Lies Superman Told Me

We all lie. Sometimes out of empathy, other times vanity or shame. Not all lies are necessarily sinister but when your best friend lies to you ALL THE TIME maybe you should consider if they’re really a friend…

One of Superman's hilarious psychological pranks!

One of Superman’s hilarious psychological pranks!

Last time, I suggested Superman may have been lying when he said I was once his babysitter on Krypton but didn’t remember it because I’d lost my memory when traveling back to my own time and planet. What reason would I have to doubt Superman’s veracity? He’s my best friend, right?

jimmymeetssm

The problem is over the years I’ve discovered Superman lies. A lot.

See.

Foam rubber is super convincing.

Often he lies because he’s fighting a mind reader and can’t trust my super-weak brain not to have my thoughts read. More often, he just doesn’t trust my acting ability and doesn’t let me in on his plan so that I will perform realistically.

No, really. Rubber masks really are super-realistic.

No, really. Rubber masks are very effective disguises.

Sometimes he will lie to teach me a “lesson.” Like the time I lost my voice and some hunters mistook me for a “Jungle Boy” and “Clark” pretended not to recognize me.

I sure did learn my lesson about shirking guard duty that day!  Sure did learn my lesson about shirking guard duty that day!

Other times, the reasons are less clear. One time, he, Lois, Perry White and everyone in my life got together and acted like they didn’t know me.

These people are supposed to be my friends.

These people are supposed to be my friends.

That’s right. THEY PRETENDED LIKE I DIDN’T EXIST.

Jimmy_Olsen-025-23

It’s like “It’s A Wonderful Life” but without me wishing I never existed and with lying instead of magic.

Why would my friends psychologically torture me? FOR MY OWN GOOD, OF COURSE.

Hopefully, we don't drive him insane.

By far Superman’s biggest and most dangerous lie is his secret identity. He lies about who he is to the entire world. He claims it’s to protect his loved ones, which makes sense. If his enemies knew who he was they could go after his friends and family. So why not tell your friends and family said secret identity? He uses the same argument: it’s for our safety.

Whatever you say, Superman! You know best!

Whatever you say, Superman! You know best!

Here’s the thing though: I’m already a target. The entire world knows me as Superman’s “Best Boy Pal.” Lois Lane is allegedly his girlfriend of sorts. The world knows this. Bad guys know this. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been kidnapped, attached, brainwashed, or given a computer brain by Superman’s nemeses.

Say what you want about Brainiac but he is WORKING those short shorts!

Say what you want about Brainiac but he is WORKING those short shorts!

In fact, he would rather put my life in jeopardy with his lies than have me know who he is. Like that time he made me think I could fly with magic wings.

Superbreath is supergross.

Superbreath is supergross.

Or that time he made me think I could breathe under water.

You're right. This is much easier than letting me know who you are.

You’re right. This is much easier than letting me know who you are.

"Okay, thanks for giving me the bends, a-hole."

“Okay, thanks for giving me the bends, a-hole.”

Oh, sure, he recently told me who he really was after seventy-five years (I pretended like I didn’t already know).

How long before this gets erased from my memory?

How long before this gets erased from my memory?

Why the secrecy? Here I can only speculate but I can tell you the thought that’s popped up in my head more than once over the years, the thought that I’ve told myself couldn’t possibly be true: He’s not my friend. He doesn’t trust me. I’m actually a decoy. Just like Batman dressing up his teenage partner is bright red and yellow to jump around rooftops on school nights, I am there to distract criminals from going after whoever Superman really cares for.

Time for a new Robin, I guess.

Time for a new Robin, I guess.

It makes a disturbing amount of sense and would explain why he might seek out an unworldly, naïve teenager with no family or friends and tell him an amazing story about how said teen saved his life when he was a baby and he was going to reward him with his friendship. It would also explain why he wants to keep me alive. If I get killed, he’ll have to find a replacement.

Then again, he’d still have Lois.

I Spanked Superman

Let’s talk about Superman. I promised in an earlier post to tell you how he and I first met and last night’s episode of the fictionalized television series “Supergirl” seems like as good of a jumping off point as any.

FullSizeRender

The episode introduced my Superman Signal Watch into the mythos of the series. For those of you who don’t know, the Superman Signal Watch is a watch that…uh…signals Superman (I guess maybe you could have figured that out on your own). It also keeps reasonable time. At least mine does. Not sure about the one on the show.

It's no Apple Watch.

It’s no Apple Watch.

The story of how I got this watch is the story of how Superman and I first met. It’s also a little unsettling.

Adventures in Babysitting

Adventures in Babysitting

And yes, there will be spanking.

I was eighteen years old, an impressionable teen with a bad case of hero-worship for the Man of Steel, and had just moved to Metropolis to make a go of it in the big city. I had no friends, no family, and no job. In short, I was a perfect mark.

