Tuesday, October 09, 2012

My version of SUPERBOY

Here’s another chapter in my saga of the Superman legend if a Jewish couple had found him in the cornfield. The first part is here. A breakdown of how I wrote it is here. Now we jump forward to when the young lad is a teenager. I won’t be breaking down this scene, but based on the other, hopefully you can glean a little of the thinking that went into constructing this scene.


15-year old, Zvee Sugarman enters with something on his mind. His parents are there – Morris and Yetta.

ZVEE: Mom? Dad? Can we talk?

YETTA: Of course, son.

MORRIS: Did you get that Lane girl in trouble?

ZVEE: What? No! We’re just friends.

MORRIS: I don’t like her. Who names their kid Lois? So you were saying, Zvee?

Zvee joins them at the table.

ZVEE: I don’t know how to say this, but… I think I’m different from the other kids.

Morris and Yetta share a knowing look, then:

YETTA: (gently) You are, son. We didn’t want to say anything, but you are.

MORRIS: You’re Jewish.

ZVEE: Huh? No. It’s not that.

MORRIS: Of course it’s that. We’re Jews in Kansas. Come Christmas time we’re the only family in the whole goddamn state that doesn’t get a tree.

ZVEE: But it’s more than that. I seem to have this unbelievable strength. The other day Lois was spying on some teachers for a story she’s writing for the school paper and she got trapped under a car. I was able to lift an entire SUV with one hand so she could get out.

YETTA: Oh dear!

MORRIS: Jesus!

ZVEE: I know!

MORRIS: Where were you when we needed to move the piano? I had to call those two yokels. Must’ve cost me two-fifty.

YETTA: (to Zvee) It could have just been adrenaline, sweetheart.

ZVEE: No. There’s more. Lois climbed a big tree so she could train a telescope on a local judge she was spying on for a story and she slipped and fell. I was at the other end of the park but I heard her and in one leap I was there to catch her.

YETTA: Really? You leaped like one mile in a single bound?

MORRIS: I’m telling you, stay away from that girl. She’s poison!

ZVEE: It’s bizarre. Once everyone left I tried to leap again – just to see how far I could go. And you’re not going to believe this but… I can fly. I can actually fly.

YETTA: Oh my God!

MORRIS: You can fly?

ZVEE: What does this mean?

MORRIS: Well, for us – we don’t have to buy you a car.

At the time of the crash they never entertained this option but now…

YETTA: Morris, I’m starting to think –

MORRIS: What? That that rocket actually came from outer space? That’s cuckoo talk!

ZVEE: Huh? What?

It’s truth time. Yetta takes a deep breath, then:

YETTA: Zvee, son. You know of course that you were adopted.

ZVEE: Yeah. From a couple in Israel that gave me up because they were both Nobel Prize winning scientists who needed to continue their vital research in helping Jerry’s kids.

YETTA: Yes, well… we might’ve embellished the story just a wee bit.

ZVEE: So what’s the real story?

YETTA: You were born on another planet and sent to earth in a spaceship.

ZVEE: Oh, come on!

YETTA: No. It’s true. I myself didn’t realize it until now, but these powers you have – you’re obviously special. I know every Jewish mother says that but none of their children can fly.

ZVEE: Wow. This is a lot to process.

YETTA: Puberty is a confusing time.

MORRIS: But still, the thing that really separates you is that you’re Jewish.

YETTA: Oh Morris!

MORRIS: Hey, for all we know half the country are aliens.

YETTA: That’s ridiculous!

MORRIS: Oh really? Explain Bush getting re-elected!

She waves him off then turns to Zvee.

YETTA: What other powers do you have, son?

ZVEE: Well, bullets bounce off of me.

MORRIS: Someone shot at you?

YETTA: Oh Lord!

ZVEE: Lois wass doing this article on gang violence at the Dairy Queen and said the wrong thing. Fortunately, I was only ten miles away and heard her so I was able to fly over there and get in front before the bullets drilled her.

YETTA: So you can also hear things from long distances?

ZVEE: And see things. The next day when the gang kidnapped her I was able to see through walls and find her location. Oh, and I can blow out fire. Lois fell asleep last week with a cigarette.

MORRIS: Sounds like you and that Lane gal are getting pretty intimate.

