“An Aversion for Worm Holes”

Rated PG-13




Lex Luthor was staying with the Kents while he was recovering from the drugs he had been given before and during his stay at Belle Reeve Psychiatric Hospital.  Jonathan Kent reluctantly agreed that his adopted daughter Clara could share her bed with Lex for the purpose of monitoring his withdrawal.  Jonathan had a few reasons he used to convince himself that he should allow it.  First reason:  Clara was depressed over the charges of reckless endangerment brought against her due to the explosion in her university laboratory.  She would be going to trial soon and was possibly facing some time in jail.  He knew that Clara wanted to spend as much time with Lex as she could before the trial.  Second reason:  Lex had made his intentions clear by placing an engagement ring and wedding band on Clara’s hand while she was comatose and near death.  Third reason:  He knew he could trust Clara … or at least he hoped that he could.  Fourth:  Jonathan had come face to face with the probability that Clara would die due to kryptonite poisoning from the lab explosion, so at this point he was so grateful that she was still part of his life that he would have agreed to almost anything she asked for.  Fifth:  He had his Father’s shotgun handy and Lex was well aware of that fact.  Despite all that, Jonathan hadn’t slept well while Lex was staying there.


On what turned out to be the last day of Lex’s stay with them, Martha had taken breakfast up to Clara’s room.  Clara and Lex were both still asleep so Martha put the food on a small table in the room and quietly went back downstairs.  She sat silently with Jonathan as he read the morning newspaper.  The teapot began to squeal indication that the water inside was at a full boil.  Martha hesitated to see if Jonathan would get up to turn down the burner before she tried to muster the energy to do it herself.  Before that could happen, a shriek that made the teapot sound like a whisper by comparison caused Martha and Jonathan to stiffen in their chairs and jerk their heads in the direction of Clara’s room.  They heard Clara scream, “UGGH!!!  LEX, WHAT DID YOU DO?!  HOW MANY TIMES SINCE I’VE KNOWN YOU HAVE I TELL YOU NO?  IT’S NOT A JOKE!  I TRUSTED YOU AND YOU DID THAT TO ME!  YUCK!!!”


Clara came running down the stairs in her long cotton nightgown and streaked into the kitchen.  She leaned over the sink and spit and gagged repeatedly.  She turned her head to look at the teapot.  She grabbed it by its white-hot sides and lifted it over her head.  She tilted her head back and poured the boiling water into her mouth.  She gargled with the water and turned to spit it down the sink.  She continued to pour water from the teapot into her mouth, gargle and spit in the sink until the pot was empty.  She filled the teapot and put it back on the burner before leaning her head over the sink again.  Jonathan and Martha just watched while they considered what they should do.  They turned their heads when Lex entered the kitchen.  He had taken the time to put on a robe over his pajamas, so he missed seeing Clara gargling with the hot water – but he had without a doubt heard what she was doing.  Lex looked at Clara and said, “Come on Clara.  Stop with all the drama.  I could tell you were liking it until you woke up.”


Clara straightened up, turned and said, “You BUM!  I trusted you and … and you put that THING in my mouth … while I was asleep … KNOWING that there is NO WAY I would agree to it!  That was so GROSS!  That was so SADISTIC!  I might expect something like that from your FATHER, but NEVER from you!”


Lex said, “Come on!  I know that every person has their own likes and dislikes, but knowing you the way I know you … how could you of all people NOT like it?!”


Clara said, “I said NO!  I said I didn’t want to!  That should have been enough!  But you couldn’t take no for an answer, could you?  I thought you were an evolved individual.  Now I think I was wrong!  You are just plain EVIL!”


Lex said, “I’m sorry.  I didn’t want to have to do it that way ….”


Clara said, “Then you SHOULDN’T HAVE!”


Lex continued, “You REALLY need to stop living such a limited life.  You let your claustrophobia hold you back for years until I finally did something about it.”


Clara said, “This is a TOTALLY different thing!”


Lex said, “NO it ISN’T!  You are missing out on a simple, basic pleasure here.  More business deals have been closed while sharing ….”


