. If you were a dental hygienist, how would you feel about conducting that exam?

There are probably better ones.


Exhibit 5.2

There's a car in my office's parking garage that looks exactly like mine. Same model, color, interior, etc. Whoever owns it even arrives at the same time I do as we often end up parking next to each other. I imagine other people saw our cars next to each other the first time and thought it was vaguely interesting or at least the sort of thing a perceptive person might note and say 'huh' about. Every other time those people see this happen they probably think how much they hate having to walk through a parking garage on their way to work and lament how bland, consumer anomalies like this shock them into confronting the passing of time because they've seen it again and again.

Anyway, I don't know how the other guy handles it, but it completely throws me off when we end up parking next to each other. I have to pause mid-step and look at our license plates to figure out which car is mine. Twice I have tried to open the wrong car door when I wasn't paying attention. Even after I'm driving home I sometimes have a moment where I panic and think that I'm actually in the other guy's car. He probably thinks I'm trying to steal it or maybe he just drives my car home and doesn't even notice because we listen to the same radio station. This, of course, is a crazy thing to think.


Exhibit 5.1

Heather and I took the GRE (standard) today which should explain the sparse nature of the posts. Not to say we were studying--at least I wasn't--but it's a test that has a way of occupying your thoughts. I certainly didn't study quadratic equations, but I thought about them in my sleep. Since I didn't, and don't, know what quadratic equations are, I would make things up and have dreams where quadratic equations and I would talk about last week's Heroes. Quadratic Equations thinks this season has been a let down. I told Quadratic Equations she was a let down. We both agreed that we wanted to know what happened to Hiro.

Part of the test is to write two essays, one giving your perspective on a topic and the other analyzing an argument. I'm not saying my essay analyzing a proposed re-sanding of a fictional Carribean beach settled the issue, but the people of Batia better think twice before they finance it by taxing tourists. The consequences to the industry that feeds this tiny island--where, I imagine, people greet each other by touching noses--would be devastating.

I have 1,300 other words I could say about this too.

Exhibit 4.27

From The Tin Drum:

"In Maria's hand a hissing and bubbling set in. The woodruff erupted like a volcano, seethed like the greenish fury of some exotic nation. Something was going on that Maria had never seen and probably never felt, for her hand quivered, trembled, and tried to fly away, for woodruff was biting her woodruff penetrated her skin, woodruff excited her, gave her a feeling, a feeling, a feeling...

The green grew greener, but Maria grew red, raised her hand to her mouth, and licked her palm with a long tongue. This she did several times, so frantically that Oskar was close to supposing that her tongue, far from appeasing the woodruff feeling that so stirred her, raised it to the limit, perhaps beyond the limit, that is appointed to all feeling."

I swear to god, this "Fizz Powder" chapter in The Tin Drum may be the dirtiest thing I have ever read, at least the dirtiest thing involving candy, a young man in suspended toddlerhood, and woodruff.


Exhibit 4.26

Sampling of words from today's newspaper reading:

plum (as an adjective)

Those are in no order of quality. I'd use any of those words to make sentences or name kittens with.

Exhibit 4.25

I found this webpage from when I was a Boy Scout the other day. Other than the hilarity of my friend Ryan's HTML work--I remember begging him to show me how to make the star icons spin like that--it's interesting because I'd forgotten almost everything about the experience. I certainly couldn't recall that I was in Hawk Patrol or that Hawk Patrol had a rivalry with Scorpion Patrol. Now that this knowledge has been regained, I'm not quite sure what to do with it. I guess I'll just start up the rivalry again.

Hawk Patrol
Deceased: 1
In the military: at least 4 (Happy Veterans Day, guys)
Teacher: 1
Me: 1
Chris Kelley: 1
Unknown: 2 (both are probably racecar drivers, if that counts)

Scorpion Patrol
In prison: 1
Living in North Platte: 1
Guys who I didn't know even at the time: 1
Unknown: Everyone else

So far Hawk Patrol has left a bigger footprint on the world that is Google, but we've got years to see this thing through.


