By Natalie Fox <Scribe1984@yahoo.com>
Submitted: January 2009
Summary: When Sesame Street needs help, who do they call? Superman, of course!
Story Size: 6,129 words (32Kb as text)
Read in other formats: Text | MS Word | OpenOffice | PDF | Epub | Mobi
Got this little idea while watching the show with my niece, and then hearing about budget problems and all that stuff going on with public broadcasting. It’s been on the air so long; I’d hate to see the quality diminish.
As usual, I don’t own Superman or Sesame Street or anything affiliated with them. Wish I did.
“Excuse me? I don’t believe what I just heard!” exclaimed Lois as she shut the oven door.
“Well, that’s how it happened, Lois,” Clark said as he took in the sight of the hopelessly blackened casserole. Lois also eyed the ruined concoction. “And I can’t believe what I think I’m seeing. Honey, my super-vision wouldn’t be able to figure out what that was!”
“Uh-uh, Flyboy. You were just off rescuing a cat from a tree, and you know how well I mix with kitchens; don’t try to change the subject! Now, what’s all this about going on national television?” Lois stared at Clark as he shifted uncomfortably, leaning back against the counter. How could this woman make him feel pressure even his super strength couldn’t push away?
“A director of Sesame Street contacted Superman through me at the Planet, and he wanted to know if I could make an appearance. I told him I’d ask him, and a little while later I called him back and said yes.”
“You could have let me in on this decision, you know,” said Lois as she finished scraping the burnt remnants that could no longer be called food into one of the “Lois’s Nuclear Experiment” bags Clark had bought her as a gag gift.
“So many people are going to see your face. It only takes one to recognize you.”
“I know that, but I’m going to keep it within my Superman persona. Besides, plenty of people have seen both my identities and they haven’t caught on, or at least haven’t mentioned that they’ve caught on. I think it’ll be cute, and besides, it’s for a good cause.”
Before Lois could reply, an ear-piercing wail split the air. Not wanting to further startle the sobbing infant, Clark hovered over to the crib, his red cape barely scraping the carpet, and gently picked up the squirming bundle.
“It’s okay, buddy,” Clark whispered, “Daddy’s here.”
At thirteen months, Calvin Kent looked just like his father. However, his usual sweet, calm demeanor was occasionally transformed into what Lois affectionately called the “Lane Heat.”
“What’s all the screaming about, huh?” asked Clark as he brought his son into the kitchen.
Lois waited with open arms as Clark handed the baby to her. “Hey there, Cal. Are you hungry?” Both Lois and Cal turned as they felt a breeze and saw Clark adjusting his shirt collar back in his regular clothes.
“Hey, Lo, how about I feed Cal and warm up some edible food while you throw out that disaster?”
Lois hurumphed as she handed Cal back to Clark and went to throw the volatile bag into the trash can outside. As Clark stirred up some green beans, he thought back on the conversation he had with the Sesame Street director.
Clark reached for the phone on the third ring, “Clark Kent.”
“Ah, Mr. Kent, it’s nice to get a hold of you so soon. My name is Frank Oz and I am one of the directors of Sesame Street.”
“Yes, Mr. Oz, how can I help you?”
“It is relatively well known that you are a friend of Superman’s, and well, we’re hoping that you’d be able to contact him for us.”
“Well, sure,” Clark offered, “but may I ask why?”
“It’s for publicity, really. I’d rather leave it at that. We kind of want to keep it low key right now. Please, can you contact him?”
“I’ll do my best. It’s nearing my lunch break so I can try looking for him now.”
“Thank you, Mr. Kent. I’ll be looking forward to his call.”
After writing down the number and exchanging farewells, Clark leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. “What would they need Superman for on Sesame Street?” He got an image of him waving a large, brightly colored banner stating “I LOVE SESAME STREET!” and grimaced. “No, that can’t be right…I hope.” For a while he remembered watching it as a kid, bringing back memories of sitting on his sofa with his mother or father and seeing appearances by great people like Julie Andrews, Perry Como, and tons of other big name celebrities. “Can they want me for that? But what could they possibly do with me?”
Clark sat forward in his chair, staring into space. “Should I do it?” Funding was getting cut, and it was such a worthwhile show… Clark set a determined face, walked into the empty conference room, and glancing around to make sure no one was within hearing distance, made the call.
