Written after reading the latest Showcase Presents: Superman Family collection.
(Bar at the Metropolis Press Club. Midday, midweek, June, 1958. Reporter 1 sits at a stool. Reporter 2 comes up, sits next to him, signals the bartender.)
REPORTER 2: Martini please, Eddie. Extra dry.
REPORTER 1: Hey, Mike.
REPORTER 2: Hey, Hanretty. (takes drink) Thanks. Could I get a burger, too? Medium-well? Thanks. So, how's tricks over at the Star-Sentinel?
REPORTER 1: Pretty good. How about over at the Planet?
REPORTER 2: Same as usual. Chasing down a story on the "Gloves" Moretti mob. Thought I'd stop in for lunch.
REPORTER 1: Yeah, same. Oh- hey... haven't seen you in a couple of weeks. Looks like I might be getting the foreign correspondent assignment.
REPORTER 2: Say, that's great! Congratulations- hey, Eddie! His next one's on me, okay? So, when do you start?
REPORTER 1: Looking like June. There'll be a couple more meetings, but Lewis says it's pretty much mine.
REPORTER 2: That's just great. Wow- foreign correspondent. That's a hell of a beat.
REPORTER 1: I know, I know.
REPORTER 2: How'd you do with the tests?
REPORTER 1: Tests?
REPORTER 2: Yeah- you know, with everyone pretending not to know you.
REPORTER 1: I'm sorry?
REPORTER 2: Come on- where you come into the office one morning, everyone pretends not to know you, someone else is sitting at your desk... you go home, your apartment's got some other guy in it, your stuff is in storage?
REPORTER 1: I... ah... I just asked Lewis about it, he took it up with the managing editor, who talked it over with the editor in chief...
REPORTER 2: Really? Superman didn't clear out your apartment and hire an actor to live there?
REPORTER 1: Superman? Why would-
REPORTER 2: To give you the cold shoulder bit, really sell it.
REPORTER 1: What?
REPORTER 2: Yeah, we all did it to Jimmy Olsen last week, to see how he'd hold up, if he'd figure it out. It's all so you won't be trapped by (looks around, whispers) spies.
REPORTER 1: ...
REPORTER 2: It was tough, getting the whole staff to play along, but you know, when it's friggin' Superman, you tend to listen, you know?
REPORTER 1: Right. No, uh... they just, uh, looked over my clips.
REPORTER 2: Huh. Well, if that's the way they want to run your paper over there...
REPORTER 1: Uh, yeah.
REPORTER 2: (looks at watch, to bartender) Hey- you know what? I'd better get that burger to go. I've gotta get hustling on that deadline. Tomorrow, we're ceasing publication for a week- the whole paper's staff is playing themselves in a Superman movie out in Hollywood. Anyway, congrats on that foreign correspondent job. See you in a week! (leaves)
REPORTER 1: Yeah, thanks. (to himself) And that's why they have the lowest circulation in town. (to bartender) Another scotch rocks, please.