By Molly (MPSL27@aol.com)
Submitted July 2001
Summary: When the mayor asks Superman to give a detailed reporting of his activities, it soon becomes clear that a day in the life of a superhero is anything but normal.
Author's Note: This fluff story takes place right after "The Family Hour," and several fourth-season events are referred to. My explanation for the baby in "The Family Hour" has always been "it was all a dream," so you won't see the mysterious baby mentioned in here. Sorry if that disappoints you but I doubt it will. ;)
"You want me to keep a diary!?" Superman's voice hit an unusually high-pitched note. Certainly the mayor wasn't serious? Sure, everyone knew she was a little crazy, but … a diary?
The mayor nodded. "Yes."
"This is why you wanted to see me?"
"Yes," the mayor said, sounding impatient. "You see, Superman, I'm being pestered by common citizens who think you may pose a threat to their safety. Certainly you haven't forgotten that little incident with the—"
"I remember," Superman cut in quickly, "but please, your honor … I apologized, I paid for the damage, and, like I've said before, it had everything to do with Red Kryptonite exposure and I really don't think you should—"
"Whatever. Look, Superman … every day you put out fires and swallow bombs. All I want is a detailed account of every activity you take part in. I want to know what you're doing at 3 a.m. I want to know about every doughnut you consume. I want every detail, on paper. Once a week, you will turn your diary in to me. If even one hour of even one day is not accounted for, I may have to take legal action."
"Public safety," she said quickly. "I must insist. I'll even give you a notebook."
"See you next week," she said, and Superman knew he was licked.
"A diary?!?" Lois exclaimed as she and Clark at down to dinner that evening.
"That's exactly what I said. I can't believe it either." Clark flipped through the spiral-bound, blue-covered notebook and shook his head.
"That notebook," Lois said, "better not have been purchased with my tax dollars!"
Clark shrugged. He put the notebook down and passed Lois the bowl of salad.
"They can't make you do this!"
"Normally I'd object but I've already been in a lot of trouble this year … ."
"That crashing through the wall thing was *not* your fault!" Lois said.
"Try telling that to the mayor."
"Oy, I'm getting a headache."
"I guess it won't kill me to do this, but you know what? I can't be completely honest in this thing." Clark pushed the notebook aside. "There's no way I can write the truth, like that I spent time with *you*. How would that look?"
"Not good. Especially so soon after that incident where they thought Superman and I were having an affair."
"We've had a really crazy year, haven't we?"
"And it's only June. What's next?" Lois managed a small smile. "Okay," she said thoughtfully, "during the times you were really with me, just write down that you were doing something Superheroish … something you don't really do, but something that no one reading the diaries would ever question. Uh … write down that you spent time in the clouds meditating."
"Hey, if you have a better idea …" she challenged.
After dinner, he sat down in the armchair, opened the notebook, and wrote:
Ate dinner. I ate spaghetti, rolls, and salad. Chewed each bite fourteen times. Found the meal to be extremely satisfying.
Lois peered over Clark's shoulder. She read the entry and laughed.
"Hey," Clark said, pretending to be hurt.
"You're a journalist and you're writing in fragmented sentences," she teased.
"Superman's not a journalist … he's not even from Earth … so he's allowed to write however he wants."
"Nice reasoning," she said, perching herself on the arm of the chair.
Watched television. You may wonder how I watched television, since I am, after all, Superman, and Superman could not possibly own a television. I went over to a friends' house and watched their television … Lois Lane and Clark Kent . . . you might know them. Great people. We watched Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. I wonder how much money Alex Trebek makes? Certainly he can't know the answers to all those questions …
Heard an alarm and went to investigate. Someone had broken into the Gap. I apprehended the criminals. The cops came and took over from there. I bought coffee at Starbuck's.
6/15/97 9pm to 6/16/97 6am
Flew up into the clouds and meditated. At some point I think I fell asleep because when I woke up, it was morning. I felt very … rested.
When Lois read that entry, she elbowed Clark in the ribs and said, "Hey, you took my advice!"
"Well I couldn't exactly tell them what we were really doing … "
"Oh, sure, be all G-rated, Clark."
"Are you making fun of me?"
Bought a doughnut. Raspberry filling. Those things are good. I heard someone screaming for help, and in my haste to help them, I accidentally dropped my doughnut on the sidewalk. Later I saw a smushed jelly doughnut on the sidewalk and red footprints trailing away from it. I guess someone must have stepped on it. Whoops.
Got hit by a car while helping an old lady cross the street. I'm fine, but the car's not. I asked the driver if he had insurance, but he said it was my fault, so I should pay. I told him it wasn't my fault, because the light was red and he went right through it. He yelled at me and said some R-rated words. (I don't have to tell you what he said, do I? You did say I had to include every little detail, but really …) Anyway, the police came and hauled the guy away. Turned out he had about 100 unpaid parking tickets in his trunk.
Flew around town for awhile. Bought another jelly doughnut. Then I saw a poor, homeless family. There was a little girl, and when she saw my doughnut, she began to cry. I gave her my doughnut, and she choked on it. I had to give her the Heimlich maneuver. Her mother screamed at me. The girl turned out to be okay, and I bought the entire family breakfast at Denny's. The mother ordered six fried eggs and then yelled at me when she got a stomach ache … like it was my fault. I've decided being nice to people is not always all it's cracked up to be.