“Hello, this is the office of Frank Oz. How may I help you?” asked a bubbly secretary.
“Hello, this is Superman. I believe Mr. Oz has been trying to contact me.”
“Oh, yes! One moment please while I connect you.”
“Here goes nothing,” muttered Clark as he paced the room, waiting to be transferred.
“Superman! I’m so glad Mr. Kent was able to find you so quickly. We’re in dire need of your assistance.”
“Dire need? I thought you just wanted me for something?”
“Oh, yes, yes. However, the sooner we can have you on, as a guest appearance, is the sooner we can hopefully obtain more funding. It is limited, you know.”
“Yes, I am quite aware of that fact. What may I do for you?” As Clark listened to Frank’s ideas and suggestions, he let out a quiet chuckle. The idea sounded interesting, and he was sure it would be quite a memory.
Lois and Clark ate their supper in relative silence when Lois finally broke out, “So when are you taping?”
“Uh, Frank said they needed it ASAP, so I’m supposed to actually go tomorrow,” Clark stated sheepishly.
“Tomorrow?” Lois exclaimed, “Wow, that leaves plenty of time for planning. I guess I can bring Cal with me. I just have a little shopping to do.”
“Thank you, sweetheart. I…well, I could reschedule if you have things you need to do?” Clark suggested with his best lost-puppy look.
“Clark, you know I don’t like that look. I can never say no to it, and I think Cal is catching on to it, too. Besides, as you said, it is for a good cause. I mean, Calvin watches it a lot, and either you or I watch it with him. Well, who am I kidding, we both watch it with him. And he does actually watch it everyday, though I have to say that it’s you who watches it most with him. It’s really cute watching the two of you bond over puppets, but who can resist? Those furry monsters are so cute, and the skits make you laugh. I wonder who makes up those skits, though. I guess you’ll find out tomorrow when…mmm!” Lois stopped abruptly, the chocolate cake Clark had previously made suddenly appearing in front of her.
“I thought that might work.” Clark laughed at her babbling. He quickly cut two pieces and handed one to Lois. “Here’s to Sesame Street,” said Clark as he lifted a heaping forkful.
“Here, here.” Lois smiled, lifting her own fork. “And to your adventure tomorrow!”
The Kent family rose early the next morning. Clark made breakfast as Lois got herself and Cal ready for the day. As she walked towards the kitchen, she could hear Clark quietly singing, “Sunny days, keeping the clouds away. On my way to where the air is sweet! Oh, can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?”
“I hope you know how to get there,” Lois joked as she put down Cal, “You’re supposed to be there in five minutes.”
“Funny, Lo.” Clark laughed as he spun into the suit. “Here’s breakfast. Bon appetit, and I’ll be home later. If you need me, feel free to scream.” He leaned down, picked up Cal and kissed him good morning as he placed him in his highchair. He then kissed Lois goodbye and supersped off the balcony and into the clouds.
Clark landed with that ‘swoosh thump’ sound he loved so much. It let people know he was there, so he didn’t feel like he was sneaking up on someone.
“Superman!” The cast and crew cried as they saw him approach.
“I’m so glad you could make it today,” said Frank as he walked up to Superman to shake his hand. “Everyone was so excited when they heard you were coming.”
After introductions were made, Frank escorted Clark to “the wall” set where the Bert and Ernie puppets sat.
“Okay, Superman, I’m going to leave you with Sonia, here. If you don’t know, she portrays Maria on the show, and she’ll be the director of your skit as well as your official tour guide. This is the script of the scene and here is where your skit will be, but we thought that perhaps, this being your first time here, that you would like to see how some of our other skits are performed, and then you can do yours later. If you think you’ll have the time?”
“That sounds fine, barring any emergencies. Thank you.”
As the day progressed, Clark was able to meet and speak to all the actors under the outfits from his childhood memories, Big Bird, Snuffy, Oscar, the two headed monster, Telly, and other new ones that he’d seen with Cal.
While walking around, Clark happened to look up and he saw something wrapped in a big, pink blanket hanging from the ceiling. “What’s that?” he asked.
“Oh, you mean our Big Pink Moon?” Sonia laughed. “That’s actually the Snuffy costume. It takes two people to maneuver it, and it’s way too big to fit into our regular storage, so they hang it from the ceiling! I know, the first time I saw it, I thought it was odd too.”
