[a man in a white lab coat strides toward the camera]

EMUS: Hi, I’m Dr. Ray Emus. Wikipedia defines a “Mary Sue” as “a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as a wish fulfillment fantasy for the author or reader,” and they are rightly spurned and despised by all. But what happens to them when the fanfic ends and they save the Enterprise?

[the camera follows EMUS into what looks like a hospital ward, filled with people getting intravenous fluids as well as varysing stages of physical therapy]

EMUS: That’s why I started the Ray Emus Home for Mary Sues. We act as a hospital, detox, and halfway house to help these miserable, paper-thin literary creatures find respect for themselves and a purpose in life.

[EMUS gestures to a nearby young woman in a frayed sweater vest]

EMUS: Mary here started life as a thinly written Gryffindor in a wretched Harry Potter fanfic.

MARY: I was created solely so a 14-year-old girl could vicariously kiss Draco Malfoy, even though he’s a freaking toolbox!

EMUS: But thanks to our therapy and outpatient treatment sessions, Mary now works as an extra in Harlequin romances.

MARY: I still have no characteristics, but at least people take me seriously as a barista or bus driver in the background! I can finally sleep at night.

[EMUS moves outside, where largely indistinguishable young people in hospital gowns are sitting on benches amid topiary sculptures or playing pickup basketball]

EMUS: But we can’t do it alone. Hundreds of new Mary Sues are generated every month, especially in the crucial prom season. We need donations from people like you to keep helping thinly-written narrative stand-ins for insecure authors. People like Harry here.

[a young man with a disturbingly familiar look approaches the camera]

HARRY: A lot of people said that coming from a past like mine, in an unauthorized erotic Doctor Who novella, I didn’t have a future. But thanks to Dr. Emus and 100 hours of weekly therapy sessions, I’m beginning to develop actual personality flaws and rough edges. Also the night terrors have ceased!

EMUS: Don’t wait. There are so many in need, and every donation matters. For less than cost of a cup of coffee each day, you can allow the Home to help a single unwitting Cylon find inner peace and minimum wage work as a skeptical investigator in a James Patterson novel.

[music swells and the Home’s logo appears on the screen]

EMUS: The Ray Emus Home for Mary Sues. The prose may be unbearable but their lives don’t have to be.