Clara said, “I don’t care what other people do!  I’m NOT other people.  I wouldn’t put an oyster in my mouth … or a cow’s tongue … or a snail even if you call it an escargot.  I’m very picky about what I put inside me … well … somewhat picky … well … I have a few definite no-nos.  But, Lex Luthor, me saying ‘no’ to something shouldn’t make you feel the need to force the issue!  You should have SOME respect for what I want!”


Lex said, “I just don’t want you to impose stupid limits on your life that will keep you from enjoying yourself to the fullest.”


Clara hung her head and said, “So, you want me to expand my horizons … just in time for the authorities to impose even more limits on me than I ever put on myself.”


Lex stared at her a couple seconds before saying, “Clara, I told you that my lawyers will make sure that you don’t spend a day in jail.”


Clara asked, “The same lawyers that kept you out of Belle Reeve?”


Jonathan cleared his throat and said, “Excuse the interruption Lex, but … what EXACTLY did you do to my daughter?  You have a choice.  You can tell me now … or get a head start down the road while I have Clara tell me.”


Lex said, “I don’t mind telling you Mr. Kent.  It was just a little prank … something I did on impulse.  I’ve offered her money over the years if she would just give it a try … a nickel, a dime … a quarter.  I think I even offered her a thousand dollars once.  I guess I just finally saw an opportunity and before I knew what had happened ….”


Jon shouted, “WHAT HAPPENED?!  I’ll have Martha leave the room if you don’t want to talk in front of her.”


Martha said, “Like hell!”


Lex said, “I don’t mind telling Martha.  I’m sure she won’t think it’s a big deal.”


Jon said, “So SPILL!”


Lex said, “Mr. Kent … Clara’s mouth was hanging open a little so I broke off a small piece of a donut and put it in her mouth.


Jon said, “Sarcasm won’t make this situation any better!”


Lex said, “God’s honest truth!  That’s what I did!  The way her head was positioned, I knew she wouldn’t choke on it.  She closed her mouth, then smiled and moaned in pleasure a bit ….”


Clara said, “I DID NOT!”


Lex continued, “Then she opened her eyes and saw the rest of the donut in my hand and freaked out.”


Jon said, “What kind of story are you telling me?”


Clara said, “That’s exactly what he did … but I didn’t smile or moan at all!  Not at all!  He put that disgusting thing in my mouth!”


Jon said, “Was it stale or something?  Had he dropped it on the floor?  What was wrong with it?”


Lex said, “There was NOTHING wrong with it.  It was warm and fresh.  In fact, it was one of the BEST I have EVER tasted … and I am a connoisseur of donuts!  It was on the breakfast tray that someone brought up this morning.”


Martha said, “WHAT?!  My donuts?  I just fried those up special for both of you this morning!”


Lex said, “They are excellent.  That’s why I just had to have Clara taste it.  Her constant and steadfast refusal to share a donut with me is one of the few important incompatibilities we have yet to overcome.”


Clara shouted, “YUCK!”


Martha said, “Clara!  You love my donuts!  You must have had hundreds of dozens of my donuts.”


Clara said, “Not one!  Not EVER!”


Martha said, “That can’t be true!”


Clara said, “Have you ever SEEN me eat a donut?”


Martha said, “Then who ate them all?”


Clara said, “You and Daddy … mostly Daddy.”


Martha said, “But you love cake!”


Lex said, “Exactly.  Clara’s got a sweet tooth like I have never seen before … at least not in someone with a figure like hers.  It makes absolutely no sense.”


Jon said, “Clara, why don’t you like donuts.  They’re as American as apple pie.”


Clara said, “Well I won’t eat apple pie either if it’s made with wormy apples!”


Martha asked, “That comparison makes no sense.”


