By Mary "Queen of the Capes" Potts <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: March 2005
Summary: Flying penguins, Elvis and a llama — can a day get any more weird? A Scavenger Hunt Challenge Response.
A response to Hatman's scavenger hunt challenge on the boards [http://www.lcficmbs.com/cgi-bin/boards/ultimatebb.cgi?].
Lois's week was *not* off to a good start. For starters, her Jeep had been totalled on Sunday afternoon while she was innocently following Senator Wiener's Mercedes, and the vehicle they'd given her as a temporary replacement was—well, to put it mildly—laughable. It certainly didn't hold a candle to her Jeep! And the story had been a bust too…it turned out the senator was only going to an art studio to pose for a sculpture of Androclese and the Lion.
To top that off, when she had finally dragged herself to the store to buy grocery (yes I know that word is usually plural, but this is Lois, remember?) the store had been nearly out of cereal. Only *one* box was left on the entire shelf!
Lois poured herself a bowl of Drome-Dairy-Os and then set the box down, glaring at the cheesy cartoon llama on the box as though all of her misery was somehow *its* fault. The llama simply grinned back at her, while a speech bubble speckled with 20 snowflakes hung above its head, advertising iceskates with 3 proofs of purchase. She flipped the box around so she could pretend she was eating a normal, adult, llama-free cereal…and was promptly confronted with a childish game on the back. Text surrounded by a border speckled with 30 snowflakes told children to look at the large snowflakes below and circle the one that was somehow different. It wasn't really a challenge, since there were only 3 and one of them was blue.
Sighing, Lois tossed the box back in the cabinet. Then she poured on her milk and fished in the drawer for a…fork? No, she didn't want a fork. Lois tossed the fork away, then reached back into the drawer and pulled out a…fork. What the—?
Lois set aside her cereal and pulled the drawer completely out. Fork…fork…fork…knife…fork…knife…pancake-flipping- thingy (Clark must have left that…) Grrr! Where were all the spoons?!
She went through the kitchen, searching in all the drawers and cabinets. This was ridiculous! She might not be the most domesticated person on earth, but at least she had spoons!!!
Fork…fork…screwdriver…fork…coupon for Jalepeno Swirl ice- cream…fork…
Lois slammed the last drawer shut and returned to her cereal. It was soggy.
Her stomach was growling as she climbed into her Stutz Bearcat and pulled out onto the road. Lois shook her fist at the little children who'd gathered to point and laugh at her car. Oy, how she missed her Jeep!
But, of course, fate was not through with her yet.
"Oh, *now* what?"
Traffic was at a complete stand-still. Lois looked out over the sea of cars and noticed that the traffic light ahead was flashing the colors rapidly and in random order. Apparently, the stupid traffic light was busted, and the police had not arrived to direct the traffic yet. MPD efficiency, for you! Well, it looked like she was going to be here for a while…
Lois got out of the car and crossed over to the sidewalk, ignoring the rude people honking at her. She didn't want anyone at the Planet to see her driving that thing, anyway.
Half-way to work, though, Lois heard a 'plop' and felt something wet running down the side of her head. Praying that it was a very, very large raindrop, Lois looked up and saw…
There were two others, and they were accompanied by a man in an Elvis costume. As they floated downward, 'Elvis' gathered the penguins together and was apparently going to attempt to juggle them when, suddenly, a kite caught in his parachute, tearing it.
Elvis began plummeting to earth, penguins quacking frantically! He surely would have been street pizza if a blur of red and blue had not swooped from the sky and caught him. Superman floated Elvis and his penguins down to the ground, and then took off with a whoosh. At least *somebody* in Metropolis was doing their job! Speaking of which…
It took longer than she'd hoped to reach the planet building, but Lois wasn't too worried. Superman rescuing an Elvis full of Penguins in midair would be an interesting enough story to hold off Perry until she could get a *real* scoop. As she approached the building, though, Lois couldn't shake off the feeling that something was wrong. She turned to look at the building more closely—
—and nearly fell over! The classic globe adorning her hallowed work place had been removed, and in its place was a large statue of the Drome-Dairy-Os llama!
Lois closed her eyes and told herself not to panic. There had to be a logical, perfectly sane reason for this, and she would ask Perry about it when she got inside.
Then she would kill him.
