Mental Hospital to Close Superheroes Wing
Due to budget cuts, the Cherrydale Hospital for the Mentally Ill has announced that it will soon close the wing of the facility dedicated to the care of people who think they’re comic book superheroes.
According to chief physician Robert Emory, this did not come as a surprise. “We just don’t have the business we used to. The ’60s was our heyday. We had half a dozen Supermen, an equal number of Batmen, three Galactuses, two Green Lanterns, and even a The Thing. Oh, and an Incredible Catwoman.”
Wasn’t that just “Catwoman”? She didn’t have an “Incredible” in front of her name.
“This one did,” he recalls with a wistful gleam in his eye.
The disco era of the late 1970s was a particularly difficult time, according to Dr. Emory. “We had several patients we thought were mentally ill, but they just turned out to be really bad dressers. After that, the cases slowed down to a trickle.”
He believes this is the fault of comic book writers. “Nowadays superheroes are portrayed ‘warts and all’. They still have super powers, but they also have flaws, just like the rest of us. That larger-than-life aura is gone. If you’re crazy, you might as well just go through life thinking you’re yourself – or someone requiring equal or less maintenance – rather than springing for the price of a costume.”
What will become of the few remaining superheroes, perpetual hitchhikers along sanity’s highway, who wander the grounds of Cherrydale?
“They’ll be released,” says Dr. Emory. “After the wing closes down, they’ll be free to go.”
One wonders if they’re dangerous.
Dr. Emory smiles. “That’s one of those nebulous words with sundry meanings. Define ‘dangerous’.”
Are they a threat to the community?
“Oh hell yes.”