Kent’s Problem

This story first appeared  May 19, 2013.
And my name is really not William Q. Colby, it’s just the name of the blog.
My real name is Kent Bonham.
Phone Booth JHC.jpg
Great photo, J. Hardy Carroll!
Rochelle Wisoff-Fields operates this Flash Fiction store.  Please check for coupons.


“KENT!  Long time no see!”

“Um … hi, Reggie.”  Oh, great!  Always at a time like this.   He’ll talk about his kids and “the missus” while I’m in a hurry!  The guy annoys me, always has and just when there’s an emergency, too!  “I was just about to make a phone call …”

“On THAT?  Nobody uses that pay telephone anymore!”

Hey!  I can suck up the air around him!   Maybe that’ll knock him out.  


Did it!  I’ll just hang my suit and glasses here like I always do.  That dinosaur is almost over the Metropolis skyline! 

“Up, up, and away!”


And you all thought it was about ME, huh?   Eh … I’ll never tell.  😉

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94 Responses to Kent’s Problem

  1. Dear Kent

    Or should I say Clark? Hahahahahahahahahahahah. What does Superman do now that phone booths are ob-so-lete? Fun! For some reason I don’t remember this one.


    Cuzzin Shelley

    • wmqcolby says:

      Haha! I wish, Neil. Actually, my cousin, Bill Bonham, was the name I appropriated. William, or “Will” would have been the name of my first-born, if he had been a boy. Unfortunately, no kids happened at all (nor wife, either). But, I could name a blog! 🙂

  2. Iain Kelly says:

    That’s one use of Superman’s powers they haven’t covered in the recent films!

  3. wmqcolby says:

    It comes from the old strips, around the 50’s or 60’s or so. I had an anthology book of Superman from the 30’s to the 70’s. He did that a few times.

  4. A super story, Kent. Loved the introduction.

  5. Whatever and whyever your name is, that was a good story. Wish I knew that trick 🙂

  6. Sandra says:

    I always knew there was an alter ego lurking somewhere. Nicely re-purposed. Love that word.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks, Sandra. Yes, that word “repurpose” is a good one for this time and season of society. I apply it in a lot of situations, this one, in particular. 🙂

      As for the alter ego, yes, he was lurking somewhere. 😉

  7. Moon says:

    A very fun story , Kent! 🙂

  8. I loved this! Quirky and whimsical. 🙂

  9. Dale says:

    Definitely well re-purposed… And it was before “my time” here at FF so for me, an original. Love it… Clarke… um… I mean Kent!

  10. trentpmcd says:

    I always wondered what CK did after the phone booths went away. I guess he would know where the last few are hidden…

  11. wmqcolby says:

    Yeah, it’s kind of a challenge trying to do it behind a cellular. Kind of like Schroeder in Peanuts playing Beethoven Sonatas on the toy piano. It takes a LOT of talent since the black keys on a toy piano are painted on.

  12. Varad says:

    Hahaha! Superman needs to get a room 😛 and not just depend on payphone booths

  13. Delightfully different! Thanks for the grin.

    Click to read my FriFic

  14. Kent, a wonderful write here. Loved the intro too.

  15. pennygadd51 says:

    Nice one, Kent! I hope your keyboard stood up to the superspeed typing!

  16. yarnspinnerr says:

    Kent Clark ….. imaginative take. Great write.

  17. granonine says:

    Faster than a speeding bullet 🙂

  18. Super stuff. (No mention of Lois Lane?)

  19. Look up in the sky!! It’s a plane… 🤣🤣 love your take.

  20. Sarah Ann says:

    Lovely story. I’m sure sharing a name means you have your own special superpowers.

  21. Superman! Nice twist at the end 🙂

  22. draliman says:

    Ah, *that* Kent. Now that public payphones are disappearing, one wonders where poor Superman will be able to change… Nice one 🙂

    • wmqcolby says:

      Thanks, Ali. Of course, any Superman reader will know he had other places. Why the phone booth was so popular compared to the storage closets and around the back way is a mystery to me.

  23. Liz Young says:

    But..but…you changed without a cubicle round you?

  24. Lynn Love says:

    So, that’s why you wear your underwear over your trousers, eh? 🙂 There’s a danger you could abuse those powers – awkward work conversations, just talking with anyone boring. With great power comes great responsibilty, Kent. Just remember that 🙂

    • wmqcolby says:

      Hahahahaha! The guy I based the character of Reggie on was really named Russell. That’s why I changed the name. I didn’t want people to think that OUR Russell was that guy. The Russell I’m referring to was a guy with whom I went to high school. I liked my friends then, but after some forty-odd years, if they haven’t changed or “grown up” and all they have are the memories, I can’t relate to them anymore. Sad.

