His Left Foot

A friend of mine went to buy a foot the other day. Left foot. He lost the original in a war, and he didn’t replace it for a while, being distracted by other things, as he says, but eventually he did replace it, first with a bamboo foot, which was a terrible foot, he says, and later with a rubber foot he made from a tire, which was actually a pretty good foot, he says, and after that with a series of wooden feet, which were pretty much totally worthless, he says, and finally with a series of plastic feet, which are much better than wood or rubber feet or maybe even the original foot, he says, “although the fact is I hardly remember that one at all because we parted company so long ago.”

Recently when he was coming down a ladder he broke his current foot, a plastic one, though he didn’t discover it was broken until he got home that night and took off his boot and half his foot fell off. “I tried to glue it back together but it was just no use,” he says, “so I went to the foot store.”

The foot store was founded by a guy who lost his leg in a war and carved a new leg from barrel staves. At the foot store you can buy all kinds of feet. You can buy feet with or without toes. You can buy feet made from plastic or steel or wood, although most feet in the foot store are made from carbon fibers arranged in a stunning number of ways. You can buy feet with toe and heel springs. You can buy feet with adjustable heel...

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About the Author

Brian Doyle is the editor of Portland magazine at the University of Portland.