John Schaufensterscheibe immigrated to Canada in 1793 with his young wife Gerta. John was an inventor and a visionary - he loved to tinker with things. He loved to make wooden items - everything from surprises for die kinder (the children) - to decorative nutcrackers - to handheld corn seeders and mortar and pestles - just everyday things: nothing too fancy or modern.
After a busy day of working the fields John would dread having to bend over to take off his muddy shoes, especially since he was a very tall man, so one day he used a nearby stick to aid him. After a few days of using this shoe stick, as he called it, he whittled it down into a smooth tool to slip into the heel and slide the shoe off. He soon got the idea to refine and market this tall man's aid - the shoe horn - it was a raging success! He became moderately wealthy and was able to provide for Gerta, and later his twelve children for the rest of his life.
Over a century later, John's great great great Grandson Arnold Schaufensterscheibe is still receiving royalties from the largest shoe horn company in North America. Now Arnold fancies himself a celebrity for the worldwide utilized invention of his forefather John. He loves to take quarterly vacations to tropical destinations on deluxe cruise lines: he always asks for the King Suite and mentions his ancestry; he becomes belligerent when his shoe horn nobility is taken into question.
Arnold also doesn't like to wait. He wants immediate service anytime his patience is tested. Whenever he goes out to the local Stroop-waffle house he refuses to wait to be seated; he will forcefully push costumers off their seats and onto the floor if necessary. Whenever this arrogance is mentioned he asks with a stone cold expression, "..and how did you get your shoes on this morning?" When the costumer responds, "I just used my shoe horn," Arnold's face becomes rosy with burst veins as he says mockingly, " Do you know who I am?" He intensely pauses as he shakes with anger then continues, "I'm the great great great grandson of John Schaufensterscheibe!"
The costumers face goes blank - nobody would dare argue with history.
Arnold isn't married - not because he isn't desirable (so he tells himself), but because he can't find a suitable mate to carry the Schaufensterscheibe heir. He once dated a charming brunette named Isabelle. She was a good woman with many unique abilities and skills. Isabelle could paint-by-number holding a paintbrush between her toes, she was a miraculous ventriloquist and she made the spongiest spongecake in the region.
Where's the catch?
She used her index and middle finger to put on her running shoes - like a savage.
There was no subtle conversation of "I think we should see other people," or "it's not you - it's me," Arnold just stomped Trumpishly and showed Isabelle the door - he barely waited for her to clumsily slide on her sneakers: watching her struggle just asserted his reasoning for parting with this inefficient woman.
Arnold gave up on his search for the ideal mate, and settled into the realization that there is no one who could tick every shoe box. How could such a handsome, intelligent, charming, and modest young Schaufensterscheibe man be left a bachelor? He longed for companionship: for comfort, and for strudel. As all men do.
One last romance ditch attempt surfaced itself: a Singles' 7-day Caribbean Cruise was scheduled in a months time. Arnold booked a ticket and began planning his itinerary details and even his packing list. He would bring four pairs of dress shoes and 8 deluxe-handcrafted-shoehorns (one for each day and a spare - heaven forbid one should fall overboard). Everything else was pretty standard and uninspiring: shirts, shorts, toothbrush blah blah blah.
Soon the time came to finally pack up his Volkswagon and drive to the cruise ship terminal. Along the way he visualized his luggage and it's contents, and just as he arrived he suddenly remembered he'd left his silk satchel with his 8 monogrammed shoehorns on his dresser at home!
This was catastrophic - there were only a few significantly worse things that had happened in his lifetime. He would rather get a parking ticket for blocking a handicapped spot during business hours, or an ingrown hair in a very sensitive place, or suffer the wrath of a destitute seagull when he's trying to handle not one, but three corn-dogs!
The time to decide is now. Not tomorrow - not when he's situated in a chair by the pool with an umbrella in his drink - but now.
He exited the vehicle and patted every pocket in his pants: perhaps he had put an extra shoehorn somewhere. He often does - he's found them in very unusual places before - in the dishwasher, under the dryer, in the Gerber Daisy planter box. No luck - nowhere on his person.
What course of action should he take? He figured there have probably been many people faced with the very same situation, and no news of some disastrous outcome has ever surfaced from their poor packing. What is the worst possible consequence from a shoe horn discrepancy? He might have to loosen his laces, or he might not end up getting the shoe securely on his foot. Only a slight bit of discomfort could possibly manifest - don't overthink this Arnold - he said to himself.
Inhale, exhale, panic tingled up his spine giving him shivers, or maybe that was the ocean breeze. The sea air felt like clean sheets on his skin, and it sounded like chaos and calm, the ebb and flow of the universe. In that moment a mystical notion unearthed itself in the stillness: not everything needs to be forced into it's place.
He held onto the guard rail with one hand and his suitcase with the other and boarded the ship. He was greeted by a dark haired woman in a loose flowing skirt and bikini top. She smiled like the sun and hung a flower necklace around his cleanly shaven neck. "Welcome," she said with a voice like apple strudel.
"Excuse me miss - where is the gift shop? ...I need to buy a pair of flip flops." He turned around and let out a freeing sigh.