Escape the Evil Box

Why would Superman choose a telephone booth to change his clothes? It never made sense to me. The booths were narrow glass boxes with a folding door that opened inward. Even with his super speed, the large hero would have had limited room to remove his shoes, socks, pants, shirt, tie and put on stretchy tights and a flowing cape. If he wore his tights under his street clothes, that still does not negate the need to bend down for shoes, socks, and slide off pants. Add to the clothes changing event the requirement to perform the maneuver in mere seconds to launch upon the rescue mission and the skinny glass box makes even less sense.

I tested the theory as a young boy. The family went to a restaurant and there was a glass phone booth outside. I ran ahead of my siblings, jumped in the box, and slammed the folding door shut.

“I’m Superman!” I shouted and pushed on the door to leap out.

Nothing happened.

I pushed again, harder this time. Still nothing. I spun in place looking at the glass walls for another exit. None. The door was the only way out and it wouldn’t budge. It was stuck.

My brother ran up to the door, pointed, and laughed at me. “Superman is stuck in the phone booth!” Other brothers joined him in laughter. None offered to help.

I pushed, banged, and kicked the door. Nothing worked. The glass started to fog from my panicked breathing. My parents walked past all of us on their way into the restaurant, holding my sister’s hands between them. My dad smiled, completely unconcerned, and kept going. Mom said, “Come on boys, let’s go inside.”

My brothers broke away from their taunting and ran behind our parents, jockeying for position, forever competing for attention.

I slumped backwards in the phone booth and pouted. My family couldn’t just leave me out here! I had to get out. I reached for the door to pull myself upright again and it slid inward. A rush of fresh air washed over me as it opened and folded to the left. I was free!


Tell us about a time when you managed to extract yourself from a sticky situation at the very last minute.