The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Rodriguez: Daily Planet real as Santa to grandson


Helena Rodriguez

My grandson Giovanni, 5, asked me the other day, in all seriousness, “Is the Daily Planet real, grandma?”

“No, Giovanni,” I answered. “The Daily Planet is not real.”

“But you said that the news IS real, Grandma,” Giovanni insisted. He was confused.

For a moment there, he had gotten me. That kid has a super hero memory.

“Yes, Gio …” I fumbled for a few seconds. “I mean … the news that we read in the newspapers and that we see on TV IS real, like I told you the other day, mijo. Well kinda … it used to be anyway …” I had now gotten myself into a hole. “…But anyway,” I continued. “The Daily Planet is not real because it is not a real newspaper. It is in a made up story, and so it is fiction. Remember you learned that word at the summer reading program? The news we see on TV is non-fiction, because it is real .. well … kind of.”

For a moment, I reminisced about the good ol’ days of journalism. It’s not like it used to be.

Anyway, The Daily Planet is the newspaper that Clark Kent and Lois Lane work for in the “Super Man” movie. How interesting it is that Clark always disappears anytime any “real news” happens and yet still manages to keep his job. Not very realistic if you ask me. But in Giovanni’s young mind, Super Man is as real as Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. I couldn’t burst his bubble about Santa Claus. I discovered that The Daily Planet is just as important in Gio’s book.

Gio wants to be a super hero, too, and he wants to possess super powers, as well. I tell him I would love to be a princess, just like Princess Sophia, or better yet, like my tocaya, my namesake, Elena of Avilar, the new Hispanic princess that Disney has just introduced. I expected Giovanni to be excited for me, just like when he tells me he is The Incredible Hulk or Spider Man and I tell him I am “Hulk Grandma” or “Wonder Grandma.” But Gio shook his head this time and said, “No, you can’t be Elena of Avilar, grandma. You are Elena of Columns.”

I had to laugh out loud. I write “real news,” sort of, and so, Giovanni doesn’t want me to identify myself with a fictional character. I guess a separate rule applies for grandmas, though, because for him, The Daily Planet is just as real as The Portales News-Tribune.

Helena Rodriguez is a Portales native. Contact her at:

[email protected]


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