Almost too soon, the group was back at the wall, and it was time for his skit.
Clark turned to Sonia with a “now what” face. Sonia smiled, “All right, here’s the gist of the skit. Super-Grover is going to be flying and he’s going to see Bert start to slip off the wall. We are going to show Grover diving to catch him, and that’s where you come in. Thankfully, we’ve already filmed the part where Grover catches Ernie because that actually takes a lot of wires and maneuvering to get it to look right. We’re just going to do the basics with you so it’ll look more real and be easier to merge the two films together. So, don’t worry if any of the muppets wobble or anything, just keep going.”
“All right, I know what to say, but what do I do?”
“You’re going to swoop in just as Grover catches him and you’ll land in front of the wall. Then we go with the script from there, and just follow the puppeteers queues. Don’t worry about all the cameras. We’re going to be using a bunch at once so we can get the close-up shots and the full view shots in one take. Does that sound okay for you?”
“That sounds great,” Clark assured her, “Are we going to start now?”
“Yup! Places everyone! Ready? Action!”
Clark watched as the puppeteers got into position and began. When “Super-Grover” swooped down, Clark went into action.
‘Swoosh thump’ “Wow, Super-Grover, that was some catch!” praised Superman with an awed expression. “You flew down here even faster than me!”
“Oh! Oh! Superman!” Grover swooned. “I did not see you, or I would have let you have some catching practice.” He nodded. “Practice makes perfect you know, and I have caught a lot of cute furry monsters in my time.”
“No, no, that’s okay, Super-Grover. It’s nice to have a fellow crime fighter.”
“That is so nice to know, Superman, but I must be off! I hear Snuffleupagus in trouble near Mr. Hooper’s store. Good day!” Grover flew away with a blue and red swoosh.
“Wow, Superman!,” cried Ernie. “I can’t believe it’s you! And thank you for trying to catch my old pal Bert. ‘Fwoo’,” Ernie exclaimed as he swiped at his forehead, “that was a close call!”
“Yes, it certainly was,” said Superman as he turned to Bert. “Why did you fall off the wall? That’s dangerous!”
“Well, you see, Superman, Ernie and I, we were talking about the ABCs and I guess I just got too excited. Ernie doesn’t think some people need to know the ABCs. Do you know them Superman?”
“Well, I…” Clark started. However, Ernie interrupted with “Bert, he doesn’t need to know his ABCs! He’s Superman! You can just fly around and save people, can’t you? Wouldn’t taking the time to learn your ABCs get in the way of being a Superhero?”
“Well, actually…” Clark again tried to start. However, Bert interrupted, “Of course he needs to know his ABCs! How else could he read? He’d never know what city or county he was in if he couldn’t read a map.”
“Oh, Superman just knows. Don’t you, Superman?”
“Actually, I did have to learn the ABCs. Where I was born, the people didn’t even speak any language that people use on Earth, so when I came to Earth, I had to learn a whole other language.” (Not a complete lie, Clark thought. Krypton probably spoke another language. I was just too young to remember it.)
“See, Ernie? I was right, Superman did have to learn his ABCs.”
“Ernie wasn’t totally wrong. I do fly all around the world, which keeps me pretty busy. But that just means that I’ve had to learn many different languages, and some have their own different kind of ABCs that I had to learn.”
“Wow! So you know all different types of ABCs? And you can speak other languages, like Spanish?”
“How many ABCs do you know, Superman?”
“I know about 637, but there’s a whole lot more than that in the world.”
“Holy Cow! That’s a lot, isn’t it Ernie!”
“Yeah! I guess it is important to know the ABCs. That way, you can read books and learn to speak to lots of different people. Superman, do you want to sing the ABCs with us?”
“I sure would, Ernie. Why don’t you start?”
Clark piped in, “HIJKLMNOP.”
Bert jumped in with, “QRSTUVWXY and Z,” and they all sang, “Now I know my ABCs,” as they pointed to the camera, “next time won’t you sing with me?”
“Gee, that was nice.”
“Oh, yes! Superman, do you know how to speak pigeon?”
“You mean the bird kind of pigeon? I guess I don’t.”
