By Lynn S. M. <lois_and_clark_fan_at_verizon.net — replace _at_ with appropriate symbol>
Submitted June 2014
Summary: Clark can give himself a good haircut now, but that wasn’t always the case. How did teenage-Clark learn to deal with his newly invulnerable hair?
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Standard disclaimer: The only character I own here is Clarissa; all other belong to Warner Bros and DC Comics.
I flew without a net on this story; it was not beta-read.
It was a pleasant evening at the senior Kents’ farmhouse. Lois was in the living room looking through some old photo albums with her husband and mother-in-law. Jonathan was in the dining room drawing shapes on colored construction paper for his granddaughter Clarissa to cut out and paste onto a large white sheet of the sturdy paper.
Lois turned a page in a photo album, then turned back to the previous page. “Clark looks at least a year older in these pictures than in those. Did you really go that long without taking a single picture?”
Lois took in Clark’s look of embarrassment and Martha’s giggle. “Oh, honey, there’s a story behind that. You know this was right when Clark was starting to get extra strong. You noticed that his hair was getting to be a bit long in the last few pictures? That was when his hair had just become invulnerable. I kept breaking scissor blades when I tried to cut it.”
Clark chimed in, “Yeah. That was a tough time. I started getting teased at school for having such long hair, but we couldn’t do anything about it. I begged Mom not to take any pictures of me; my hair started to look like a mullet, and then just got worse as time went on.”
Lois was curious, “What happened? I mean, you obviously found a solution eventually, but how did you?”
Clark answered, “A few months after that last picture, I started setting fires with my eyes.” He shuddered. “Mom and Dad had the patience of saints with me then. Dad had me practicing lighting bales of hay on fire with my eyes and then blowing them out with my breath. At least I came with my own built-in fire extinguisher.
“Anyway, one time while waiting for Dad to join me outside, I had been curious about what my eyes looked like when I had my heat vision on, so I looked at myself in the tractor’s mirror.”
Lois interrupted, “Clark! What if you had burned out your retinas in the reflection?”
Clark nodded soberly, “Yeah, Mom asked me that question, too. I was lucky, really lucky. I hadn’t thought things through.” Clark made a visible effort to turn from such grim contemplations. “Anyway, as I was looking at myself, I happened to glance up a little and I seared my bangs. That gave me the idea to try to cut my own hair with my heat vision. I quickly scrounged a spare mirror from the old tool shed and with the pair of mirrors went straight to work.”
Martha burst out laughing. Even Jonathan, who had been listening in on the conversation, couldn’t resist a chuckle at that. He called in, “Well, you did give yourself a haircut no one in Smallville is ever likely to forget.”
Clark grimaced. “Don’t remind me.”
Lois leaned forward, her journalist’s news-sense tingling. “Oh? Do tell!”
Clark answered sheepishly, “It was pretty bad. My bangs went uphill at first, so I burned off the ends of the longer ones to try to even them out, but I took too much off of that side, so I had to shorten the other side some more. Pretty soon, my bangs were only about an inch long. And the bangs were the easy part; I only needed one mirror for them. I learned from my mistakes with them and just settled for a very uneven look in back.
“I refused to go to school for a week. No amount of cajoling on Mom or Dad’s part would get me off the farm. I had thought I was teased a lot when my hair had been long, but that was nothing compared with the teasing I got when I finally did return to school.”
Lois asked Martha, “He played hooky for a week? And you let him?”
“I did try to get him to go to school, but I really hadn’t the heart to push too much. He had tried so hard to get his new haircut to look good, and yet the end result did look pretty silly. My heart went out to him.”
“Aw, honey… No wonder you didn’t let your Mom take any pictures of you then. How did you get the courage to give yourself another haircut?”
“I almost didn’t. I had pretty much decided that a pony tail would be better than another ‘haircut by Clark.’ Then a package Dad had mail-ordered came and he told me to open it. In it were ten wigs he had ordered for me to practice on. The first few — the relatively short-haired ones — he had me cut while they were on top of the wig-holder head Dad had also bought. Then we moved on to my wearing the extra-long-haired women’s wigs and trimming an inch at a time off of them. I did get better with the wigs, but even then, I might not have found the courage were it not for one of his patented pep talks.”
Jonathan chimed in, “I’ve heard you with Clarissa. You’re getting to be pretty good with your own pep talks, son.”
The girl in question dropped down from the kitchen chair she had been sitting on and ran over to Martha flourishing the paper she had been working on. “Look, Nana, a house! I made it just for you.” On the white paper was a rectangular piece of red paper representing the body of the house. Pasted above the rectangle was a blue triangular roof which sported a smaller red rectangle for the chimney. The house was completed with a black rectangular door and hand-drawn, four-paned windows.
“Oh, honey, that’s lovely. I’ll hang it up on the refrigerator.”
Jonathan stood up to join the others in the living room. “She takes after you, Martha.”
It was time to start Clarissa’s bedtime routine, so the photo albums were put aside for the evening.
Lois awoke alone the next morning; Clark had mentioned that he planned to do a morning patrol in Metropolis so that no one would suspect Superman’s absence. She heard Clarissa playing downstairs. After throwing on a robe, she went down to check on their daughter. As she entered the living room, she saw Clarissa holding onto her child’s extra-dull-bladed safety scissors. The girl’s hair was lopsided and ragged, and follicles covered the floor.
“Look, Mom. I cut my own hair, just like Daddy!”
Apparently Clark’s photo album wouldn’t be the only one with photos missing due to a bad haircut. “Just like Daddy,” indeed.