FullSizeRender_1

Looking for some quick cash, I answered an ad to let a complete stranger use me as a Guinea pig for a dangerous and untested science experiment (it wouldn’t be the last time).

This was totally in his garage.

This was totally in his garage.

The time machine takes me to the planet Krypton before it blew up where I promptly make a traffic violation in my time machine and go on the run from the Kryptonian police.

The tiny Kryptonian flying around in the top hat for the win.

The tiny Kryptonian flying around in the top hat for the win.

Also, I can totally read and understand Kryptonese because I’m a huge nerd and figured it out by reading a book.

Kryptonian Entitlement Programs. No wonder their planet exploded.

Kryptonian Entitlement Programs. No wonder their planet exploded.

Taking advantage of Kryptonian Socialism, I get some Kryptonian clothes and quickly insinuated myself into the El family’s life by using the combined powers of lying and inexpensive child care.

Kryptonians don’t require background checks or immunization records to take care of their babies.

Yes, I could have caused a disruption in the space/time continuum but when else was I going to babysit Superman?

Children in restaurants are the same everywhere.

They say never meet your heroes. I’d add never babysit them either. Baby Kal-El was an insufferable super-brat and in my inexperience I turned to corporal punishment (I told you there would be spanking).

Kryptonian Fred MacMurray at the other table is totally judging my parenting skills.

I sort of lost baby Superman for a while but it all worked out in the end.

FullSizeRender_3

Well, except for Lara and Jor-El still dying along with everyone else on Krypton.

Now here comes the unsettling part (aside from the deaths of billions of Kryptonians). When I arrived back in my time I had no memory of the trip at all. It was as though the time machine had been a failure.

Wait. My payment was contingent on you selling your patent???

Wait. My payment was contingent on you selling your patent???

In fact, I never would have known about it at all if Superman (a complete stranger to me) hadn’t shown up and told me all about it.

Um...don't I get a choice here?

Um…don’t I get a choice here?

He told me the story using his “Super-memory” to remember his baby time, informed me we would be pals, got me a job working in the same building as a dude named “Clark” (he knows we all know, right?), and gave me the signal watch (he’s never given one to Lois BTW).

It's weird that I have one and she doesn't, right?

It’s weird that I have one and she doesn’t, right?

And that’s how I met Superman…through a time travel paradox I can’t remember and have to take his word for. I didn’t question it at the time because he was Superman. He stands for Truth, Justice, and the American Way, right (despite coming from Socialist Krypton)? But if there’s one important thing I’ve learned over the years it is this: SUPERMAN LIES.

I’ll tell you more about it next time.

FullSizeRender_2

 

 

 

 

 

I Get Fired A Lot

It’s weird seeing yourself portrayed on a fictional television show. Not getting-fire-breath-after-drinking-a-science-potion weird (happens more than you’d think) but, you know, weird nonetheless.

Anyone want a hamburger? I cooked them with my breath!

Anyone want a hamburger? I cooked it with my breath!

For example, this week’s episode of “Supergirl” featured a storyline where Mehcad Brooks’ Jimmy Olsen is in danger of getting fired from his job at CatCo for failing to use his Superman “bro hang” connection to get an exclusive interview with Supergirl, causing Mehcad-Jimmy to have Big Thoughts about Life and his place in it.

tumblr_nx7yhbcmmf1r5dpsxo2_540

WHY IS LIFE SO HARD???

Now my job at the Daily Planet has been in jeopardy plenty of times. In fact, I’m almost perpetually in a state of being threatened with being fired, actually getting fired, being rehired, getting fired again, or quitting to join the circus (no really, I’ve joined the circus more times than anyone I know).

See?

See?

One time I grew four extra arms and my union rep told Perry White he needed pay me for doing the work of three people or let me go. Can you guess what Perry decided on?

Unions, am I right?

Unions, am I right?

Another time I got fired for dealing out some sick burns to that big old jerk Superman. Totally worth it.

Ha ha! Suck it, Snooperman!

Ha ha! Suck it, Snooperman!

I told them I was under the influence of an alien emotion opposting crystal life form.

I told them I was under the influence of an alien emotion oppostite-ing crystal life form.

Another time I got changed into a Human Porcupine and this mildly irritated my boss.

That photo was SUPER important, folks.

That photo was SUPER important, folks.

What did I do about it? Joined the mother-f***ing circus, of course!

It used to be a viable career...like the news.

It used to be a viable career…like the news.

My point is, the reasons I get fired are super-duper awesome. Not totally lame like not using my connections to book an interview. Even if that did happen, I certainly wouldn’t have an existential crisis about the whole thing. I’d quit in protest and then dress up like a woman and Tootsie my old job back!

Yeah! Everyone's hiring girls over men! Also, they love being called girls!

Yeah! Everyone’s hiring girls over men! Also, they love being called girls!