“Hey, maybe next time you come around, Ernie and I can teach you the pigeon song!” said Bert as he started to sing and dance to the beginning lyrics of “Doing the (coo, coo) Pigeon.”
“I’d love that, thanks! Just don’t fall off any more walls, okay?”
“I sure won’t. Thank you again!”
The puppeteers had Ernie and Bert wave as Clark flew up towards the ceiling and out of range of the cameras.
“And cut!” Sonia announced as she strode towards Clark, who had just landed in front of the wall again. “That was perfect! And in one take, that really is amazing. I’m sure the audience will love it, and it means so much to us. We don’t know how to thank you enough.”
“You don’t have to try. This program has been such a big presence in the world for so long, I’m glad that I can help,” explained Clark, humbly. “Just keep the show going for the future children and that will be thanks enough. But if you don’t mind, I do actually need to be going.”
Sonia smiled and explained that it was fine. With cheers from the crew of “Thanks, Superman!” and “Come back soon!” Clark shot off for home.
“Hey, honey. I’m back.” Clark called when he landed in the living room.
“Hey, yourself. How did everything go?”
“It went great. And it was so much fun! How about I tell you all about it over dinner and a movie?”
Lois leaned into Clark’s embrace. She’d missed him all day and now was their chance to have some alone time together. The Planet didn’t seem to need anything, neither the paper nor the world, and Cal was down for the night. Lois kissed Clark quickly and headed for the couch as Clark spun out of the suit.
As Lois walked into the bullpen the next day with her usual mug of coffee, she overheard Ralph and a few other male employees having a good laugh about something. Being ever the curious and tactful reporter, Lois dumped her mug into the closest flowerpot and headed toward the coffee machine situated behind the group of men.
“You’ve got to be kidding me! He’s doing what?”
Lois leaned towards the crowd as the stream of coffee poured into her mug.
“No, really, Sesame Street!” she heard Ralph insist. “He’s going to be singing with a bunch of puppets! I just saw the commercial this morning.”
“Oh man!” Tom from accounting exclaimed. “I have got to see that for myself!”
By this time, Lois’ mug was overflowing and she silently cursed not keeping a closer eye on the warm liquid now running down her hand. She decided that she’d heard enough and silently slipped away and quickly headed towards the bathroom to wash and cool her hand.
“Well, that was worth it,” she thought as she reached for the faucet. “If grown men wanted to watch a children’s show just to see Superman, then families with children will definitely tune in. The ratings should be through the roof and the show will get its funding!”
Walking out of the bathroom, Lois spied her husband across the room. Stalking toward him, she grabbed his arm and dragged a very confused Clark into the conference room, much to the entertainment of the group of men. “Wonder what Lois is up to, now? Give a guy some slack,” they grumbled as they watched the door close.
“Clark!” Lois smiled, “Do yourself a favor and listen to the guys out there with Ralph.”
“Is that why you dragged me in here?”
“Yes, now just do it. I think you’ll be in for a big surprise!”
Sighing, Clark used his keen hearing to eavesdrop on the conversation. His look of slight apathy turned into a look of bafflement. “Why are you having me listen into a conversation about the Victoria Secret Catalog?”
“What? Ewwww! Oh, they must have changed conversation. Well, what they were talking about was watching Superman on Sesame Street. If that group of pigs is going to watch it that means normal families will watch it. And, if Ralph saw you on the commercial and didn’t recognize you, I guess no one will.”
The rest of the day was relatively normal, until Lois heard, “Lane! Kent! In here, now!”
“Yes, Perry?” Lois asked as she walked into Perry’s office.
“Oh,” Lois thought quickly for an excuse for her absent husband, “he’s, ah, out on the street getting people’s reactions to the, ah, senator’s scandal.” She really hoped there was something like that going on, at least.
“Nah, drop that. There have been five of those in the past week alone. Let Cat cover it,” Perry insisted while bowing his head and waving his hands wildly. “What I want to know is people’s reactions to Superman being on Sesame Street.” Perry let out a light chuckle. “It just sounds so ridiculous. But it also sounds like one hell of a story. So grab Clark and switch the story to Superman. Why, him being on that show reminds me of the time Elvis was asked to sing along in this little town kiddie show. Now, the King, he wanted to do it, but when the Colonel got wind of it…”
When Lois sat back down at her desk, she spotted Clark coming out of the closet, adjusting his tie.