Exhibit 4.24

The Cupboard Volume 18 is now available. This is a special volume on prose adaptations of movies adapted from prose. At least one of the pieces is about a movie with David Bowie, possibly more.


Exhibit 4.23

This blog was getting text-heavy so I figured I might as well post a picture of a Kevin Seitzer baseball card. I had that card as a kid. Mine wasn't signed and certainly didn't contain any Bible verses, but it did have dirt and marshmallow residue.

For the record, the passage referenced is more or less, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one enters except through me." I like to think he included this not as evangelical outreach but as a warning to the Tigers. You better watch it, Frank Tanana. No one gets by Seitzer.

Exhibit 4.22

Post-Gre Lit Reading List.

So, I'd more or less been reading for the Literature Subject Exam for about a year. I knew it wouldn't really help me on the test--of all the classic literature I read only one question about the Iliad and one about Wuthering Heights came up--but I wanted to fill in some holes in my education anyway. I learned I like Dickens. Not so much Melville (at some point I'm going to have to explore why this is before I start crying the next time someone says Moby Dick changed their life. I used to feel this way when my parents said they loved cantaloupe). Also, I discovered the The Good Soldier which squared the GRE and I.

I'm now going back to contemporary fiction. I figure I'll start with some of the recent big hits and then work my way into some more obscure things. If anyone has any thoughts on these or suggestions for other books, please let me know:

Haruki Murakami, After Dark (and the stories I haven't read in Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman)
Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics
Michael Chabon, Yiddish Policeman's Union
Steven Hall, The Raw Shark Texts
David Mitchell, Black Swan Green
Gary Shteyngart, Absurdistan

Of course, before that I have to finish The Tin Drum which I've been reading on and off for approximately as long as it took to write it. And yesterday I bought Ben Marcus's Age of Wire and String, this in addition to quite a few other books I purchased during my hiatus. I can barely keep myself from smirking at all the Henry James on my bookshelf.


Exhibit 4.21

Went to see Zach Schomburg read in Omaha last night and needless to say he was incredible. By asking questions like, "Do you guys like islands?" Zach was able to tailor his reading specifically to our audience which, as it turns out, was disproportionately fond of islands.

If you haven't purchased his book yet, you're either crazy or don't like islands. I honestly can't think of a better book to get someone this Christmas. It's like getting someone a happiness machine.

Tonight, another great reading at Nebraska Wesleyan. Go see Harryette Mullen at 7:00 pm. As always, it's in the Callen Conference Center.

If this keeps up, we'll all have no choice but to become brilliant and physically attractive poets. Everyone else is doing it.


Exhibit 4.20

Football Recap.

In case you haven't noticed, I stopped doing football recaps in the hopes of writing one at a time when there was something triumphant to say about the Miami Dolphins and/or Nebraska Cornhuskers. It, um, looks like I might be waiting for a while.

Miami Dolphins (0-8)
*Dolphins QB Trent Green was lost for the season with a concussion (to be fair, I think we all knew this was going to happen. I mean, virtual Trent Green gets a concussion when I shake my Madden '08 disc [if I owned it which, as far as you know, I don't]).

*Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown, in the middle of an amazing season, tears his ACL while trying to tackle a CB who intercepted a Cleo Lemon. Lemon was Green's backup so I suppose we could blame this on Green too but he wouldn't remember it anyway. As for Brown, who knows. I just hope they didn't take him out of the stadium in the Terrell Davis Memorial Stupid Career-Ending Injury Ambulance (if that name seems cumbersome [and unfunny] imagine how cumbersome [and unfunny] it was for the guy who had to spell it out backward on the hood).

*John Beck still not allowed to play football. The guy's 26 and yet we're supposed to think he's too raw to play in a game yet? He has kids! I get what the Dolphins are doing (they want to ensure at least one victory before they put the rookie in) but the guy they are choosing is responsible for more catastrophic knee injuries than he is victories. That should matter, right?

*Joey Porter died.

*Cam Cameron made a list of winnable games in a notebook he carries then had to sheepishly erase Houston on the plane ride home. Okay, maybe I only imagined this one.

*I watched 10 minutes of a Michigan game in order to "scout" Jake Long. This, by the way, may be the most indefensible action a sports fan can take.

