chapter ix: dark roots
It is generally accepted by myeckologists that he got what creative tendencies he had from his mother's side of the family.  His maternal great-grandmother had been prominent in the local equivalent of Show Business in the Old Country and is generally credited with the creation of Seven Card Monte, similar to the more familiar three card variety but for the number of cards, the fact that they were all placed face up, and the scimitar-wielding "bystander" standing by to behead any customer who happened to guess the correct card., which, this being after all the Old Country, was not as often as you might expect.
As great as was her fame from that endeavor, however, her greatest acclaim came not from any solo achievements but from her participation in the family's celebrated troupe -- acknowledged for generations as the Old Country's foremost practitioners of the ancient art -- of pie balancing folk dancers. 

Trained almost from birth like all the family girls, she became so adept that at her peak she could maintain perfect precision with her sisters while simultaneously dealing Seven Card Monte with her feet.