  25. plaridel says:

    you got me hook, line, and sinker. well done. 🙂

  26. wmqcolby says:

    Thank-you, sir. 🙂

  27. Alice Audrey says:

    Oh cleaver! I’d never thought of inhaling as a super power. Great way to deal with the guy.

  28. I stopped by yesterday and was going to leave this witty comment — then got distracted and can’t remember now. Funny how when you get past sixty your idea of “super powers” changes a lot. I can join with Sarah in remembering 1969, but it would be super to remember 2017, too. Some might say it takes super power to listen to a long-winded old friend, too.

    Oh, yes, great story there, Kent! So glad Clark could ditch the old friend and save the city. People shouldn’t try hatching dinosaur eggs in crowded cities, anyway — or did that one land from some remote planet. Never into Superman myself; it was Nancy Drew for me. 🙂

    • Oh, hey! I remember now. I was going to encourage you to change your Default from Uncategorized to Fiction.
      I’ve been spending a bit of time over at First Friday during the last few months helping new bloggers get set up and this is one bit of advice I give them, because an Uncategorized post is an absolute waste of opportunity. It sends a blog post NOWHERE. and it’s simple to change: go into your settings, click on Writing, click on Categories and set up a new Default category.

      • wmqcolby says:

        Thanks, Christine. And hooray for Nancy Drew! One of the BEST book series of all time. I read Encyclopedia Brown. I never read comics much since I preferred TV cartoons of the same. MUCH more interesting.

        OK, I can change the default. Thanks! I know so little about this stuff. 😦

      • You’re welcome. WordPress allows up to a combo of fifteen tags & categories before their SPAM alert kicks a post off the Reader. So I tell newbies, “Use as many as are pertinent to your post if you want other readers to find your writing.” Apparently the advice works; one fellow wrote that his viewers doubled in a month when he followed that advice.

        My granddaughter is into Nancy Drew now. 🙂 Reading it over at this point the stories seem so improbable, with everything tying in together so neatly. But still, they sold well. Canadian writer Leslie MacFarlaine wrote the first half of the Hardy Boys books and has written about this in his auto-bio, Ghost of the Hardy Boys.

  29. gahlearner says:

    This was pure fun, such great recyclin, Clark. 😀

  30. ceayr says:

    Dear William. I have to say I do not approve of this pretentious penchant for pseudonyms, noms de plume, noms de guerre, and other aliases.
    Yours Insincerely
    C. E. Ayr (aka AnElephantCant etc)
    PS what does the Q stand for?
    If you decide to run a competition with large cash prizes for the correct or ridiculousest answer then I propose Quagglepooper.
    Do I win?

  31. wmqcolby says:

    My esteemed and befuddled C.E.,

    Your inability to comprehend nom-de-plumes is of no concern of mine. We are people who lie to our diaries, make up stories and put them down on cyberpaper in order for people to marvel as did Alexander when he beheld the spoils of Egypt (or as YOU did when you read this week’s entry of mine). As the great author of Poetics, Aristotle, once said, “So, THERE!” (raaaazzzzz)

    As to the name.

    1. “William” my cousin and great-uncle’s name.
    2. “Q” thrown in for arbitrary cutesyness.
    3. “Colby” the last name of an author who wrote a book on aviation for children.

    I created and have used this name since I was a fifth grader. It’s kind of dumb, I know, but who really gives AnElephant’sBehind or a Quagglepoop?

    Your comments have been noted and duly logged. Please send them in triplicate to the nearest “person-who-really-gives-a-tinker’s-dam” department and they will be archived.

    PS. Reggie a good family man? I suppose — if your last name is Addams and your uncle’s name is Fester.

  32. wmqcolby says:

    🙂 Thank-you, Cuzzin Your Majesty.

  33. Hehehehe
    Can I borrow some of that power anytime soon?

  34. Great story, Kent. It has left a wide grin on my mouth 😀 My sympathy is with you. The Reggies of this world are no respecters of time, or picking up body language that says, “I’m in a hurry.” As for that expression “long time no see” … grrrrr. Extreme measure required, most definitely!

  35. Wonderful superpowers! lol

  36. wmqcolby says:

    Yes, aren’t they? Thanks, Dawn.

  37. subroto says:

    Good one Kent. Did you type this faster than a speeding bullet?

  38. wmqcolby says:

    Better, Sub. Copy and paste! 😀

  39. wmqcolby says:

    Is that viable on a Mac? 😀

    By the way, your blog didn’t accept my comments. So ….

    Your story reminded me of when my family and I went to Puerto Rico in 1981. Mom was SO excited to get Dad away from a telephone! My, my, MY. How things have changed.

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