“Hi, honey. I miss anything?”
“Yeah. Perry wants us to get people’s reactions to learning about Superman being on Sesame Street on Saturday. And a nice long Elvis story.”
“Superman?” Jimmy jumped in as he walked by. “Hey, all right! I gotta see that! When is it on?”
“Hi, Jimmy.” Clark smiled. “It’s on Saturday at 9:00a.m.”
“Oh wow! Is he gonna sing?”
“Oh, sweet! I gotta see that!” Jimmy repeated as he walked off.
Clark turned his attention back to Lois.
“This is getting bigger than I thought it would. While I was out, I heard so many people talking about it. Now even Perry wants a write up about it?”
“Well, Partner,” Lois smirked, “I guess Superman is just big news nowadays. I’m sure it’ll blow over in a few days. Flying men are just so ordinary and everyday, you know?”
“Real funny, Lois. You want to grab some quotes from people on the way to pick up Cal from daycare?”
“Sounds fine. Let’s go.”
“Good evening, Mrs. Minardi. How was Cal today?”
“Great as usual. He’s very well tempered and just loves those building blocks over there.” She pointed to the corner of the room where Cal was stacking two yellow cardboard blocks.
When Cal looked up, he broke into a wide smile. “Dadda!”
“Hey, Pal!” Clark laughed as he picked up his son. “Oh, Mrs. Minardi. My wife and I are gathering people’s reactions to Superman…”
“Being on Sesame Street? Are you kidding? I already have my VCR programmed. I’m going to tape it and show it to the kids on Monday, and you can quote me on that.”
“Ha!” Clark laughed as he threw his head back slightly. “I bet the kids will love it. Thank you for your quote. We’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Goodnight, Mr. Kent. And bye-bye, Calvin,” called the older lady as Clark shifted Cal to his other shoulder to open the door.
Cal waved and voiced, “Bu-by”
The rest of the week went relatively smoothly for the two reporters. Together, they wrote up the main reaction story and managed to finish up a few side articles they’d been working on. Through the main article, Lois and Clark had learned about grandparents who were excited to watch Sesame Street with their grandchildren. They also heard from ten-year-olds, who at any other time would have venomously denied watching “that sissy baby show,” also excited to watch “for Superman, of course” they had made sure to explain more than once. By the time Friday night came, the city was abuzz with the excitement of seeing their hero on TV.
When Saturday morning arrived, Clark went out on an early patrol, wanting to be back home in time to watch the show with Lois and Cal. As he landed on the balcony beside Lois, she handed him a cup of coffee.
“You wouldn’t believe it, Lois. There is hardly a soul on the street this morning. Even the people in Suicide Slum are indoors with PBS on, waiting for the show! It’s amazing!”
“Well, shoot, I guess the gossip didn’t die down after all.” Lois smirked, referring to her sarcastic comment a few days before. “Now spin out of the suit and let’s enjoy the show.”
They walked into the living room where Cal was tottering around the table. When he saw his parents, he reached up and Clark picked him up with his free hand as he took a sip with his other. Cal reached for the hot mug, which Clark promptly pulled away.
“Uh, uh, Cal. None of this for you. But do you want to watch Sesame Street?” Cal stared at him with a smile. “Yeah, I bet you do.”
By this time, Lois had switched on the TV and VCR. “I promised I’d get this on tape for your mother.”
“Great.” Clark groaned as he sat down on the couch with Lois, placing Cal between them. “Now you’ll both torture me with it for years.”
“That’s the plan!” Lois snickered and took a quick glance at Clark. Turning back to the screen, the familiar chords and children singing caught her attention.
The Superman skit was one of the last to show. “Finally!” Lois cried as it came on. “It took long enough for the main event.”
“Lois,” Clark said slowly, drawing out each letter, “you know it’s going to be last, or else everyone would watch the one skit and turn it off. How else are they going to boost their ratings and let people remember what a good show it is?”
“I know, I know. But we both know how much patience we Lanes have… Oh, look! Super-Grover!”
When Superman landed, Cal’s dark eyes lit up, “Dadda!”
Lois and Clark quickly turned to one another, shocked.
Allowing Cal to watch the rest of the program, both adults’ minds were filled with questions centered around “What if someone finds out!?!”
