Son of Daggerfoot
Eustis limped out of the discount store with his bag of socks in his hand. He got back to his car and collapsed sideways in the front seat. He threw his bag to the passenger floorboard and jerked off left loafer. He carefully examined the top toes of his shoe. He was glad to see there were no punctures. He stuck his fingers inside to see if the leather was damaged from the inside. Sure enough, it was. Next time, he might punch a hole in his loafer all together. Sometimes a little notice would help! He should be paying more attention. “That’s what I get for rushing around on my lunch hour,” he said to himself with disgust. After rubbing his sore foot for a minute, he got out a new sock, re-shod himself, and returned to the office and a bottle of pain killers.
At the wife’s insistence, he went and bought his own replacement socks at the store – despite the fact that his wife had been at the store the day before. How could he know she was planning a trip on a Tuesday, much less know where she kept her list?
On his lunch hour, he drove the short, but traffic filled, distance over to the store from his office. He stopped and got some lunch in an absurdly long fast food line. He did NOT drop hot sauce on his tie! Haha, what luck!
Meanwhile, a pretty lady in jeans and sneakers was sorting through the boys underwear section looking for the briefs with cartoon characters on them. She could find plenty of those, just not in the right size. No one was much around on a Wednesday in the middle of the day, so she had sat down on the floor to search. In her search, she had made a huge mess on the floor of the shop. She had scattered the wrong packages around her on the floor. The very last package of cartoon characters were the correct size, and with a sense of victory, she held them aloft!
Suddenly, a man came barreling around the corner and nearly tripped on some packages of underwear and knocked straight into her. As he was falling, he tried to catch himself on her while trying not to hurt her as well. He grabbed her wrist with the underwear on his way down. He landed pretty softly on the scattered (and formerly organized) piles of boys underwear. His shoe seemed to have fallen off in the process.
They both started apologizing as soon as they got over the shock. Amazingly, she still had the correct package in her hand and quickly put it in her basket before it got lost again. The man seemed to think he had made the mess and started trying to pick up the strewn packages. Then he noticed his left foot. His shoe was off, his foot hurt, and there were foot long toenails amongst the clutter on the floor. He stopped and looked at her.
He looked at her closely. She didn’t appear to be poor or abused, or needy in any way. She was still hurriedly stacking the packages. He was just going to have to ask.
“What do you need that you haven’t got?” he asked.
She was still busy cleaning up her mess. “What?” she asked with a laugh.
“I’m in a rush today and short on time, so I just have to ask: What do you really need that you haven’t got?”
She became very still. She’d heard about things like this. In Guidepost magazine types of stories, where God provided from unexpected places. What the heck, she thought, why not.
She stared into his unwavering gaze. He seemed serious. “An engine block and new brakes,” she said.
His brow creased in thought. No way one set of nails could do all that. Three sets might.
“OK, this is completely bazaar, but you have absolutely nothing to lose, OK?”
“Ok?” she said cautiously.
“I have way to provide those two things for you, and you’ll just have to believe me. Because you need things that are so large, I can’t give you demonstration here in the store.”
Puzzled, she said, “I also need a second package of these,” holding up the cartoon underwear skeptically.
“OK good. You see these long nails?” he said picking them up. “They can turn into things that you really need. Here, take one nail in your hand, and say ‘cartoon underwear size x’ for whatever size you need.”
It seemed a bit odd, but she did it. “Cartoon underwear size 4.” The nail suddenly melted in her hand, flashed, and became an identical package of underwear. Her mouth fell open. She looked at the other four nails in his hand and started thinking.
Eustis noticed that the labeling was identical on the packages, meaning that she would have to pay for the underwear at the register. “Can you afford those?”
“What? Oh yes, we can afford necessary clothes for the kids, but we can’t really afford a new engine block for one car, and new brakes for the other right now. That’s a lot of dough at once, you know? How did you do that? And why toe nails?”
“I don’t know why it works, I just know that it works. But there’s no way that four nails will pay for all that. Here, shake my ha…. wait a sec.” He looked at his sock, but the first batch of nails had already shredded his sock when it shot his shoe off his foot. “Oh never mind. Here, shake my hand.”
She gave him a wild look, and held out her hand. As soon as their hands touched, she watched the nails on his left foot suddenly grow a foot and then snap off by themselves. As soon as they snapped off, another set started to grow. Those grew to about 12 inches and snapped off. Then they grew another 8 inches and snapped off. They both kept staring at his socked foot, but it seemed to have stopped.
She let go of his hand. “OK, now what?” she asked, taking it all for granted.
He got out his hanky, thankfully clean if a bit stained, and wrapped all the nails up in his hanky. He handed them to her. “When you’re at the mechanic, and once you know exactly what you need, hold a bunch of these in your hand and request the parts you need. If nothing happens, put more nails in your hand and try again. Keep adding nails until you see the melting and flashing and then make sure you don’t drop the parts on your own foot! You might want to do it at the mechanic’s so you don’t have to try to transport an engine block.”
A slow grin and relief spread across her face. “OK, how can I ever thank you for this?”
“You can point me to the men’s sock section.” She turned and pointed asking for his size. “14,” he said.
“Really?! That’s one big foot. Umm…” she started flinging wrong sized packages on the floor with the rest of the mess. He watched with amusement as a shower of socks surrounded them..
“Is this always how you shop?” he asked with a chuckle.
“No, but it’s the most effective today, it seems….HERE! Here’s your size. One pack or two?”
“Two! You can tell I’m going to need them! Thanks!” he said with a smile. He turned to race back to the checkout while looking at his watch.
“WAIT!” she called. He turned to look at her. She shoved a package of handkerchiefs at him, saying “You’re going to need these, too. What do you call yourself? My husband will want to know.”
“Thanks! You’re right. Call myself? My wife calls me Captain Daggerfoot when I shred my socks like this.”
The lady looked at her son’s cartoon underwear, and the hanky full of nails and said, “Captain Daggerfoot it is then!”
He smiled. As he raced away, he heard her say, “Captain Daggerfoot” the same way he remembered hearing “Captain Cave Mwaaaaaaawaaan!” on cartoons growing up.