A Post Mortem On An Unfortunate Friend

“Dear Doc Curmudgeon” is a column by Clint McElroy made up of completely fabricated responses to mostly fabricated questions. But you knew that due to your discerning nature and brilliant mind which would never fall for a columnist trying to butter you up…unless you’re into that.

Dear Doc Curmudgeon,

Hey Doc. Just put another stiff down in the morgue for you. This one’s a real mystery. Good luck. I stuck him in #26.






Autopsy conducted by Doc Curmudgeon. Thursday, March 12th, 2015.

Objective is to analyze remains and determine cause of death and the conditions which led to the subject’s demise.Subject appears to be approximately 75 to 85 years old. (Sound of rubber gloves snapping as they are being put on). Subject was in excellent condition. Remarkable even. No external signs that would indicate what caused the death.

Oh, before I proceed, I suppose I should record the subject’s name. Let me check the toe tag.


(Rustling sound of a sheet being moved). Okay, that name is..

..Marvel Continuity.

First indications are that Marvel Continuity was in very good health for most of its life. I would venture to guess that Continuity was very strong in the early going, perhaps even to the point where the subject was well known for it’s robust condition. I would conjecture that it has only been in say, the last…ohh, thirty years or so that his internal workings have become dangerously distressed.

Pressure from within obviously has placed Continuity under great duress.  Internal systems have become more and more convoluted, crossing back on themselves to the point where Continuity had nowhere left to go.

It is obvious that Marvel Continuity has undergone extensive cosmetic adjustments, to an almost criminal level. It’s very clear that countless procedures have been conducted by numerous parties, with no regard for the subject’s health or well-being. I have seen this before, with “experts” being given carte blanche to carry out their own plans for their own aggrandizement, not for the health of their patients. Of course, the argument could be made that many of these procedures were done to experiment with new techniques, but signs indicate to me the likelihood that this demonstrates the mindset of recycling old techniques in a futile attempt to give the appearance of youth.

We here in the medical profession call this the ‘God Complex’. The individual in question wants to make his or her mark –so to speak– and are allowed to proceed with little or no supervision. They are allowed to break all the rules and create all new ones.

If I may make an analogy: It is similar to a writer, if a writer was given free rein to do whatever they want with characters, settings, or plotlines. True creativity is not based solely on imagination. It is the application of the imagination within existing parameters. I can imagine the most beautiful picture ever devised. But if I don’t follow the parameters of applying paint to canvas, pen to paper, crayon to coloring book, no one is going to be able to share that beauty.

So it is with writers. Everything must have some kind of foundation in a reality. If a writer is allowed to set off on any kind of tangent or variation without a basis in existing concepts, it dilutes the original idea to where all flavor is lost. It would be almost like letting a writer do whatever they wanted with characters and then justify the whole thing with the hackneyed excuse that it was a “parallel universe” or “altered reality”. (Sound of peals of derisive laughter)

I would venture to say that something very similar has led to the demise of Marvel Continuity.

Complications from too much tinkering. Too many adjustments in an attempt to extend life, when it would have been much better to allow the subject to live out its natural life with grace and dignity, and begin again with a whole new subject.

Well, I need to move on to my next case.

Is that..? No! It can’t be!

Nick Fury?



If you loved what you just read, leave a comment, or better yet, send a message to [email protected]. If you didn’t like it, send a message to mxyzptlk@kltpzyxm. Or just follow him on Twitter @doccurm.

Clint McElroy
Clint McElroy

Clint McElroy is a/an (ADJECTIVE) writer with a God-given gift for (NOUN). His favorite activities include (ACTIVE VERB), (ACTIVE VERB), and twisting the heads off of (PLURAL NOUN). He is also rumored to possess an impressive (NOUN).

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