Clara said, “Of course it does!  I don’t like eating anything that bugs have chewed on … even if it has been deep-fried afterwards!  I know that a lot of people like donuts and I don’t mind if they eat every last one … just as long as I don’t have to watch them eat those donuts!  I get nauseous just looking at them!  I hate it when I have to go to the bakery for something and see them all over the place!  It’s just so freaking gross!  I mean … it’s like what they said about eggs.  Who was the first person who saw an egg come out of a chicken’s butt and said, “Hmmm.  That might be something I’d like to eat!”  The only difference was that eggs are in shells and that eggs are good.  The person that thought that sharing food with bugs was out of his mind.  But apparently people seem to like it.  There is no understanding people a lot of the time, but I don’t have to join in on what they like to do, do I?”


Martha said, “If that was intended on making me understand what you’re ranting about, you failed.  I’m more confused than ever.”


Clara said, “Simply put, I won’t eat donuts because of the unsanitary way they are made.  It’s just too unbelievably gross!”


Martha said, “You know I run a clean kitchen.  When you watch me make donuts, ….”


Clara said, “I don’t!  I always excuse myself and leave before you get the worms out!”


Martha said, “What worms?”


Clara said, “The worms that eat the center out of the donuts!”


Lex said, “Maybe I’m not the only one that my Father was drugging.”


Clara said, “No, he didn’t.  He settled for trying to blow me into tiny bits.  Daddy, tell Lex about the donut worms.”


Jon said, “Uh-oh.  I think the fields need plowed.”


Martha said, “No they don’t.  Sit down, Jon.  We all want to hear about the donut worms.”


Jon said, “I forgot all about that.  It was just a little joke.”


Clara said, “A joke?  NO!  Then how do the holes get in the donuts?”


Martha got up and reached into the dishwasher.  She pulled out her donut cutter and handed it to Clara.  Clara looked at the two concentric tin cups riveted to a small handle.  She said, “I always wondered what this was for.”  Then she looked up at Jon with a shocked look on her face.


Martha said, “What did you tell her?”


Jon answered, “That was so long ago that I don’t remember.”


Clara said, “I remember picking up my first donut and putting my finger through the hole and asking Dad what make the hole.  He told me that trained worms chew out the centers of the donuts.  He said that they start out as babies eating holes in Cheerios and, when they get big enough, get the job of making donuts.  He said that when they are too old and fat to work anymore, they make the best fishing bait there is.”


Lex burst out laughing.


Martha said, “JONATHAN!”


Jon said, “It was a JOKE!”


Clara said, “How was I supposed to know?”


Lex said, “But you never figured it out when you got older?  You still believe in donut worms?”


Clara said, “NO!  Well … I never … I never thought about it.  I just knew that I didn’t want to eat donuts.”


Lex said, “Do you want one now?”


Clara said, “YUCK!”


Lex said, “I’ll give you a nickel.”


Clara said, “I thought you would pay me a thousand dollars to eat one bite of donut!”


Lex said, “Sorry, that offer has expired … with the donut worms.”


Clara said, “I don’t want a donut.  It will take me a lot of time to get used to the idea of eating one.”


Lex said, “Donuts are delicious.  When they get stale, they come back to life again when dunked in coffee!  I’d eat them even if the were made by worms!  So Clara, why are you a worm bigot?  You like to eat fish and fish eat worms.”


Clara said, “Jeeze, thanks Lex!  You just don’t stop, do you?  Yes, I USED to like eating fish!  Just like you USED to like sharing a bed with me!  But my fish eating days are over thanks to you … and the Clara Hilton is closed for business too … ALSO thanks to you!”  Clara stormed out of the kitchen.


Lex said, “Uh-oh.”  He gave Martha a crooked smile then turned and headed after Clara.


Jonathan laughed.  Martha said, “I wouldn’t laugh if I were you!  You still have a bed to sleep in because I still find you useful at times, but I’ve learned that you have had more than enough of my donuts to last you a lifetime.  Martha’s donut factory is officially closed for business.  The nerve.  Telling Clara that I put worms in my food!  Maybe that’s the real reason she went on that hunger strike when she was a kid!”


Jon said, “Come on!  IT was JUST a JOKE!”