Burning the Midnight Coffee: A Plot Un-Twist Challenge Vignette

By Paul-Gabriel Wiener <pgwfolc@netscape.net>

Rated: G

Submitted: May 2003

Summary: What would have happened if Wayne Irig had talked to the Kents before sending out his meteor sample for testing? Find out in this tongue-in-cheek response to Hazel's Plot Un-twist Challenge.

A plot un-twist of "The Green Green Glow of Home."

Author's note: This is a response to the "plot un-twist" challenge posted on Zoomway's message boards by Hazel. The idea is relatively simple: pick a moment from the show, preferably the teaser for one of the episodes, and change things so that the A-plot unravels in a hopefully humorous way.


It was a dark and stormy night. Well, most nights are dark, especially in rural areas, where you don't have streetlights and house lights and things. This one was especially dark, though, because the storm clouds blocked the moonlight. On the other hand, there were flashes of lightning, so the storm did give some light back. Oh, and there were headlights, too. From a car.

The car was moving, as cars do (well, when there's someone in them driving, anyway), down a road. This particular road led to the farmhouse of Jonathan and Martha Kent. Obviously, the road went other places, too, but none of those places were where the car was going. On this trip, in any case.

When the car reached the end of the Kents' driveway, the man inside it turned it off and got out. He carried with him a metal toolbox. Fortunately for him, he was close to the Kents' house, which was taller than he was and also had a lightning rod. He and the toolbox made their way to the front door, and then, not pausing to wipe his muddy feet on the doormat, he proceeded to knock.

The knock, unlike the headlights and the noise of an approaching vehicle, drew the attention of the aforementioned Jonathan Kent, who was, of course, inside the house.

Jonathan opened the door, noted the weather, the identity of the visitor, and the fact that he was carrying a toolbox. Immediately surmising the purpose of the visit, he called to his wife. "Martha, it's Wayne Irig. Put on some coffee." Then, turning back to Wayne, he said, "Come on in."

Wayne, who, as it happens, had not trudged out in the pouring rain with a metal toolbox to get a cup of coffee, shook his head. Then, to prove that he really didn't want the coffee (and that he enjoyed standing outside during thunderstorms), he said, "Better out here."

Jonathan, at a loss for ways to be a proper host without coffee, grabbed his coat and stepped outside. "What brings you out on a night like this?"

"Not coffee," thought Wayne, though he was kind enough not to say so. "You know that big oak tree I got out back?" he asked instead. "Well, Tuesday's storm blew it right out of the ground."

This bit of information made things much clearer for Jonathan. "Need some help chopping it up?"

Wayne, who did not, for some reason, feel like chopping up a downed tree in the middle of a thunderstorm, replied, "No, uh-uh." Then, he lifted the toolbox, bringing it back to Jonathan's attention. "I found something under that tree — a rock — and I don't think it's safe to keep around. I was going to send it out to a lab for testing, but I didn't want to go to the trouble… the long distance calls, packing it up, mailing it out… and who knows what they would have done. Thought you might have an idea." So saying, Wayne opened the toolbox. Inside was a glowing green rock.

"Wayne, when a rock is glowing green like that, it's usually radioactive. I'd get rid of it. You can call the EPA."

"And have them crawling all over my farm, digging everything up, maybe even throwing me out of my home? I don't think so."

"Well, then, put it in a lead box and bury it in some abandoned corner of your land. That's pretty much what I did with Clark's — uh, never mind."

"Good idea, Jonathan. Thanks."

"Sure, no problem. You want some coffee?"

Wayne felt like saying, "Jonathan, if you offer me coffee in the middle of the night one more time, there's going to be a heat wave somewhere unpleasant," but decided against it. After all, Jonathan was a friend, and besides, if he was to follow through, he'd end up behind steel bars. Instead, he thanked Jonathan again and drove off.

The next day, he found an old lead box, put the strange rock inside, and buried it out in that abandoned patch of land that had once belonged to Gene "Old Man" Shuster. No one ever saw it again.