Monday, January 30, 2012

Superman According to Strangers

Imagine that every day when Superman uses his phone booth to change, three people happen to walk by.
As Clark Kent ducks in and starts ripping his clothes off, the first person strolls by. (Clarkie has apparently forgotten that duh, phone booths have glass doors.)

Huh, the innocent bystander thinks. I hope that guy’s okay. Did a bee fly into his shirt? As Mr. Kent continues to get naked, the bystander wonders if maybe it was a whole swarm.

Then, out steps Superman. Astounded at having seen the superhero up close and personal, Bystander #1 runs home to tell her family about the guy who got naked in a phone booth and stepped out wearing his underwear on the outside of his spandex.

Bystander #2 doesn’t see the transformation, but knows Superman recently invoked the power of flight in the name of justice. He tries to make an ordinary phone call, not knowing this booth is Superman’s boudoir. Bystander #2 forgets about the call and examines the random pile of clothes, then discovers a wallet in them, with Clark Kent’s ID and various personal info.

BOOM. There goes Superman’s anonymity. Also $40, his credit cards, and various fortune cookie papers predicting an unfortunate oversight on his part. Bystander #2 gets rich blackmailing the supersonic guy from Krypton.

The third passerby is a bit different from the others. He had no idea Superman was anywhere nearby, and just sees a pile of clothes in the phone booth. His first thought?

This is no phone booth!

Rather, it’s clearly a teleporting booth. The technology is rudimentary, as clothing cannot be transported yet. This bystander would love to test his theory, but is terrified of his own nudity and therefore wouldn’t dare. He wonders where the owner of the clothing teleported to, and daydreams briefly about a nudist colony on the moon.

After examining the clothing a bit more closely, he notices there’s no underwear in the pile (because Clark Kent always, always wears his underwear outside his supersuit). His second thought comes to him.

He walks, commando, to the nude teleportation booth!

The owner of this clothing has now become more than a superhero to Bystander #3. He has become a god among men. The third bystander lies in wait till Superman retrieves his Clark Kent disguise, completely glazing over the fact that he didn’t teleport back. Rather, he is focused on this man’s freedom. Clark Kent is now Bystander #3’s idol, and a savior from both shame and constricting briefs.

Little does he know, his new role model is also a never-nude.

Now poor Mr. Kent has a blackmailer, a stalker, and disturbing rumors about his undergarments and clothing preferences to deal with, on top of a city rank with crime and evil-doers. It’s enough to make anyone want to file change of address forms and move to Mars. Or maybe Pluto, which is at best barely associated with the solar system anymore.

Too bad he can’t just teleport there.

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