Now an aspiring young architect in Terre Haute, Indiana, Willum Cubbert has often told his friends about the debt he owes to someone whom he has never met but who saved his life after he was seriously wounded in Vietnam. He has written to his hero to say that, as long as he is alive, "you will have somebody on Earth who will do anything for you"—so Willum is delighted when they show up unexpectedly at his apartment on the night of his thirty-fourth birthday party. His delight soon fades as it becomes apparent that his "Hero" is a hopeless "nerd"—bumbling, with no social sense, little intelligence and less tact. "The Nerd" stays on and on, their continued presence among Willum and his friends leading to one uproarious incident after another, until the normally placid Willum finds himself contemplating violence—a dire development which, happily, is staved off by the surprising "twist" ending of the play.
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