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Maurice Is Torneko
// article by Jeff

I don't know what those tall green cans of Arizona Iced Tea do to me, but they take my brain on fantastic journeys through a fresh field of ideas. In a recent conversation with a colleague, we had brought up (quite randomly, I might add) Maurice, more famously known for being a space cowboy, the gangster of love, and the "pompidous of love" in the song "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band. We all know the song. We don't know if it has a second verse or not, but we all know the song. That — inevitably — led us to recalling "Crazy Old Maurice", Belle's somewhat faltering inventor father whose hairbrained concoctions never cease to cause guffaws around town.

On Google Images, I looked into those eyes, examining that sharply-crafted visage of the old man, and I realized that I had seen that face somewhere before. And then it dawned on me. Not the face, the Sun. Turns out I had spent an entire day and night pondering this quandary. But then IT dawned on me! Maurice is nothing more than an aged Torneko (Taloon in the Japanese version) from the Dragon Quest series! There's no mistaking it: they are one and the same. Well, except that one is named Maurice and the other is Torneko. But come on: look at these two faces, and then try and tell me they are different!

Exactly. Maurice is Torneko.

But what is the real connection between these two characters? After all, Maurice is an old man living in a small French village, whereas Torneko is a shopkeeper from Lakanaba in the mystical land of, uh, wherever Dragon Quest IV takes place. They must be related somehow. So, here's my theory...

After getting married and having Belle, Maurice finally decided to settle down in that French town. There, he set up his official workshop. Maurice has been making plenty of crazy inventions, yes? What if one of them was a time machine? I'm sure that's not out of the question. He was never one to make a ton of money, as we've seen in the film. What if he were to use that time machine to go back in time and sell his current "flop" inventions to the citizens of thirty years earlier, when people would be more impressed and willing to shell out the shillings? Then, perhaps Belle could've had more clothing to wear than just a hand-me-down dress from an off-Broadway production of The Wizard of Oz in her closet.

Wait, then why would he have purple hair and a muumuu? Well, hey, I'm not sure what people were like. Maybe that was a punk era. Or, as I've seen in some time travel adventures, people have to disguise themselves so it doesn't become weird when the exact same person is seen decades later. He may have fooled the people of France, but he sure didn't fool me with that purple wig and half-cracked mustache dye job! The fruits of his labour, though, as told via Beauty and the Beast and Dragon Quest IV, may not have gone as planned. Maurice was not a rich man, and Torneko's shop wasn't entirely successful or self-gratifying. I guess nobody was interested in purchasing a malfunctioning steam-powered wood chopper.

This whole premise may seem extremely far-fetched, but you have to keep one thing in mind: he's not just Maurice, but CRAZY OLD Maurice. Anything is possible.


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