Oh, sure, Mehcad-Jimmy’s crisis fit in nicely with the episode’s themes about friendship and Mehcad-Jimmy’s speech about living in Superman’s shadow gave me ALL THE FEELS (is it still a thing to say “all the feels”?) but couldn’t the creators have Jimmy accidentally drink a magic potion and become a giant animal of some kind and have THAT be the reason why his job was in jeopardy? Or remove Cat’s teeth with a radioactive camera like I did with Perry White that one time?

Oops!

Oops!

I know it’s early on in the series but I’m getting the vibe the writers aren’t going to draw upon my vast history of amazing adventures and are only using me to be a super cool, sexy love interest who looks great even though he doesn’t wear bow ties or sweater vests. Also, I don’t believe Mehcad eats pizza.

The rest of the episode was good. Except when is Streaky the Supercat going to show up???? It’s episode 2 already!

sgsat_ac261_1

I don’t think I’m being unreasonable.

 

The Elastic Truth About “Supergirl”

I’ve been engaged to and/or married to many women in many different alternate timelines/universes over the years: Lois Lane, Lucy Lane, Allura the giantess from a distant planet, Ilona of the Sunev Galaxy, Rona from another dimension, and…um…a gorilla (to name a few).

CR8jC3wVEAA5PSC

Worst part about my inter-species wedding: Superman’s cultural insensitivity.

But my favorite of all my almost wives will always be Kara Zor-El, commonly known to the world as “Supergirl.” I’ll never forget our imaginary wedding that never happened!

JimmyRomance02

Sweet never memories.

Naturally, when I heard about the long overdue television show based on her life and adventures and looked forward to live tweeting the premiere with the rest of the world. Sadly, I discovered five minutes before the show was going to start that my live TV feed was broken and I don’t have cable so I wasn’t able to watch with the rest of the world. Super bummer.

The show was a critical and ratings hit. Also, Black Twitter liked it (check out the #Supergurl hashtag when you get a chance)! I got a chance to catch up with the pilot last night and it was super-duper fun, humorous, and emotional (I cried four times). Congratulations to the cast and crew on a job well done.

Supergirl_1920x1080_586896_640x360

That’s my girl! Sort of…not really. I mean she’s her own woman and everything…never mind.

However…

THAT’S NOT THE REAL STORY.

This is Hollywood and as with all media adaptations of real life events liberties have been taken, time compressed, and certain facts thrown out the window. For example:

The opening on Krypton. Superbaby being put in a tiny rocket has been done many times over the years and same as always they left something out: I WAS THERE. Allegedly. My mind was wiped afterwards so I can’t be sure. I’m saving the details for a separate post but the quick version is: Time travel. I became Superbaby’s babysitter. I saved the little a-hole’s life. I don’t know if they filmed my scenes and cut them for time but it would nice to see it on screen one day.

680961

It was nice that they got Superbaby’s spit curl right though. Does it naturally do that or did Jor-El and Kara put product in his hair? If so, he’s maintained the same hair style since birth??? Total square.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.02.51 PMtumblr_l6j4s7Oypw1qbujox

One of the other points that veers far from reality is Kara’s and my “meet cute.” It wasn’t quite as adorkable in real life. You see, I was a Wolf-man at the time after having willfully chugged down a bottle of magic potion clearly labeled “Ye Wolfman Potion” from an ancient crypt. Did I mention I used to be a complete idiot?

FullSizeRender

I was young.

“Ye” antidote for the Wolf-man curse was the good old-fashioned sexist trope of “the willing kiss of a beautiful maiden.” What does beautiful mean? What if I don’t like maidens? What if it’s a woman who drank the potion and she doesn’t like maidens? WTF does a kiss have to do with anything? Not even love’s true kiss, just a meaningless peck from an objectively attractive woman.

If I were a cosplayer I'd be furious she thought it was just a mask.

If I were a cosplayer I’d be furious she thought it was just a mask.

Luckily, I happened to transform at both a costume party and a movie studio where everyone just took it for granted that I was wearing a mask but I knew it would be SUPER EMBARRASSING if anyone found out so I made a plan to get the curse lifted: I take all my savings out of the bank, go to the park in the middle of the night, and ask the first attractive woman I see (a complete stranger) to kiss me in exchange for the money.

What could possibly go wrong?

What could possibly go wrong?

SPOILER ALERT: It didn’t work.

Thankfully, she wasn't an undercover cop.

Thankfully, she wasn’t an undercover cop.

So Superman (who feels a need to solve all my problems) took me back to my apartment where he had a strange woman waiting for me in a darkened room who had agreed to kiss me.

FullSizeRender

You have what now?

That’s right. That woman was Supergirl.