When the program finished, Clark got up and switched off the television. He and Lois both stood and stared at Cal who had climbed off the couch and started rolling his football around.
“Fluke?” Lois suggested half-heartedly.
“I really don’t think so, Lois.”
Lois started walking around the room, “Well, we just have to keep a calm head. I mean, he is just a baby, and we are friends of Superman, which actually means that it would be easier for people to put two and two together. I mean, just because I didn’t figure it out from that pair of glasses doesn’t mean other people won’t. Even if I did work with you for two years before I finally noticed that you were, well, you! But this, well this really clinches it! Who’s to say that people who don’t know your Clark personality won’t look at you without knowing you’re you after they hear Calvin! What are we going to do?”
“Whoa, Lois.” Clark held up his hands, “Just slow down and take a breath.”
“Take a breath? Take a breath!?!” Lois huffed as she waved her arms around. “There’s no time to take a breath! Our own son is going to give away the secret we’ve kept so close. It’s not like he’ll understand that he has to pretend you’re two different people!”
Clark walked to the doorway of the kitchen. “How about we do an experiment? I’ll stand in this doorway as Clark and see if he calls me Dad again, okay? Then I’ll switch to my suit and stand at the other doorway and see if he recognizes me.”
Clark kneeled down and held out his arms for the baby. “Hey, Cal. You want a big hug?” When the baby came over, Clark scooped him up and blew raspberries on his stomach.
Cal squealed and giggled, “Dadda, Dadda!” After he was put down, Cal crawled after a ball Clark threw into a corner facing away from both doorways. While Cal’s back was turned, he made a superspeed switch into his suit and stood in the other doorway.
“Hello, Calvin. What have you got there?” Clark asked in his deeper tone voice, “Is that a big, bouncy ball?”
“Dadda, yeah, Dadda!”
Lois looked at Cal and turned to Clark, crossing her arms. “Well, that helped me calm down! Now what are we going to do? Oh, it’s all my fault! I shouldn’t call you Clark when you’re in the suit at home. I think we need to definitely stop kissing in front of him with you in the suit.”
Lois flopped onto the couch with her head in her hands. Clark walked up behind her massaging her shoulders. “Look, we’ll figure this out. For the time being we just have to keep Cal from seeing the skit in public where people will hear if he starts calling me Daddy. And you’re right, we definitely have to stop showing Mommy and Superman together in the house.”
As the couple silently contemplated their predicament, the phone rang and Lois reached for it on the side table. “Hello? Perry? What? I can’t hear you over all the noise. What’s going on?”
“I said you and Clark have to get your butts down here, now. The phones are ringing off the hook. After the show aired, everyone wants to donate to PBS. Some philanthropist just donated a cool half million. I need you two down here to cover! And an interview with Superman would be helpful.”
“You’re kidding me. Of course not, it’s just that, ah, I think Calvin’s got the sniffles…okay, we’ll have to bring him if we do…fine.”
Lois turned towards Clark, “That was Perry. He just asked us to come in to write up an article or two.”
“Yeah, I heard. Let’s go.”
When the elevator reached the bullpen floor, Lois and Clark saw that the newsroom was packed with every reporter Perry could call in. Phones were ringing, keyboards were clicking, and the usual white-noise murmur was now a loud, boisterous gathering.
“Jeez, you’d think someone famous had died,” Lois pointed out while they walked to their desks. “Oh no.”
“What?” asked Clark as he set Cal in his playpen between their desks.
Lois pointed to the LNN news screens all around the room. “How’re we supposed to keep Cal away from this?”
Clark looked down at Cal, who had now looked up to see his mother pointing at the TVs. The Superman skit was playing on the screen. “Dadda!”
“This cannot be happening!” Lois hissed, “What are we going to do!”
“I don’t know. Let’s just get some articles done and get out of here fast. If we see the skit come on again, we’ll just have to get Calvin out of the room for a while. Why don’t I do the Superman interview while you try and contact the Mayor and get a few quotes?”
“Ah! Lois, Clark, you’re here! Please tell me you have something good.”
“Hey, Chief. Clark’s writing up the Superman angle now, since we saw him on the way here, and I’m going to do a write up on the mayor’s feelings about all the donations being made.”
“Excellent! How’s Cal holding out?” Perry reached down and picked up the quiet boy. “He doesn’t look too sick. You sure he has the sniffles?”
