By Carol M <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: August 2001
Summary: When Lois and Clark considered adoption as a possible alternative, they had to undergo an evaluation from the county office. Lois has some choice things to say about County Worker Bailey's completed evaluation.
On the list one day, someone mentioned that Lois got a 19 on the evaluation by the adoption worker while Clark got a 98 and wouldn't it be interesting to see exactly where the points came from. So I went with it. Any errors in addition are purely mine. Thanks go to Missy for her help with categories (especially watering plants!*BG*) and encouragement. Thanks also go to the readers who commented and encouraged.
The characters aren't mine. If they were I would be the person with money and influence, but sadly I am not!
"I don't believe this."
Lois paced angrily around the conference room.
"This is ridiculous."
Clark had learned through years of hard experience that it was best to just let Lois rant until she was willing to listen to reason.
He wasn't sure she'd ever be ready this time.
She waved the paper under his nose.
"A 19. I got a 19 on this stupid scale."
"No, Clark, I am not going to calm down. This is absolutely crazy. I DO NOT dangle above the jaws of death like an hor- d'oeuvre."
"Lois, you *do* have a penchant for getting in trouble."
"It looks for me — I DO NOT look for it. I get 5 points for being a U. S. citizen. I get 2 more points for being a college graduate, 4 for having a steady job, 2 for being married, 3 for being in the 'prime age range', 2 for income level — which is one more than you got by the way — and 1 for having *good posture*! This is absolutely crazy!"
"Don't 'honey' me, Clark. What if we took a look at your list? Hmmm?"
"No, seriously. You got points for being a U. S. citizen." She raised an eyebrow at him. "You, technically, can NOT be a U. S. citizen. You weren't born here and your parents certainly aren't U. S. citizens. Heck, they aren't even citizens of the world."
"I wonder how many other points you'd lose, if they knew all about you." She picked up the other sheet of paper off the table. "Eagle Scout is worth 2 points, but they don't allow aliens, so you couldn't have really done that."
"No, Clark. I'm going to look at this." She quickly perused the piece of paper. "I CAN'T believe some of the stuff you got points for. Digging for worms — 1 point. Boiling water and knowing how to use a toaster — 1 point each. Ability to deal with delicate conversations — 3 points. And do you want to know what the note about that says? Grew up on the farm and is more likely to tell the truth about the birds and the bees."
"Uh, Lois — I *have* seen cows and other animals give birth."
"So what? You also won't cheat at games with child — 2 points. Like I would?" Clark raised an eyebrow. "How exactly do you cheat at hopscotch? I mean really. What? Like I'd play favorites playing red light/green light? Or mother may I?"
"Well, you have been known to cheat at solitaire."
"So what? It's SOLITAIRE, for crying out loud!" She looked back at the list. Her voice grew in volume. "You get FIVE points for not dangling above the jaws of death?!!!! It's an actual category?! If only they knew what Kryptonite does to you!"
Clark cringed and looked around nervously. "Uh, Lois. Would you mind keeping it down? The deaf man down the street heard you."
The only reply he got was a glare as she continued. "Six points for travelling the world." She began mumbling under her breath. "Wonder if they checked old airline logs to see exactly how you got there."
"Three points for being a good dresser and two more for taste in clothes. The note says you have excellent taste in ties. Wonder if she actually looked at any of them?"
"They aren't that bad!"
It was Lois' turn to raise an eyebrow.
"What? They're not."
"You get four points for multiple languages." More mumbling. "Like you'd be able to pick them up if you were actually human."
"You get 3 points for compassion based on your articles and crusades for the underprivileged. I can see that. Two points for being adopted. I guess that's understandable. Two more points for perfect teeth." She stood in front of Clark's chair and stuck her face in his. "What's wrong with my teeth?"
"I didn't get points for perfect teeth. Why not?"
"Do you have cavities?"
"There you go." He smiled. "No cavities."
"Even your teeth are invulnerable! And the smile? Ready smile that lights up a room gets you another point." She rolled her eyes. "What is it with women and your smile? It'll be legendary before long."
"It already is."
Clark shrugged. "I overhear things."
Lois wasn't paying attention. "ORGANIZED SOCK DRAWER?! You get TWO points for sock organization? What's the deal?"
"I do have very organized socks."