You: What are you doing?
Me: Watching this college football game because the Dolphins might draft this guy.
You: Oh, is the draft soon?
Me: It's in late-April.
You: But the Dolphins want this guy?
Me: Well, if they continue to lose and get a top 5 pick, the guy tests well at the Combine, none of the teams that pick in front of the Dolphins--if there are any--take him, and the Dolphins decide they want an offensive tackle rather than a defensive tackle, then yes, they probably want this guy.
You: Are we going to have to talk about this until April?
Me: I like how he moves his feet. Nice wingspan, too.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-6)
*5 game losing streak, worst defense in the conference and nearly the worst in the country, fired athletic director, hired Tom Osborne, not going to a bowl game, ripped hearts out of the entire state. That pretty much covers it.

*On a side note, my mom, who doesn't watch football but went to the Kansas game, summed up the experience by saying, "I don't know, it seemed like our guys were kind of sissies." Normally I'd be against such inflammatory statements about college kids except that A) they did give up 76 points and B) what followed this comment was a lengthy recap of the rest of the weekend which involved calling a number of waiters, other drivers, and my own siblings "sissies." I'm thinking it's just my mom's go-to insult.

If Mandy Patinkin Was a Fantasy Football Team (7-2, first place)
*This team is pretty much all about Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne, and Antonio Gates while getting good-but-not-great performances from everyone else.

*This team is not about Eli Manning though he continues to quarterback this squad to greatness. I really wish there was someway I could change his name in the system to Bob Griese as he's doing just enough to win. I might have to email someone about this.

*This week's game is against my friend Justin's team which he cleverly named The Moon Whalers, a nice Futurama reference. I was impressed. Then I found out that Justin named both his fantasy football teams this. Since this is clearly the worst thing anyone has ever done, I am honorbound to beat him.

*Can you imagine if Philip Roth, just so enamored with the title, named every one of his books Goodbye, Columbus? I can. It would be great. I'll tell you what's not great, any one else doing it.

The Lincoln Hawks (4-5, Seventh Place)
*Lost by .98 points one week and then 3 the next which pretty much accounts for the somewhat sorry state of this team. Still, an easy schedule between now and the playoffs plus a much stronger team than the beginning of the season thanks to some nice pickups means I still have an outside shot at the playoffs (but it's not likely).

*Steve Jackson, the supposed centerpiece of this squad, came back from a groin tear just in time to have back spasms. I imagine he and Trent Green like to road trip to Windsor for cheap prescriptions.

*On paper, this team is still one of the best teams in the league but I think they lack the necessary chemistry to make it work. I know this is a stupid thing to think, but I can't help it.

*If it makes things more clear, I also imagine Fantasy Steve Smith swearing at reporters after another 2 point performance. It's only a matter of time before Fantasy Steve Smith punches Fantasy Hines Ward in his fantasy nose while watching fantasy film. If that sounds improbable, just remember that the real Steve Smith did it.


Exhibit 4.19

Heather at Diagram. Go.

Exhibit 4.18

Countdown to GRE Literature Subject Test.

Days left until test: -2

The GRE Literature Subject Test is either a cruel indictment of the contemporary English department or a hilarious joke we aren't going to get until later. I like to believe the former, that Dinesh D'Souza and a bunch of people from the Heritage Foundation have infiltrated ETS in order to produce a test with such wide source material that to study anything after the Romantics will become simply impossible. At one point after I finished, thinking over the test in the hallway with a piping hot cup of vending machine French vanilla latte--which, by the way, was delicious--I had begun to come up with a list of authors who weren't on the test or whose importance was marginalized by the scant number of questions. Then I forgot it all. It doesn't matter.

The test is a bizarre and pointless attempt to freeze the canon by means of exclusion. With only 230 questions to cover millenia, something has to be left out. This is a natural. Our canon does it perfectly well by itself. Some works hold the public--or at least the academic--consciousness for awhile and then either grow in import, diminish, or disappear. Some are reclaimed, some stay on the margins, some are just gone. Thankfully, technology widens and shallows the canon--just like the Platte!--but it's still there. What we shouldn't do, what the test does, is try to retroactively rewrite history to place some works on pedestals for the sake of nostalgia, nostalgia not for the work, understand, but for a time when the work was taught.

