Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Question of the Day

Given that Superman is invulnerable, how would he have had the necessary vaccinations necessary to register for school when he was a kid?




(First correct answer wins a date with James Rummel.)

18 comments:

Will Deuel said...

The doctor's office would have to turn on a red sun lamp. Superman is vulnerable under the light of a red sun.

James R. Rummel said...

You're throwing my love around kind of freely, aren't you?

suek said...

When Superman came to earth as a boy, vaccinations were not required, so it wasn't a problem.* Besides...the question isn't "how" the question is "why". I mean...Invulnerable _means_ invulnerable, right?
Besides 2...how did he get a birth certificate in order to register? Hey...if he could get a birth certificate, he could get a vaccination record...!

*(There really was such a time, you know!)

John said...

When Superman came to earth as a boy, vaccinations were not required, so it wasn't a problem.

suek wins. Superman first appeared in 1938. Assuming that he was 22 and just out of journalism school, he would have been 5 years old in 1921 -- before mandatory vaccination.

how did he get a birth certificate in order to register?

It may not have been required. Birth certificates have not always been the norm, especially in rural areas. When I got my first driver's license in 1992, one's name in a family bible was considered an acceptable form of ID.

Kristopher said...

His adoptive parents could be carrying a bit of Kryptonite with them when he gets his shots.

The comics have dealt with this before ... Superman does have a doctor he sees, who does have Kryptonite scalpels and syringes.

John said...

The comics have dealt with this before ... Superman does have a doctor he sees, who does have Kryptonite scalpels and syringes.

True, but I don't think that they had access to Kryptonite, or even knew where he was from. Did they find some in his pod? I'm sure that that could be written in without disrupting the primary storyline.

Kristopher said...

His parents must of had some around, even if they weren't aware of it. Embedded in the house somewhere?

I couldn't imagine them living through the terrible two's without it.

One tantrum, and you have parent jam.

That being said, suek's answer is better ... no such animal in the 1920's and 30's.

Kai said...

Superman did not spring forth from his rocketship a fully realized super-being. His powers developed as he grew older. As for the birth certificate, originally the Kents claimed that Clark was their own son, born during a severe winter in which they were isolated on the family farm.

Rob De Witt said...

Another good question would be

"Do they use an alcohol swab before fatal injection?"

For extra credit, "If so, why?"


wv = "terbul," which seems appropriate.

Windy Wilson said...

To Rob De Witt;
Yes.
Union rules.

John said...

I don't think that it would have been hard to come up with a birth certificate retroactively, especially back then.

James R. Rummel said...

"I don't think that it would have been hard to come up with a birth certificate retroactively, especially back then."

Back in the 1990's, when I was working as a fingerprint technician for the local police department, I would see false birth certificates and social security cards all the time.

This doesn't mean that they were forged, or fake. People would simply wander through a graveyard, find the name of an infant that would have been about their age if the poor wee bairn hadn't died at around two years, and use the name to get a set of ID.

This would be legitimate ID in that it was issued from the government. It was illegal because it was for a dead infant that had passed decades previously, and the person using the ID was committing fraud by claiming to be them. Fraudulent ID instead of fake ID.

The ever growing number of computer networks has made this more difficult, and the risk of being caught trying to get fraudulent ID has risen. But it still happens every so often.

All the criminal has to do is frequent rural graveyards, places where the local county seat hasn't bothered to scan old death certificates into the database. The danger is that there is really no way to tell of the locals have had a bought of ambition, and made sure that the old yellowed forms from decades ago that are sitting around in boxes in the basement got scanned in to the state database.

Now we go back to the 1930's, when Clark Kent first appeared in Smallville, Kansas. No computers, no networking, no national database of any kind except FBI fingerprint files of criminals, military records of those who served, and a newly created income tax database.

If the Kents showed up at the Clerk of Courts office and said "Oh, yeah! Had a baby about a year ago. Never got around to getting a birth certificate.", what would happen?

The clerk would say "Okay, here you go." And that would be that.

Jeff the Baptist said...

In modern canon, Superman doesn't really develop his full powers until puberty so vaccinations wouldn't be a problem.

In historical canon, he didn't need to get vaccinated anyway.

John said...

James wrote:

This doesn't mean that they were forged, or fake. People would simply wander through a graveyard, find the name of an infant that would have been about their age if the poor wee bairn hadn't died at around two years, and use the name to get a set of ID.

So if I ever need to disappear and get a new ID, you're the guy to go to, eh?

John said...

Jeff wrote:

In modern canon, Superman doesn't really develop his full powers until puberty so vaccinations wouldn't be a problem.

I didn't know that. This would certainly make the toddler years a lot easier.

James R. Rummel said...

"So if I ever need to disappear and get a new ID, you're the guy to go to, eh?"

I would suggest a guy works down at the local convenience store, actually.

Bob Hawkins said...

They use an alcohol swab before giving a condemned prisoner a lethal injection.

Maybe Superman is conditioned with the Krypton version of the Prime Directive, which prevents him from letting the human race skip a few hundred generations of progress.

So the Superman stories are actually Asimovian puzzle stories. The thing we've all been missing is that Superman has to save the earth by working around The Three Laws of Kryptonics. In effect, he has to figure out how to save the hamsters by stepping on some of them.

John said...

Bob wrote:

Maybe Superman is conditioned with the Krypton version of the Prime Directive, which prevents him from letting the human race skip a few hundred generations of progress.

This is certainly possible, although I don't know of anything like it in the canon.

Culturally, he's human and American, so he would not grow up simply believing in a major Kryptonian principle, unless it was also in his native culture.