Made an appearance at a charity carnival. I was scheduled to be a target in the pie-throwing booth. I don't know what that's going to do for my hero status, but I got hit by seventeen pies. I know because I counted.
Took a shower to get rid of all the evidence of the pies. Since I am Superman and do not own a home or a shower, I had to fly all the way to Oregon to find some rain to shower in. I didn't take the suit off. That would not have been appropriate. Some teenage girls saw me and ran to me, screaming. The price I pay …
"Clark!" Lois moaned when she read that one.
"That entry was a total lie."
"I *did* take a shower …"
"I know, I was there, remember? And at no point did you ever make a trip to Oregon."
Sighing, Clark erased the entry and wrote:
Took a shower. Then I meditated.
"Is that better?" Clark asked.
"Sort of …"
Put out a forest fire. Was asked to be the new Fire Safety Awareness Spokesperson. Apparently children these days have no respect for Smokey Bear. Children throw pies at me, I told them. Keep Smokey. The bear is cool.
Flew back to Metropolis. Put out a hotel fire, solved a traffic jam, and bought another jelly doughnut. This time, I was actually able to eat it.
Helped to negotiate a peace treaty between Ishkastan and some other country which I am unable to pronounce. Those world leaders … all they do is fight! And swear in their respective languages at each other. They should really be embarrassed.
Found a lost little boy at the corner of Oak and 15th. Located his mother, and the two shared a happy reunion. Rescued a cat out of a tree. The cat scratched me and lost a claw or two. I took it to the vet to make sure it was all right, and now I'm stuck with the vet bill! $54, and all the vet did was look at the cat and say, "This cat will be fine." It's insane!
Got shot while trying to stop a bank robbery. The bullet had a piece of Kryptonite in it, so I know the robbers were expecting me. I hate it when they expect me. If you must know, I fell to the ground and the robbers got away. Someone at the bank found a letter opener and removed the bullet. Thank goodness for letter openers. I am fine now.
Had dinner. Caught a fish out of Hobbs Bay with my bare hands, cooked it over a camp fire and ate it. Even though Hobbs Bay is polluted, I am sure my stomach can handle anything. After all, I've eaten bombs before, and look! I'm still here!
"Caught a fish out of Hobbs Bay?"
"Clark, this is getting ridiculous."
"Can't I embellish a little?"
"I can't believe it. You hated my lasagna so much that you would say you caught a polluted fish?"
"Your lasagna was wonderful, honey! Signature-Lois-blackened and everything!"
"Okay, you can keep the fish thing, but does Superman have a fishing license?"
"Whoops, good point."
Clark erased that entry and instead wrote simply:
Had dinner. Fish.
Lois rolled her eyes.
Attended the second-annual Superhero Awards ceremony. Won for Superhero of the Year. Again. Batman looked pretty ticked off, especially since he's got that new movie coming out and all … Oh well. You win some; you lose some. Eventually, even Batman is going to have to learn that.
Put out another fire. Apparently one of the family's children had sneaked out of bed and had been playing with a lighter. And then, bam! Fire. Big surprise. Anyway, I arrived in time to get everyone out of the house. The last one I rescued was the family dog. The mother was screaming, "Superman, please save Pepper!" (the dog) and the father was screaming, "Superman, you gotta save my baseball cards! Forget the dog!" I thought that was a really mean thing to say, especially in front of those little kids, but I didn't say so. I saved the dog, I saved the baseball cards, I put out the fire. All was well.
Went up to the clouds and meditated again.
"They're going to think you're very … religious or something," Lois commented when she read that. "All that meditating."
"So tell me … what do you think about when you're meditating?" she teased.
"Oh … you, mostly. And sports."
"Well, all right then."
One week after he began the project, Superman took his diary to the mayor and watched as she read the entire thing. When she was finished, the mayor sighed deeply and looked up at Superman.
"Superman, I don't think you'll need to keep a diary anymore," she said.
"Why not?" Superman asked. "I was starting to enjoy it."
"Because this is the most boring thing I've ever read. You're a total boy scout! Don't you ever get tired of it? Doing all that *good* all the time… doesn't it ever exhaust you?"
"Aside from the public hazard of not properly disposing of jelly doughnuts and the fact that meditating up in the clouds may pose a danger to low-flying planes, you seem to be handling yourself very responsibly."
Superman opened his mouth to say something, but the mayor waved him away. "Go," she said. "Save some more cats out of trees. The only reason I wanted you to keep a diary was for public safety. After reading your diary, I know the public is very safe."
Superman nodded and turned to leave.
"Um … one more thing," the mayor said.
"Yes?" Superman asked.
"Those jelly doughnuts you wrote about … you wouldn't mind bringing me one, would you?"
Superman let himself out of the mayor's office and left the building. Once out on the cement steps, he looked heavenward.
"Insane!" he whispered. "Everyone on Earth is completely insane!"
Then he headed home to Lois.