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Jimmy Olsen 122
"Jimmy The Soda-Jerk!"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND (80 Page Giant #62) August- September, 1969

Story: Unknown Art: Curt Swan

(Originally Reviewed On 01/07/02)

Standing on a scale, Jimmy reads his fortune, which tells of a beautiful girl, who has just entered his life, and that he should be nice to her because she goes for him in a big, big, way, and behind him is Elsie, the 308 lb beauty who is confident that fate means for them to meet, while at the cosmetic counter, Lucy Lane beams at Jimmy's fortune, and The Man of Steel realizes that this particular girl has a lot of love to give! At a drugstore in Metropolis, the Daily Planet cub reporter is undercover as a soda jerk, a job he got the other day, and since then, Elsie has been by the counter, intent on making Jimbo her own, while Jimmy regrets smiling at her the day he began the job. Elsie offers to take him out to dinner, which she'd gladly pay for, and Jimmy tells her that he'll think about it, as soon as she gets back to her cashier's booth before the boss gets upset, and thinks to himself why the girl doesn't see he has no desire to date her? (Holy Dating Game, Batman!)

Thirsting for a coke, Lucy Lane enters the drugstore and is surprised to see Jimmy The Soda Jerk in action! Shushing her, Jimmy tells her not to give him away since he's undercover, watching the owner, "Legs" Halleck, who knows the young man as Jimmy Smith. (Holy L.A. Law, Batman! Whoops, wrong guy...) He tells her that the owner is an ex-convict who appears to be going straight, but Jimmy's been informed that he's involved in a counterfeiting racket, and no one knows how Halleck contacts the members of his gang to pick up the phony money! Once he's finished his story, Jimmy sees Lucy walking away, and then, bring in a salesgirl wanted sign from outside. Since she has four days before her next flight, and wondering how exactly Jimmy gets his scoops, she applies for the salesgirl job, to Jimmy's disbelief. Shortly, the owner comes up to Jimmy, having been told that he is a friend of Lucy and can recommend her for the job, which he does, and hopes that she doesn't get in his way. At night, Jimmy and Lucy have dinner, with him trying to convince her that the assignment is dangerous, and she, confident that the cub reporter can take care of himself, so that she can watch him in action!

The following morning, Jimmy is given the task of replacing the penny fortune cards in the scale, and later, Jimmy treats Lucy to her fortune on the scale. Reading her fortune, Lucy tells Jimmy that it's about a handsome, rich gentleman, who will fall in love with her and take her out on exciting dates, and that her weight is 110 lbs. Mr. Halleck calls Lucy over and tells her that there's a customer at the perfume counter, the customer is a handsome rich gentleman, who finds her beautiful and offers to take her out, while Jimmy fumes and places a penny in the scale. Hoping to somehow make Lucy jealous, 165 lb Jimmy reads about a beautiful girl who has just entered his life, and for him to treat her nice since she goes for him in a big, big way! Hearing a girl's voice behind him, Jimmy turns...

Elsie tells Jimmy that she has two tickets to the jazz festival, and the cub reporter turned soda jerk wonders if the fortune is all it's cracked up to be. Seeing Lucy and the handsome gentleman customer sharing smiles with one another, Jimmy tears up the jazz tickets, his thoughts on cracking the counterfeit money passers, unaware of how Elsie's feelings are hurt. The afternoon finds Elsie wondering why Jimmy isn't interested in her, then she mentions Willie Paxton, a man she claims is dying for a date with her, and who she will have nothing to do with until he loses 100 pounds. Paxton comes in frequently to buy weight-loss pills, and Elsie is confident that Willie would be eager to take her to the jazz festival. Willie, meanwhile, asks Mr. Halleck for some pennies for the scale. Elsie greets Willie, who tells her that he'll lose the weight someday with the reducing pills, as he slips a penny into the coin slot... Elsie tells Jimmy that Paxton is starving himself to make an impression on her, while Jimmy's eyes suddenly zero in on a thin fellow who has just walked in, and who resembles someone from a rogues gallery.