ZVEE: Well, I want to be. But she says I still have to earn it.

MORRIS: What? Son, a heads-up. Tomorrow night when she yells “help” ignore it because I will be the one shooting her.

YETTA: The only explanation is that you come from another planet where they have these extraordinary powers. Why they sent you away I do not know. Maybe to protect you.

MORRIS: Maybe Bush attacked them too.

ZVEE: So you’re saying I’m really from another planet?

MORRIS: Everyone has baggage, boy.

YETTA: Zvee, it just occurred to me. You can use these powers for good. To help others, to save lives, stop wars.

ZVEE: I don’t know if I’ll have time. Lois gets into a lot of jams.

MORRIS: Y’know what? The aliens can have you back because you’re an idiot!

YETTA: Morris!

MORRIS: After all he’s done? You’ll pardon my French but she should be going down on him six times a day until the 2012 Olympics!

YETTA:  That’s terrible!

MORRIS: What does it say about this world when a Gentile who plays high school football gets laid but the Jew who can fly and juggle Buicks gets a hardy handshake?

YETTA: Zvee, don’t listen to your father. You go off. You save the world. You become the greatest most respected man on this Earth.

ZVEE: Okay, Mom.

YETTA: But first, get your degree. Always have something to fall back on.


Mac Harwood said...

Am I the only one wondering about how they could possibly circumcise Superman ?

The first brit milah that needed a diamond tipped hacksaw ....

Breadbaker said...

At least he should be getting a laurel and hardy handshake.

The Curmudgeon said...

Oy! Tears are running down this Irish-Catholic goyim's face from laughing at this.

The thing is, old Pa Kent didn't last long -- I'm hoping Morris can stay around a little longer, maybe. Maybe sell the store and become Zvee's agent....

Pete Grossman said...

Fave lines:

"Oh really? Explain Bush getting re-elected!" (It's the only possible answer)

"But first, get your degree. Always have something to fall back on." True fact - the Jewish mother of one of the Google founders (I don't recall which one) still wants her son to get his Ph.D - just in case...

Noah said...

Really enjoying this series. I actually did something a bit similar a while back -- http://baggypantsandbravado.blogspot.com/2004/09/mensch-of-steel-so-you-may-have-heard.html -- That's not a "Hey you stole my idea!" it's a "Cool! Ken Levine thinks like me!" (looking at that piece eight years later, I wince a bit. I was going for schtick and ... well, I do love the Bizarro part and the last scene)

Todd Hays said...

Funny stuff, but shouldn't it be Lana Lang, and not Lois Lane?

Mike Bell said...

Up up and oy vey!

Alex Nevil said...

Ken, please turn this into a pilot presentation or Funny or Die video because it is too damn funny to not be seen by those not fortunate enough to have discovered your blog!! It was awesome!! If Zvee ends up as a pitcher or outfielder for the Dodgers, Mariners or Red Sox (The Mrs. is from MA) and you will have created perfection!

brian t said...

I'm reminded of Larry Niven's story "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex". It talks briefly about Superman's teenage years, issues such as all those "bullet holes" in the roof above his bedroom .. !

gottacook said...

I'd forgotten that this Smallville is in Kansas. Now that I know, I can't help but hear Morris in the voice of that most distinguished of Kansas Jews: Ed Asner.

Pat Reeder said...

To gottacook: I can't help but hear Morris in the voice of that most distinguished of Kansas Jews: Ed Asner.

In my head, he can only be played by Lou Jacobi.

croquemore said...

Ken I have a Friday question unrelated to superboy. I just watched the first episode of the last season of cheers where Rebecca burns down the bar. From a set perspective how was this accomplished. Was it a second set that was torched and then brought in or what. Very curious.

miami said...

It speaks temporarily about Superman's puberty, problems such as all those "bullet holes" in the ceiling above his bed room .. !

Miami Kia

HourOfLead said...

"Mac Harwood said...
Am I the only one wondering about how they could possibly circumcise Superman?"

That, sir, was the crack of the bat making contact and the ball's out of the park. Run the bases, Mr. Harwood because that was a homerun.

Indeed, a circumcised Superman.

cadavra said...

This reminds me of the old joke about the mother of the first Jewish President: "You know, his brother's a doctor."