“Oh, yeah, Perry. His nose was pretty runny this morning,” Clark chimed in. “I don’t think we should stay too long.”
“Fine by me.” Perry chuckled, placing the boy back into the playpen. “Just get me those stories. Then make sure this kid’s okay.”
“Hey, the skits on over here!” cried one intern, eyes turned to the screen.
Cal tried to look around, but Clark snatched him up. “Oh! There’s that nose again. I think I’ll bring him to the bathroom.”
Perry and Lois watched him practically dive for the men’s room.
“Forget Cal for the moment. Are you sure Clark’s all right?”
“Yeah Chief, Clark’s just fine. Why do you ask?” Lois asked with her most innocent expression.
“Ah, never mind, darlin’. I’ll be waiting for that copy.”
For the next two hours Perry watched through his door as either Lois or Clark would suddenly whisk Cal away to the bathroom. “Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to make them come in today,” he thought. The last straw was when Jimmy strolled over to their desks.
“Hey guys, tell me you saw Superman after this morning! How’d he like being on TV?”
“Oh, he said it was great, Jimmy. He really enjoyed seeing how the show worked.”
“Yeah, that must have been pretty neat! Speaking of which,” Jimmy pointed to the screen, “it’s on again. Man! I cannot get enough of Superman singing with puppets!”
When Jimmy looked down again, Clark and Cal were nowhere to be found. “Woah, where’d Clark go so fast?”
“Cal’s been a bit sick so…”
“Lois!” Perry bellowed out his door, “Did Clark just bring that kid to the bathroom again? Go on home before y’all infect everyone here. I got your articles. Nice job! Now get!”
“All right. Bye, Chief. See you, Jimmy.”
When Clark and Cal emerged from the bathroom, Lois had picked up everything and was waiting for them on the elevator landing. “Perry said we can go.”
“Thank God. I don’t know how many more times we could have brought Cal to the bathroom without someone thinking either you, me, or he is having some serious problems.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean. I’ve been getting some pretty odd stares myself. I think I saw Helen from Arts clutching a can of Lysol every time I walked past. I don’t know how we’re going to fix this. We have to go to work, and Cal has to go to daycare, but Mrs. Minardi is going to be showing that skit there. How are we going to explain it when we go to pick him up?”
When the elevator doors opened to the lobby leading into the parking garage, Clark stopped in front of the snack cart to get Lois’s daily chocolate intake of a double-fudge Crunch Bar.
“Maybe we can just keep him out for a few days? But then, you said it yourself, stuff like this just doesn’t blow over too soon.”
Lois smirked as she stood chewing on her bar. She never thought that little joke would backfire so badly.
As they stood in the lobby, the pair didn’t notice when the screen behind them started to play.
Lois and Clark turned with stricken expressions. Cal stood with another boy watching Superman sing.
“Ha!” they heard from the man standing near them. “So your little fella yells that out when he sees Superman, too now, huh? Every time he’s been on today he calls for me. Guess Superman will always remind him of watching Sesame Street together with me now. Thought it was just my kid. Nice to know you can share that too.”
As the skit ended the man left and Lois and Clark went home. That night, Cal was put to bed and Lois and Clark sat quietly on the couch with their tea mugs.
“I guess this whole experience has really taught us the ABCs.” Clark laughed suddenly.
“What do you mean? I know we have an excuse now for when Cal sees Superman, which doesn’t mean we don’t need to be more cautious around him, but what about the ABCs?”
“You got it, Lois. Always Be Cautious!”
Lois smirked and placed their mugs on the coffee table. “Cautious, huh? What do the ABCs say about a corny husband that’s about to be whacked with a throw pillow?”
Clark thought about it and with a quick headstart up the stairs said, “Don’t Exasperate Fearless Girls!”
Woo, 3 years later and this story’s done! I hope I kept the Muppets in their correct characters. Let me know what you think! Thanks!
A BIG thanks to Sarah who actually took the time to print this whole story out and take it apart with a red pen. And to Rebekah for keeping me going and just letting me know the plot wasn’t awful. Thanks girls!!! I’d like to thank Wikipedia for the research. I don’t really know the first thing about Sesame Street characters. So, if you’d like to know anything else, it’s a great site to visit.