FullSizeRender_2

I can understand why the producers of the show decided to change how we met, seeing as how there’s a lot to set up in a pilot and having Mehcad Brooks running around in full Wolf-man makeup might have distracted from the other plot elements of the show, not to mention the creepy/pimp-like quality to Superman’s behavior. So I’m okay with it.

Supercreep! Supercreep! He's super creeepy!

Supercreep! Supercreep! He’s super creeepy!

And while we’re on the subject of Mehcad… nailed it. He may not look exactly like me (though his abs are spot on) but he definitely captured my essence (or at least how I see myself): sexy, mature, charming, sexy.

Me.

Me.

Mehcad.

Mehcad.

Too many of these Superman movies and shows have me running around like a dorky, reckless moron who needs to be saved from Superman. I mean, that’s accurate too but I’m more than just a dorky, reckless moron. Did I mention how many almost wives I’ve had???

JimmyRomance12

There are other inaccuracies (like Cyborg Superman being Kara’s sister’s boss) but I loved it all the same and am looking forward to the next episode. Let me know what you thought in the comments below. Or, you know, don’t.

I WAS A TEENAGE SIDEKICK

Hi! My name is James Bartholomew Olsen. I used to be famous for being the “best boy pal” of a certain strange visitor from another planet. Nowadays I’m just a regular ole cub reporter in his mid-thirties wondering where all the years have gone (go to college, kids).

My life hasn’t been boring: I’ve been an Elastic Lad, a Giant Turtle Man, and even a Nazi Field Marshal (there’s a reasonable explanation). I’m here to share some of my stories and hopefully figure out a way to pivot out of the dying medium of print journalism and into the digital age. I should probably take the Nazi thing out of my bio, shouldn’t I?

DDayAdventure01

It’s not what it looks like.

So what can you expect from this blog? A lot of time has passed since I first met Superman and there’s a lot of dirt to dish and things to unpack. Also, probably some “Supergirl” TV show recaps.

WHY “RUBBER REPORT?”

One could say I wasted a LOT of time thinking the domain name for this blog. Don’t believe me? Here’s a sample:

OlsenReport – Because I’m a reporter and my last name is Olsen.
SuperReport – Because, you know, superheroes and stuff.
SuperDuperReport – “Super-duper!” is my catchphrase so…
SuperFiles – Like the X-files but about super stuff.
OlsenFiles – I like files.
CubBeat – I’m a Cub Reporter and this is my beat.
CubFiles – Again with the files.
ElasticTruth – I was Elastic Lad and I’m here to tell the truth!
GiantTurtleNews – Kind of liked this one.
GiantTurtleFiles – Again with the files.
GiantTurtleReport – You get the idea.
GiantTurtle – Did I mention I was a Giant Turtle Man?
OlsenTruth – Do I need to explain this one?
TeenSidekick – Too long, but accurate.
AgingSidekick – Too negative. You’re only as old as you feel.
ElasticReport – This was really word association at this point.
Olsency – I used a blog name generator and got this.
Sidechic – Like a sidekick who is chic.
ActionBeat – Because of “Action Comics.”
ActionReport – I can’t believe I wrote this one down.
RedKryptonite = weird stuff
Olsenite – Get it? I’m like my own Kryptonite?
RedOlsenite – Weird tales + Red hair + Red Kryptonite + Me
SuperTruth – Sounds too conspiracy nut.
jimmy-olsen – JimmyOlsen was already taken.
KidSidekick – Too many k’s.
DeadSidekick – Too dark.
RecklessSidekick – Too long + too many k’s.
RecklessKid – Okay, I googled “sidekick tropes.”
SuperOlsen – I had to have called myself this at some point.
SupergirlsBoy – Crassly trying to piggyback on the new show.
BestBoyPal – The creepy thing Superman calls me.

As you can see, I was super into the words “Report” and “Files.” And to be honest, I was kind of partial to “Giant Turtle News” but my sometime, sort-of, not really girlfriend Lucy Lane hated every single one of them. Except “Rubber Report.”
I know. That still doesn’t answer the question.
Well, in my sometime superhero identity of “Elastic Lad” I was known as “The Boy of Rubber.” Well, maybe “known” is stretching it (pardon the pun). Superman is known as the Man of Steel. Two people called me the Boy of Rubber. One of them was me just now.
FullSizeRender

The other one was a narrator.

Anyhow, when I was choosing my twitter handle just about every variation of my name and various nicknames and alter egos had already been taken so I landed on @boyofrubber. Wanting to keep a little brand awareness when I started the blog so I chose “The Rubber Report.” Then I realized I’m famous and should probably have my name somewhere in the title and so now it’s “Jimmy Olsen’s Super-Duper Rubber Report.”
Upon reflection, I probably should have just bought JimmyOlsen.com off whoever GoDaddied it.
Tune in next time, when I will have hopefully figured out how to watch “Supergirl” on somewhere other than my laptop!