Bring On the Doughtnuts




Richard White and Martha Kent had a support group of two. They met without fail once a month at Martha's new place in Colorado. Her new husband, Ben, would smile at them, shake his head, and go out for a few hours to the stables no matter what the weather. Richard always thought of him as the new husband because Clark thought of him as her new husband and it stuck. Ben never minded; he said it made him feel young.

To Richard's dismay, Martha looked rather piqued this meeting. "Thank goodness you're finally here. I need those doughnuts," she declared in a tone that permitted no arguments.

Richard handed over a large white box wordlessly.

"Do you know the worst thing about having a super-powered child?" she asked, diving into a raspberry-filled doughnut.

"Pockmarks in the ceiling?"


He scratched his head. "Waiting up all night with the fear that kryptonite has become as common as mud?"


"Precocious questions on female undergarments?"

"Oh, much worse." Martha finally took a breath between chews, taking a sip of unsweetened tea.

"I give up," said Richard. "I nearly had a heart-attack when Jason asked me about the mechanics of tampon insertion."

Martha paused at that. "Well, maybe that might... no, no, I can definitely defeat that." She pushed the box back to him. Richard smiled and took a maple-dipped. "The worst is the fanmail. You'll have to deal with it, too," she said as Richard nearly coughed his first bite out. "Clark is such a modest boy; he doesn't know what to do with half of them. To his credit, he does try to answer as many as he can but, bless his heart, he just does not know what to do about the naughty ones."

"Naughty ones?" Richard repeated, his morbid curiosity roused.

"Best I show you."

"You really don't--" But Martha had already gotten up and was heading for her workroom. She came out seconds later pushing a wheeled bin, its canvas sides bulging with ominous points.

"This is what he doesn't see," Martha declared.

"I'm afraid to ask," Richard said, pouring himself some tea. Martha did tea like the English did-- strong enough to make coffee sit up and beg.

"Thongs, bras, pornographic videos, paraphernalia that I had to look up on the internet." She threw her hands up in the air. "Really! Why do they send them?"

"Oh. My. GOD."

"And you'd think they were just from women. Oh, no. A third of the things in here are from men. And a few are from men*and* women! Together!"

"OH. My. GOD."

"When I read them--"

"You *read* them?" Richard choked out. That maple-dipped was not enough to make him feel better. He chose another doughnut with chocolate and rainbow sprinkles.

"Someone has to sort through them," said Martha primly. "After all, Clark has to sleep at some point."

"I thought he didn't need to sleep."

"Just because he doesn't need to, it doesn't mean he should never." Martha wagged a finger at Richard. "And don't you let Jason get away with staying up at all hours either. Clark used to finagle his way around bedtime by doing more and more chores but a week later, he'd be falling asleep in his cereal or forgetting to control his hearing or other such nonsense. Anyhow, where was I? Oh, yes, reading these letters."

Richard put down his tea and half the rainbow-sprinkled doughnut. "Martha, I think I can safely say that nothing on Earth would ever induce me to read my son's pornographic fanmail."

"I didn't say I read them thoroughly," said Martha, scandalised. "But really, when photographs pop out of the envelopes like that, you can pretty much guess the content. Some are rather sweet but others are... well, I really can't understand some people and their interest in rubber."

"Oh my God. Richard had his head buried in his hands by now, his shoulders heaving. He was either laughing or crying; he couldn't tell.

"That is what you have to look forward to once he turns eighteen," Martha said with all the weary wisdom of an oracle. "They don't dare write such things now that he's underage but as soon as he's legal, up go the websites and the pictures, in come the photographs and the videos. It's rather overwhelming."

"I wish I could stop imagining," Richard said. "What do you suggest then?"

Martha hummed and tapped her chin. "I contemplated telling him that with his strength, being with a woman might injure her."

"Jason can control himself pretty well," said Richard, puzzled. "He hasn't squeezed anything or anyone to bits in years."

"Not that type of being with a woman."

"What type of… oh. Oh my God."

"I didn't take you for a religious man, Richard."

"I think I might have to start again just to drive the bad mental images away. My gramps would be pleased." Releasing bunches of hair that were inexplicable fisted in his hands, Richard said, "What about a kryptonite chastity belt?"

For a moment, Martha looked thoughtful but in the end, she said, "It's not really their fault. And for that matter not really these girls' fault either. I just wish they didn't come from such wonderful genetic stock." She sighed. "It's bad enough he's kind, and rescues kittens, and is very respectful but does he also have to be so darned handsome? Ever since he was seven, girls have been following Clark home."

"It's the eyes," said Richard glumly. "Lois can never stop going on about his eyes."

"Jason has the same eyes, you know," Martha pointed out. "You put the two side by side and it's like a chocolate torte next to a caramel-coffee cake. You work in a newspaper. What's one sure way for a celebrity to stop being so popular with the women?"

"Get married to someone not famous," said Richard quickly. "But we can't do that for Clark and Jason is *not* getting married straight out of high school."

Sighing, Martha said, "Then I guess we'll just have to inure ourselves to the idea of people sending our sons pornography."

Staring at the doughnuts, Richard said, "I think I liked our meetings better when they were about pockmarks on the ceiling."

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