She took a deep breath to steady herself, then entered the building, pointedly looking away from Lucky the Llama. The elevator took its sweet time in taking her to her floor, so that by the time she disembarked, she was in full Mad Dog Lane mode—
—and had just bumped into a six-foot cat.
"Hey, watch it!" the tabby snapped, then recoiled into the fetal position as Lois politely pointed out that she had the right of way.
A muscular black cat in a bow tie walked up to her. "Hey, gorgeous! Want to go somewhere and play The Suave Tom and the Naughty—"
Lois made her way to her desk as the black cat went to the men's room to attend to his eye. There were at least a dozen more people in cat suits and ballet slippers between her and the bullpen. When she finally reached her desk, she found Jimmy sitting in her chair with his feet up, reading a Black Canary comic-book.
The young photographer fell out of his—her—seat and scrambled to stand up. "Lois! Uh, hi!"
Lois glared at him. "Jimmy, what's going on? *Why* are you sitting at my desk and *why* is there a statue of the stupid llama from my cereal where the Planet globe should be and *why on Earth* are there people in cat suits running around the news room?!"
Jimmy swallowed. "Okay, well—the llama, I found out from Perry—apparently, the Planet's been having a little financial trouble, and the suits upstairs decided to—ah, sell more advertising space. Shocked me, too."
Lois stared at him in disbelief.
"As for the dancers, they're the chorus from the MetroPlayers production of Cats. Cat Grant's interviewing them about the bombing that took out the star's dressing room. The forensics said it was a really unusual explosive—they found traces of carbon, boron, krypton, and dish soap…"
"Jimmy, why would Cat bring an entire broadway chorus into the newsroom? Why not just meet them at the theater?"
Jimmy shrugged. "I don't know, Lois. I'm just the photographer! I guess they're worried about more bombs or something. Anyway, I've got to—ah, go get something for Perry. See ya!" Jimmy ran away before she could protest.
Lois snorted and booted up her computer. She was half-way through typing up the Superman rescue when Clark walked up.
Her response was a low growl.
"Good morning to you too. What are you working on?"
Lois shrugged. "I saw Superman rescue somebody on my way to work, so I figured the story would buy me some grace from Perry for coming in a little late. Frankly, I'm surprised he hasn't already come out to tear my head off. Guess he's busy right now."
What was with the look on Clark's face? "Uh, Lois? This Superman rescue you're writing about…did it involve penguins?"
Lois stopped typing. "Yes…" She spun around to face him. "Why?"
Clark tugged at his collar and swallowed. "I sort of already turned that story in."
"WHAT?!" Lois jumped to her feet. "I don't believe this— First I can't find my spoons! Then I get pooped on by a *penguin* on my way to work! My Jeep is totalled, I'm being followed by a cartoon llama, a man in a cat suit hit on me, and to top that off, *you* scoop me on a story that you weren't even there to see! How do you do it, Kent?! How do you manage to corner the market on these things?!"
Clark was getting nervous. "Well, I—"
"What is it? Does Superman like you more than me for some reason?" Her jaw suddenly went slack. "Oh my—! He's gay, isn't he!"
Her partner's eyes bulged. "What?"
"I don't believe this!" Lois threw her hands up. "I should have seen this! He has the hots for you, doesn't he!"
"Lois—um, that's not—"
"That explains everything! Great. Just makes my day perfect; doesn't it. The cherry on the sundae: I find out that the man I have a crush on has a crush on my male partner!
"Lois, my office, now!"
She sighed. "Coming, Perry."
She could use the time off, maybe get a little work done on her novel. Of course, she still thought Perry was being unreasonable, but maybe he had a point. She really was under a lot of stress lately.
Lois finished drying her hair just in time to take the spaghetti out of the microwave. When she was almost done eating, a delivery man knocked on the door.
That was probably the cake. As she was leaving, Clark had said something about sending her a cake to explain everything, and would she please not kill him.
Lois signed for the cake and closed the door, leaving the man tipless. The tag said it was chocolate. Well, that was good. Perhaps the first good thing that happened all day!
She set the box on the table and opened the lid, revealing a chocolate frosted cake.
Something was written on it in red, yellow, and blue icing:
HE'S NOT GAY
Lois stared at the sugary inscription.
The next day, Clark got hit in the face with a chocolate frosted cake.