Danny Kaye is a passive, daydreaming proofreader who whiles away his time imagining himself a swashbuckling sea captain, heroic surgeon or a riverboat gambler with ice in his veins. Walter creatively reuses the mundane implements of his dull life: the sock stretchers and floor wax his mother requests from the store serve as impromptu surgical implements for one heroic interlude.
Fantasy unexpectedly bleeds into reality when the gorgeous blonde cast in all his reveries (Virginia Mayo) appears on his morning commuter train, fleeing a passel of mystery men. So steely in all his daydreams, Walter responds to danger in real life with a joggling knee, trembling teacup and a wavering voice. He yelps when the toast pops out of the toaster.