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October 22, 2011

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a candidate!


Daily Star

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With prominent politicians' campaigns seeming to implode with every interview, we welcome to our studios this evening yet another candidate for high public office.

Would you kindly tell our viewers who you are and why you feel you should be the next mayor of Metropolis?

"Well … I … I'm Superman."

You know, you don't have to stand there like that with your legs spread apart and your fisted hands on your hips. Please, Superman, come sit down.

"All right. But I'm always sitting on this confounded cape. I mean, it's all right when I'm standing and the wind is blowing a little bit, but other than Dracula, who have you ever seen look good in a cape?"

We'll set that fascinating subject aside for the time being, sir. Meanwhile, you have evaded my question about why you deserve to be elected mayor.

"Gosh, it should be obvious. Remember that meteor that was hurtling toward Metropolis last week?"

Of course, we all remember the meteor. There was a great deal of public alarm bordering upon panic. Scientists warned that a direct hit would not only wipe out Metropolis but also life as we know it on Earth.

"And do you know why that meteor didn't strike Metropolis and wipe out life as we know it on Earth?"

Yes sir. You flew up into outer space and through brute strength altered the meteor's course so that it missed our planet.

"Well?"

Well what, Superman?

"Well, don't you think that saving the city and the whole planet should entitle me to be mayor?"

Frankly, sir, according to the latest polls, the voters apparently have their doubts.

"Oh they do, do they?"

Yes, they do.

"That meteor was pretty big, you know."

Yes, sir.

"And I could nudge it back toward Earth if I had a mind to."

Is that to be your campaign slogan, sir? "Vote for Superman or face impending doom"?

"Well no, of course not. But I don't think just a little bit of gratitude is asking too much, do you? I mean, this is the thanks I get? Fine, just ask me some questions, and I'll try to answer them."

All right, sir. Based on your work experience, how are you planning on fixing the economy?

"Whenever I need money, I squeeze a lump of coal into a diamond, and selling that tides me over until my secret identity's next payday."

That's your economic plan … coal squeezing?

"I … I guess so. I haven't thought that much about it."

And this secret identity of yours, the voters feel they have a right to full disclosure of your past. Despite public dalliances with Lois Lane and Lana Lang, you've never been married. On top of that, you walk and fly around in tights. Would you like to take a stand here on the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?

"Me? No … I … no, not at this time. I mean … some of my best friends are .. I mean, not that there's anything wrong with ..."

Quite. Now, you must be aware of how alarmed some people are about the invasion of their privacy, and indeed their private parts, during airport screenings, and here you are, possessing X-ray vision.

"Yeah, what about it?

A segment of voters in our surveys have expressed a concern about whether they want their mayor to have the ability to intrude upon them in such a way.

“Oh, good grief! Can we please change the subject?”

Certainly, Superman. Would you be kind enough to share your views on illegal immigration?

“I think people should be allowed into the country as long as they go through all the proper channels. If they don’t, then they don’t belong here.”

That’s very interesting, Superman. The fact is, you’ve never produced any citizenship papers. For all we know, you were born in Kenya. All this '"Truth, Justice and the American Way” stuff is all well and good, sir, but where is your long-form birth certificate?

“My what?”

Your story is that you came here on a rocket ship from a planet called Krypton when you were a baby. Is that correct?

“Yes.”

Then by your own admission, you’re an illegal alien, aren’t you, and thus ineligible to become mayor of Metropolis?

“Gee … yeah. If you put it that way, I suppose you’re right.”

So, it would appear that at the behest of the United States government, you shall be leaving this country almost immediately. The path to legal immigration can be extremely long and frustrating, but we’ll look forward to seeing you again in about eight years or so, provided, of course, you’re one of the fortunate applicants. Thank you for being our guest, Superman.

“You know, that meteor was pretty big. I mean … really, really big.”

Goodnight, Superman, and good luck.

"Yeah, well … good luck to you, too."

Sam Pollak is the editor of The Daily Star. He can be reached at spollak@thedailystar.com or at (607) 432-100, ext. 208. His columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/sampollak.