The thin man orders a malted milk, and Soda Jerk Jimmy figures that there must be something secret in the malted milk powder, and empties the entire container in vain for a secret message. The thin man tells Mr. Halleck that he really has a soda jerk on his hands, then leaves, with the boss cross at the undercover reporter, who has overloaded the shaker with the malted. The next day, Willie Paxton tells Elsie that the weight-loss pills haven't worked, and he is still at 300 lbs, then orders Jimmy to make him a double butterscotch frappe when Elsie's out, and the soda jerk wonders why Paxton would want ice cream if he's trying to lose weight? Suddenly gripped with an idea, Jimmy tells Lucy to get on the scale with him, intent on making the scale weigh 300 lbs, and the undercover cosmetic salesperson wonders if Jimmy has jerked one too many sodas.

The two of them together weigh 265 lbs, but Jimmy thinks that the safe in the back room would do the job, just as an orange Krypto soars by. Whistling, Jimmy gets Krypto's attention and begins to bring the safe to the scale, then drops it when he is attracted by the aroma of a hot dog! Elsie returns, then asks what the boss' safe is doing out of the back room. Pointing a finger at Elsie, Jimmy figures that she must weigh 300 lbs, and tells her to get on the scale, but the delicate Elsie has never been on a scale, unable to face what she must weigh. Desperate for her to get on the scale, Jimmy agrees to give her a kiss for each pound she weighs, and asks her to weigh herself. With such an incentive, Elsie hopes she weighs a thousand lbs, then gets on the scale! (Holy Simmons, Batman! Jimmy is going to have some sore lips in the morning.)

Elsie weighs 308 lbs and expects 308 kisses from Jimmy, who is so intent on reading the fortune on the card that has just come out, that he fails to see Mr. Halleck's return. It reads, "Seek fortune on waterfront at midnight." This is the method that "Legs" used to get a special message to Willie Paxton, who weighed 300 lbs, while anyone who weighed under 300 lbs would get a regular message. "Legs" Halleck has a message of his own for Jimmy... "I'm going to bump you off!" Now aware that Jimmy has gone undercover as a soda jerk to nail him and his gang, "Legs" is about to pull the trigger, when salesgirl Lucy blinds him with perfume from the sample atomizer! While "Legs" is blinded, Jimmy activates his signal watch to contact Superman, who will no doubt catch the counterfeiting ring at the waterfront this evening. Indeed, The Man of Steel vows to keep a date with the gang, but before that can happen, Jimmy has to fulfill an appointment of his own... with Elsie! 214...215...216... Jimmy grudingly finds it's worth it, for he has received 308 lbs of satisfaction out of catching Halleck and The Counterfeiting Gang.

Having gone undercover as a bellboy, a window-washer, a racketeer, and even a girl, Jimmy has become a soda-jerk! Jimmy's fortune has come true for in being nice to Elsie, he managed to uncover "Legs" Halleck's counterfeiting ring.

Ah, The Silver Age, where if a girl wasn't a newshen or flight attendent, she could be an undercover cosmetics salesgirl! (Holy Mary Kay, Batman!)

Perhaps the handsome, rich gentleman was really The Man of Steel in one of his amazing disguises. Having been out with Lois, maybe he wanted to date Lucy, as well. The disguise, to spare his pal's feelings, to avoid Lois' wrath, and to stake out the drugstore... yeah, that's right!

Willie Paxton outweighs me by 70 lbs. My kingdom for a cosmic treadmill.

What would a Silver Age Jimmy Olsen story be without a misunderstanding between him and Lucy? "Quick, Lucy! Get on the scale!"

For some reason, Krypto is colored orange in this story. Red Kryptonite?

Jimmy's boss wanting to bump him off. Usually it's the other way around.

With her use of the sample atomizer, I don't know why Lucy didn't follow Lana Lang's example of joining The Legion of Super-Heroes as Cosmetic Queen?

214... 215...216... kisses and I have to ask, what will give first... Jimmy... Elsie... or the stool beneath them?

This Review Is Dedicated To The Pulse's Jen Contino "You Rock!"

Steve Chung
"Jimmy The Soda-Review"