The Mustard Clinic*

"Don't worry, it's only catsup!"

The Mustard Clinic is the largest Figure medical facility in the Plastic Universe, with accommodations for both Minifig and Technics. Minifig out-patients are dropped off at the front door. Minifig emergency cases brought by either the RES-Q helicopter or Mustard Clinic's own ambulance enter through the Emergency Room. Two Minifig treatment rooms are available for ordinary service, while the third is reserved for emergency cases. All Technic cases are treated in the Technic Wing. The staff consists of 22 medical personnel, 4 paramedical personnel, a coroner, a clerical, a gardener, and a handyman. Two members of the RES-Q team man the resident helicopter. Here's everybody smiling and waving, as seen from the air. The second copy is the thumbnail of a larger version than normal.

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The most common complaint amongst out-patients is poor color. This is treated by the prescription of powdered plastic of the proper color for the figure in question. A lecture on proper diet usually accompanies the prescription. There is a distinct tendency in the Town/Technic region for figures to gain an orange tint from over-indulgence in pizzas.

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The next most common reason for an out-patient visit is a family planning session. New family members can be made to order at The Mustard Clinic, depending upon the availability of parts in the Plastic Universe. For the couple below, it's a boy!

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The Minifig recovery area consists of four semi-private rooms, each with a view of the garden. A visitor's chair and a small cabinet complete the room's furnishings. When a Minifig feels well enough to try some exercise, he or she can visit the garden. Most of the Minifig in-patients at the Mustard Clinic are recuperating from body-part transplants. The cause of the requirement for the transplant can be either traumatic injury or simple wear-and-tear. The first patient below is the carpenter from Techfall. The final frame of this figure's case history also displays the recovery area garden. In the fore is the gardener with his truck. The second patient was evidentally injured in some dangerous Spaceport type of activity.

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The Technic facility at the Mustard Clinic has racing stripe walls and bedpillows to captivate the interest of the Technic patients. In the beginning the Technic recovery area was similar to that for the Minifigs. To the dismay of the staff, Technic patients put into the recovery area went into decline. When they were returned to the operating arena they immediately perked up and felt better, even without further treatment. Eventually the staff realized that the sight of the green, growing things visible through the windows actually depressed Technic patients. The windows and the door to the garden were walled up, and the walls around the recovery room were torn down. Now Technic patients recover from treatment in a very garage-like environment, in full view of the operating equipment and with a view of the helicopter pad through the outer entrance. They find this all very comforting.

A victim of a racing accident is delivered to the Mustard Clinic by the resident RES-Q helicopter. Turbulence from the RES-Q helicopter blades made it impossible for the photographer's aircraft to attain focus in the first shot. The victim has clearly been frozen into a contorted position by the impact shock of the accident.

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The patient is positioned in the Traction Apparatus, sometimes jocularly described as "putting him up on the rack". Two of the staff apply lubricant to the frozen joints as the other four turn the cranks. Once the limbs have been straightened, the head is gently rotated and the patient is placed in the bed for a stress recovery period. You can see that the other patient is very interested in this entire procedure.

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Sadly, sometimes a case will end in the recycling of a figure. Below, witnessed by two of the medical staff, a priest of the Church of the Raceways gives final rites to an aged figure who is beyond recovery. The ceremony includes large amounts of plasticizer and the brandishing of a Raceways gold Winner's Medal. With no legs, both arms cracked, only one hand and almost no face, the figure at the last cries out "Hiccup! I won!!!! ... gasp ... argghhhhh ..."

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The recycling is done in the morgue. Bones, the doctor/undertaker from Techfall, has been given the position of coroner. The morgue doubles as a parts depot. Body parts from deceased figures which are in good enough shape to be used in the repair of a living figure are stored in the morgue. Body parts which are beyond use are disposed of into recycle bins. Periodically the recycle bins are taken to the factory which makes gray parts, principally for Technic use. The medical staff also uses the morgue as a break room. Fried plastic rings with hot emulsion are the usual fare.

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* For non-USA readers, this is a pun on The Mayo Clinic, a prestigious medical facility located in the United States of America.