Wow, nice one, Superman. I thought you were “The Man of Steel” not “The Man of Sucking at Ping Pong.” Ha, I’m just playing with you. You should see how your little curl is shaking right now.

But, you know, this really makes me wonder. If you’re supposedly faster than a speeding bullet, and I can beat you at Ping Pong, how fast does that make me? Like, faster than a speeding bullet from a gun that, like, itself is being shot out of another gun?

I bet you’d totally like to fly around the world to turn back time so you could redo that last shot, huh? Maybe next time you won’t put down your paddle to help some choking little girl. So lame. Unless you were just trying to give her pointers on how to choke. Because if you were trying to do that, then great job. I mean, you gotta be thinking right now that little Megan would’ve worked through that Cheeto. All about keeping your head in the game.

This is kind of like that time Lex Luthor weakened you by sneaking Krpytonite into that wayward baby carriage. (Oh yes, Lois keeps me well apprised of your exploits…) Then again, with the baby carriage scenario you ultimately emerged victorious, because Lex Luthor didn’t yet know that radiation from the Earth’s sun is what gives you your powers. So that part is different. The whole “emerging victorious” part. Seems like this time, nothing could save you from the Kryptonite of my vicious cross-over lob.

Two out of three? You know I totally would, but— I think I just heard Lois calling me from the kitchen. Really? You didn’t hear that? Well, ordinarily I would never doubt your super hearing. But kinda seems like you’re having an off day.

Calm down. There’s no reason to go all bizarro on me. I think you can give me this one thing. Because don’t even get me started on the way Lois compares me to you. You should’ve seen how she looked at me the other day when I couldn’t open a jar of pickles. Then again, I’m less about power than accuracy. Ping Pong’s really a finesse game, you know?

Tell you what. Why don’t you go visit the buffet and maybe later tonight, we’ll rematch. You’ve got the whole table to yourself now, so practice up. I’ll come check on you in a few hours, maybe.

There you go… All in the wrist. Be the ball, Kal-el, be the ball.


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NATHAN PENSKY is a recent graduate of the Creative Writing M.F.A. program at Mills College and has been published in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, MONKEYBICYCLE, and many others. He is an Associate Flash Fiction/Fiction Editor for the online literary journal JMWW, and a frequent contributor for the pop culture website PopMatters.

6 responses to “Lois Lane’s New Boyfriend Rubs It In After Beating Superman At Ping Pong At a Family Barbecue”

  1. Greg Olear says:

    Funny, as usual. I like the subtle inclusion of the word “bizarro.”

  2. Art Edwards says:

    Ping pong is the ultimate test of manhood. If you can’t deliver at the table, you might as well throw yourself into the kryptonite cave and never come out.

    How could Superman shame his family so by losing?

  3. Gloria says:

    Weird. And hilarious. I picture this guy with a pompadour.

  4. Did the boyfriend also shrieked, “Kneel, KNEEL BEFORE ME, NOT ZOD!” before the last crossover shot?

    Funny article as always. 🙂

  5. Nathaniel Missildine says:

    When you’re a man of steel, it’s never easy to forgive and forget. I assume Superman took to the buffet following this defeat to impressively eat his feelings.

  6. Nathan Pensky says:

    Thanks, everyone

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