Frankly, I'm unconvinced a lot of the work on the test was ever an essential part of anyone's education, but I know that's not really the point. I guess the easy critique is that its a test that tests itself rather than your education. In other words, the test is really on the GRE Literature Test and not Literature itself. That's true. It's also true that ETS has at least tried to reflect a change in scope, including a few questions on V.S. Naipul and Said, African-American literature, and quite a few on theory. This is a good thing, of course, except to those who appreciate the Great Books focus of the rest of the test. Once questions have to be asked about not just what but how much, the whole goal of the test seems to get muddied. Is it to test how much a person has read? If so, is the goal to test what was learned as an undergraduate or a lifetime of reading? Is it about identifying the works or understanding them? If what's on the test is important is what's off the test not?

It's that last question that ultimately makes the GRE Lit pointless. Ignoring any other motives--and there are motives--ETS is bound to produce at least four (assuming each round of tests uses the exact same test nationwide) different tests a year and they surely avoid using the same questions, making a work given space on one test completely irrelevant to another. It's defensible insomuch as we're willing to say what the test is really doing is sampling general knowledge, but it also makes the test completely irrelevant for the purposes of understanding someone's knowledge of English literature. Unlike, say, physics where the concepts are static and the numbers can be changed, writing a GRE Literature test is about eschewing what might be considered more important knowledge in favor of less important for the sake of question diversity.

I'm sure I did fine on the test, but it doesn't change the fact that it's a test which encourages not reading the works in question. The only Shakespeare on the test was A Midsummer Night's Dream and I suppose if I'd read all of his plays just for the test, I'd feel like it was a waste of time right now. The two questions, one of which could have been answered without having read the play but I'll ignore that, represented a full 1/115 of the possible points on the test. To have read the major Shakespeare would have cost points in the long run since the time could have been better used memorizing character names or rhyme schemes.

Since ranking the work and asking questions weighted to their perceived impact on literature is equally as absurd, there really doesn't seem to be a viable option to conduct a test like this. Of course, you knew that. Everyone knows that. Oh well.

Things you should know about the GRE Literature Subject test:

  • 1. The actual test is far easier than any of the practice tests. This is mostly because the questions that test comprehension are written much more clearly . Or, at the very least, are written in such a way that correct answer stands out against the field.
  • 2. Every question should be answered. There was only one question where I couldn't eliminate at least one or two of the potential answers, meaning that the odds were in favor of getting enough guesses right to outweigh the penalty for incorrect answers. That question I didn't even guess on was a passage about furniture from this guy. Heather knew it because she's familiar with his chair from Martha Stewart magazines.
  • 3. You can go to the bathroom. And not just in your chair. ETS says you can't but our people allowed it.
  • 4. Despite the Princeton Review and other books asserting that most people don't finish the test and to really focus on using your time wisely, neither Heather or I felt at all crunched for time.
  • 5. If I had it to do over again, I would have studied all of the poets differently. Rather than pointlessly trying to understand their rhyme schemes, styles, and influences, I would have focused more on their themes. It would have been much better just to know that a mention of God=by Donne.
  • 6. On a similar note, unlike the practice tests, there isn't much trickery going on here. I didn't notice any times when ETS would mix it up by having an excerpt from a work that seemed inherently different than the author's perceived style/subject matter.
  • 7. The test is much more shallow than you would imagine. Author's rarely get more than one set of questions (and sometimes only one question) so at most not knowing an author costs you three or four questions. Since the test doesn't generally reach into obscure work, just know names of characters of the major work.
Favorite question: Was asked to identify the beginning of The Good Soldier. I didn't actually answer the question but instead just wrote BEST BOOK EVER over the ovals. I'm sure they'll count that.
Least favorite question: Besides the chair passage, there was also a strange Middle English question which wasn't about the work itself but about what other excerpted work used the same story. The options for answering this question were literally gibberish.
Bizzare: Heather and I were killing a few minutes in the car before the test, and I happened to make a reference to "The Fall of the House of Usher." Heather said, "Who wrote that?" I said, "Poe." She said, "I knew that." This sort of confused amnesia is the magic of the GRE Lit. So with a few minutes left I glanced at some flashcards and randomly read two or three in a row out loud, one of which just happened to be about Eugène Ionesco.

