Ask Dr. Eldritch

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Don't fall victim to vampires! Don't get slashed by a psycho! Don't get stuck, ASK DR. ELDRITCH!

Dear Dr. Eldritch,
Ask Dr. Eldritch Modern Mummy     There's a dead guy in my apartment, and he won't leave! I brought this on myself, but it's ruining my life.

Recently, I kind of broke into a house. In my defense, I thought it was abandoned, so if I took stuff to sell, it wasn't hurting anybody, right? Anyway, I could hear the TV in the living room, but it's all just static, so I figured it was left on to scare away burglars (Didn't work! Haha!). I'm unhooking the TV from the cable and I look around and just about soil myself, because there's this dead guy, slumped down in a recliner, holding the TV remote. I could tell he'd been like that for a while, but it creeped me out, so I left. With the TV. And the remote.

That night, I woke up to someone pounding on my door. I grabbed a baseball bat and just as I get to the living room, the door bursts open, and it's the dead guy! I hit him a couple times before he grabbed the bat and snapped it in half. He throws me against the wall, and I'm sure he's going to kill me, when he sits down on the couch and starts watching my TV. I'm like totally freaking out, right?

So I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and moved up behind him real slow, and just as a commercial came on, I stabbed him. I got him a couple times, but all he does is throw me across the room again. Every time I try to hit him with something he does the same thing. When I finally just stayed down, he kept flipping through channels and watching infomercials. I must have dozed off, because the next thing I know, it's morning, and he's still sitting there.

Since then, I've been trying to figure out how to get rid of him. It's not like I can call the cops. I can't borrow a gun and shoot him, since he's already dead, you know? Plus, my parole officer wouldn't like it.

I tried to guess his name so I could convince him to leave, but he didn't respond to any of them. So I just call him "Frank." Frank basically ignores me, unless I change the channel. Then he goes "Nyaaa!" and throws stuff at me until I change it back.

Seriously, I need him out of here! What if the landlord sees him? How could I explain? And no woman's going to hook up with me if I bring her back to my place with Frank on the couch! Please help!

-- Ryan in Gilbert, Arizona

Dear Ryan,
   I'm surprised you have to ask, what with all the exciting studies being done with mummies lately! Or have you not been following the mummy-research blogs? I suppose you haven't. So here's what you need to know, cut and dried (Ha! Just a little Mummy Humor)!

While we mostly think of mummies as the bandaged-wrapped Egyptian variety, they can also occur naturally. I suspect the hot, dry weather of your city allowed for the spontaneous mummification of the deceased.

The urge to punish those who despoil their tombs is well documented in long-buried mummies, and it seems that Frank also shares that desire. How can you not find that fascinating?

Egyptologists have long suspected that mummies lose complex cognitive abilities over time, which would explain why ancient mummies tend toward mindless revenge. Your Frank has a significant degree of rational cognition left (although he is merely watching infomercials). Sure, he could kill you, but then he no longer has a "tomb." It's a clever bit of doubling; he makes you suffer AND he has a comfortable place to await eternity, with TV! He may be dead, but he's not stupid.

I suppose you could lure him into the bedroom and wall up the door. As long as he had a working TV, he'd probably be satisfied. Of course, the batteries in the remote would eventually fail, and then you would have an angry mummy crashing through the wall, undoubtedly at the worst possible time. You want to avoid that.

You could haul him out into the desert and set him on fire, which is the traditional disposition of mummies, but why do that when you could help Science? Contact the nearest university doing mummy-related research. They'll probably be thrilled to obtain a contemporary mummy, and will be able to offer reasonable compensation for your troubles. This is far more humane for Frank than selling him to a collector, who would probably just stuff him into an exhibit case, with no TV. When Frank finally broke loose (and he would), he'd hunt you down and his revenge would be far worse than merely being an annoying roommate.

Good luck, and let me know how it comes out!

-- Dr. Eldritch

 
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