Undetermined

by Steve Mitchell

When Lester and I found out Superman was gonna do a meet-and-greet at the bookstore we got all jazzed.  We could settle the question.

But, it’s kind of a stupid question.  We know that.  Neither one of us wanted to be the one to ask it.  I mean, it’s Superman, for crying out loud.

“You ask him,” I said.

“No, way!  You ask him!”

“I’m not gonna ask him.  It was your idea.  You ask him.”

“Nuh uh,” said Lester, “he’ll laugh at us.”

“Okay,” I said, “there’s only one way to settle this.  We gotta flip a coin.”

“Right.”

Only, neither of us had a coin.  Who carries money?  We use plastic.  Then we saw our neighbor, Clark.  “Hey, Clark!” I yelled, “you gotta coin we can borrow?  We need to settle which one of us is gonna ask Superman our question.”

“What question is that?” Clark asked us.

“Well,” I kind of shrugged, “we wanna know if Superman can flip a coin so hard, so fast, man, it breaks out of the solar system.  You know, like, can he flip a coin all the way into space, so that it doesn’t fall back or fall into the sun or anything but just keeps spinning and spinning as it goes through space until it lands on another planet somewhere.”

“Huh,” said Clark.

“The problem is, neither one of us wants to be the one to ask, so we’re gonna flip a coin.  Do you have a coin?”

Clark felt his pockets and said, “No, I’m sorry.  I don’t.”

“Ahh, it’s all right,” I said.  “Hey!  You’re a reporter.  Maybe you could ask Superman for us!  Are you gonna be at the bookstore?”

He shook his head, “No, sorry guys.  I’ll be on assignment across town.  They never let me cover Superman.”

“That’s too bad,” I said.

So Clark went in his apartment and Lester and I did rock-paper-scissors and I won, which was cool.  Then I thought I heard some kind of high pitched whiiiinnnnggg! sound, like a high pitched, teeny, rocket or something and I asked Lester, “did you hear that?”

And he said, “What?”

“It sounded like it came from outside.”  I listened but there wasn’t nothing, only sirens and whatever and I said, “Never mind.”

And on the day of the thing, some train blew up in Russia or somewhere and Superman couldn’t make it, so we didn’t meet him.  We couldn’t ask him.

I guess we’ll never know.

That’s the way it goes.

—-

© Steve Mitchell 2015

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