You probably know where this is going, but there just so happened to be questions that directly asked who wrote "The Fall of the House of Usher" and another on "The Bald Soprano." Considering there weren't any questions on, say, the Brontes, Melville, Dylan Thomas, Dante, and only one each for Shakespeare and Dickens, I find this somewhat extraordinary. I mean, Ionesco? Who would've thought he would be, literally, one of maybe two or three post-1950 questions.

Also interesting: Cunning readers of this blog who were also test takers would have noticed a question nearly identical to the one from a practice test I posted on the blog before. Oh, Mrs. Proudie, I know nothing about you except you were created by Trollope!


Exhibit 4.17

Countdown to GRE Literature Subject Test.

Days left until test: 1
Things I still don't know: 1300-1590, 1620-1840, poetry, math
Things I do know: Faulkner and maybe a little Woolf
Things you know: If read this blog, probably more than you wanted to about dogs and Jon Bruning
Obscure work I spent too much time on: Definitely Love's Last Shift, or, Virtue Rewarded
What I'm going to do after the test: Bask in the buzzing hug of television
Swears upcoming in this post: 1
Dolphins wins: 0
Replies to the Passionate Shepherd: Ubiquitous

Relevant but rambling story: In high school I had an AP History teacher whose sole reason for living seemed to be to get his kids to pass the AP American History exam. All semester long he paced up and down the rows of desk as we took practice exams and mumbled to the smart kids, "You're going to do some real damage on this test, some real damage." He taught us obscure facts at the expense of the important because the easy stuff wouldn't be on the test (he claimed). Anyway, so we took the test. It went fine and we were well prepared, but when we went to class on Monday and told him the most obscure question on the test, his face fell and all he could do was shake his head. The question was about a pioneering TV show, the answer was All in the Family. All in the Family? he asked again and again until his heart finally broke with the knowledge that he was going to have to introduce television shows into his curriculum. It was too much. He quit teaching the AP class he'd been teaching for over 20 years after that semester.

Anyway, he only had 1607-1975 to deal with. We've got Homer to Toni Morrison. I hope every single fucking question is about Meathead.


Exhibit 4.16

Countdown to GRE Literature Subject Test.

Days left until test: 2

One sentence long plot synopsises of fake Restoration-era comedies:

The Turn of the World, or, The Good Daughter
Mrs. Tinworthy, a widower, wants to marry her daughter Rosalind off to the wealthy but aged bachelor Count Fritzhughes whose second oldest son, Bensen, has been secretly having an affair with the rosy-cheeked Rosalind with the help of her maid Benvolia who, unbeknown to all but Mrs. Tinworthy, is actually the deceased Mr. Tinworthy's sister and rightful heir to the Tinworthy fortune which Bensen is actually after when he proposes marriage to Rosalind, an act which causes Mrs. Tinworthy, fearing an impoverished life for her daughter, much consternation until Count Fritzhughes unexpectedly proposes marriage to her, thus securing the Tinworthy's prospects.

The Orphan Child
An orphan discovers he is actually not an orphan at all, marries.

The Tinker of Piazza
Don Julio is the father of three daughters (Maria, Sophia, and Isabella) who he has, with some success, engaged to three rich but clownish suitors (Fernando, Leonardo, and Gizzeppi) and everything is fine until a poor metal worker, hired to repair the candelabra which is to be the centerpiece of the wedding banquet, arrives and begins to seduce the daughters one-by-one while also winning increasingly large sums of money by besting the suitors with his cleverness in a series of challenges organized by Don Julio who is trying to embarrass the tinker in order to win back the hearts of his daughters for the rich suitors yet ultimately comes to see the hollowness of the suitors who are thrown from the house so that the tinker may choose his bride from among the sisters though ultimately he chooses only the repaired candelabra which he takes back to his beloved Chastia as a sign of their love.