She ignored him as she went on down the list. "And you can do laundry without turning everything pink. That gets you another 3 points. Like I can't do laundry? Who turned all of his white shirts pink by washing his cape with them? Sure wasn't me! In fact, I didn't even know you were Superman yet."
"Isn't bitter gets you 3 points. OH, and not only did you get points for being able to boil water and use a toaster, but you get 2 MORE points for being a good cook."
Clark tried to pull her into his lap to settle her down, only to have her wrench her arm away.
"REMEMBERS TO WEAR PANTS?!"
"I get points for that?"
"You get points because you wear pants." She threw her hands up. "I give up."
Clark took the paper from her and looked at it more carefully. "Lois, it says 'remembers to water plants', not 'remembers to wear pants'. Three points."
"Oh." She grabbed the paper back and looked at it. "Right. Water plants. Facial expressions — total of 4 points. Two for being a 'god in glasses' and 2 for having big puppy eyes the color of chocolate. It also says 'see smile notes'." She rolled her eyes again before she started shrieking again. "Doesn't leave nasty notes on badly parked cars — 3 points. I haven't left a nasty note on a badly parked car in…"
"Lois…" There was a warning in Clark's tone.
She rolled her eyes. "At least a week."
"No baldness on your side of the family gets you one point. But you're adopted so it really doesn't matter. Uses exceptional vocabulary including not making up words like 'chumpy' is worth another 2 points. 'Chumpy' should be a word, you know. If someone is a chump then he is chumpy. That's all there is to it."
Clark just sat there and rolled his eyes. He'd been keeping track of the points and they had to be almost done.
"Well, here's poetic justice."
"You didn't get any points for eyesight. Perfect eyesight was worth two points and you got none. If they only knew…"
"You get ten points under toleration. Three points for working well with difficult people," her voice rose an octave. "…like his wife! I am *not* difficult to work with."
"Uh, not for me to work with but you do have a habit of making life difficult for others."
She glared at him. "You also get 3 points for a high level of toleration of nincompoops like Ralph."
Clark raised an eyebrow. "It actually says nincompoops?"
She glared at him again. "No, it says toleration of coworkers. I inserted the nincompoops like Ralph part. The other four points come for a generally sunny disposition. You're starting to sound like Mary Poppins you know. 'Practically perfect in every way'."
"Lois, this is just one person's interpretation."
"I'd like to get her tape measure to use on you. And to think — you wouldn't even need the umbrella to fly."
"You also get two points for 'watching macho Mel Gibson movies without turning all macho and willingness to watch chick flicks'. And 2 more points for admitting to displaying awards. I admit to displaying my awards." Lois was indignant.
"Only under duress."
"Lois, what this lady says doesn't really matter. I know that you'll make a wonderful mother someday and that's all that really matters, isn't it?"
Lois looked at the last item on the list and spoke softly. "Five points for coming from a non-dysfunctional family." Tears welled up in her eyes. "I know my family isn't the best, but can't I learn from their mistakes? Why does it have to be something negative?"
Clark wrapped his arms around his wife and pulled her close. "I know, honey. You'll be great, I promise."
"Thanks, Clark." She wrapped her arms around his waist. "And thank you for being there for me. And loving me."
"I'll always love you, even if we never have children, naturally or adopted."
"But it's my fault we can't adopt."
"And it's mine that we can't have kids. So we're even."
"It's not about being even."
"I know. I love you, Lois, and that's all that really matters."
"I know, Clark. And I love you, too."
They stood there for a long time before turning to face the rest of the world.
And that was all that really mattered.
Point breakdown — for those who care! I'll let you figure out whose list is whose.
4 steady job
2 eagle scout
3 work with difficult people
2 perfect teeth
1 easy smile
2 sock organization
2 god in glasses
3 no nasty notes on cars
2 eyes — puppy dog, chocolate
2 admits displaying awards
2 not cheat at games
3 level of toleration
5 no dangling above the jaws of death
1 no baldness
1 toaster usage
2 vocabulary — no words like 'chumpy'
3 communication on delicate matters — grew up on farm
4 sunny disposition
3 good dresser
2 taste in clothes/ties
2 general cooking ability
3 toleration of coworkers
1 ability to boil water
2 macho movies/chick flicks
1 dig for worms
3 remembers to water plants
0 perfect eyesight
5 non-dysfunctional family
4 steady job