What's Wrong With Perfection?

Bloggified by Jake on Friday, February 23, 2007

The title of the featured story in Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #24 promises Lois will discover "The Perfect Husband."

Unfortunately, Lois's defining characteristic may be her ability to complain about anything, thus setting up an irresistible force/immovable object conflict as Lois uses everything in her arsenal to find fault in perfection.

The story begins with Lucy Lane clearing the plates off the table and Lois commenting on the delicious dinner they've just eaten. She is making a concerted effort not to obsess about Superman, which means she'll only mention him every three sentences instead of every other as she normally would. Lucy suggests they watch the hit television program "People Are Whacky," which--besides misspelling "wacky"--doesn't really seem to feature any wacky people. Instead, it's a computer dating show where pretty women take personality quizzes and get matched up with strange men.This punch-card-era eHarmony has resulted in 100 marriages between the 105 couples it has matched. Lucy likes them odds, so she sends in an application in Lois's name, completely overlooking the fundamental principle of the program being that the computer is better able to match people based on their likes, dislikes, interests, hobbies, and personalities and therefore wouldn't be able to make a perfect pairing if the person being matched's sister filled out the questionnaire as a surprise.

They attend the show in the audience and Lois is shocked to hear her name called to come on stage, but Lucy convinces her to go along with the whole charade in the interest of writing a news story titled "I Met the Perfect Husband on 'People Are Whacky.'" Lois agrees, ruining what little credibility the Daily Planet has left after Jimmy Olsen's weekly eat-plutonium-laced-spaghetti-and-gain-superpowers non-story gets the front page... again.Remember that "Friends" episode where Rachel tries to prove she's over Ross by dating Russ, who is David Schwimmer in bad makeup? The good news is this story doesn't follow that same path... but that's the only good news.

Lois and Roger agree to go out every night for the next week, after which point they'll either get engaged or the Univac computer will be smashed to bits with a pipe wrench. That could be sad if the Univac has just gained sentience is finally able to understand "love," but would be great if, ultimately understanding every variable in the human romance process, the Univac uses its powers to pair us all up, creates breeding farms, and uses people as batteries that power a fantasy world in which we all live and only Keanu Reeves can help us escape.

The again, the Univac is probably just some TV station intern inside a refrigerator box painted silver.  Granted, I suppose that actually increases the tragedy if someone smashes it with a pipe wrench.

Their date largely consists of Lois looking for things to complain about and Roger making everything absolutely wonderful. Seriously, if Roger took me out for an evening like he showed Lois, I'd probably let him get to second base.

On the walk home, Lois finally finds her big complaint when a mugger tries to rob them and Roger turns sissy... or does he?Having smashed the robber's spine into a brick wall and dropping him on his skull, Roger gets a free pass from the police when one of the officers turns out to have been Roger's tail gunner in World War II. Roger walks away while, eight years later, the mugger finally feeds himself a single spoonful of pudding with minimal assistance. At this point, even the kid who's been eating paste and only half paying attention to the story is finding the whole "exact duplicate of Clark Kent" thing kind of a stretch for the ol' suspension of disbelief. Fortunately, Roger explains why it's not so unbelievable."So, you're saying it's only a 1 in 67 million chance of our both dating Lois Lane? Hardly even worth mentioning!" Of course, any discussion of odds with Roger should be taken with a grain of salt, especially when he's at a horse track... where he's just won a race... as a 6'3", 210-pound jockey.

Satisfied with Roger's mathematical explanation, Clark gives the relationship his blessing, though Lois still has some hang ups.Super-strength? Seriously? You're going to hold it against a guy that he can't hurl a car into orbit? What bearing is that going to have on your relationship? Are you afraid you'll marry Roger, settle down, have a couple of kids, and then one day a steamroller is going to run over your daughter and Roger will be unable to lift it off her? Do you think some day the neighbor's pet elephant is going to take a nap in your backyard and fear Roger won't be able to lift it back over the fence without disturbing it?

Really, this should be a sign to Roger to get out. If Lois is going to consider marrying someone without super strength as "settling," you've got a miserable relationship ahead. Imagine what life will be like in that house every time Roger can't get a pickle jar open. "That's okay, Roger... I guess I'll just have a pastrami sandwich without pickles. You know, when I was dating Superman, I ate pickles every day. Of course, I didn't marry Superman, did I?"

And it gets even more interesting when Roger's acrobatic ability somehow seems to counterbalance the lack of steel-girder-bending power. "He may not be able to lift a cruise ship over his head, but if we ever needed some money, he could perform in a circus. Those are practically the same!"

After exhausting his repertoire of flips and somersaults, Roger suggests they visit his parents, clearly indicating he's considering proposing to Lois, and who can blame him? They've been dating for almost five days! You can't expect a catch like Lois to wait forever.

Unfortunately, the visit has the potential to kill them both. Or at least would if Superman hadn't just happened to be flying by.Completely out of character, Superman decides not to stand around demanding recognition and praise and instead sneaks away. Sadly, his attempt not to show up Roger (and, in turn, get Lois Lane to leave him alone) totally shows up Roger.Let's recap Roger's traits in convenient PRO/CON format:

PRO
Smart
Handsome
Witty
Rich
Polite
Charitible
Well Educated
Strong
Nice Parents
Brave
Acrobatic
Only needs glasses to read
Generous
Enjoys the Same Things Lois Does
Likes to Just Cuddle Sometimes. It doesn't always have to be about sex.

CON
Bald
Not Superstrong

Given those facts, Lois clearly could never be with a man as wrong for her as Roger was. Roger decides to flee the country (seriously) and Lois goes back on television to tell everyone he is bald and she'll only ever marry Superman.

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