A 1991 sighting of Merv, captured in this photo by hiker Shelly McFlaige.
The legendary character “Merv” is said to be a genetic mutation, but no one knows for sure. Speculators have suggested that Merv was the by-product of a secret government experiment and that he escaped from an underground lab in the late 1950's. Although this colorful story is the stuff that tall tales are made of, it is not entirely accurate.
I know, because I am Merv's only true friend.
The truth is this: Merv is not a real human as we know it. Molecular tests performed by Dr. Oggsforth and his team (pictured) indicate that his classification falls somewhere between space monkey and urban cowboy. Tracing him back to his genetic origin is difficult, however it is widely accepted that Merv drifts in and out of our world, always returning when mankind needs him. Most recently, his essence was found in the throttle body of a 1962 Corvair and he was successfully reconstituted by a certified Chevy technician who added two parts PBR and one part Horse Milk Alcohol, commonly known as Kumis.
It was for the love of Helen that Merv suddenly emerged in the fall of 2009. Upon doing so, he discovered that he was the father of two grown boys. They had no names, because Helen was awaiting Merv's input, which he gave swiftly, naming the oldest Merv Junior and the youngest, "the kid".
To this day, Merv still disappears for weeks at a time, but he is never in the forest for long, because he has made a commitment to serve all of humanity. And all of humanity should be grateful he is no longer in hiding.
Merv rarely appears in public, but when he does, he drives a 1962 Corvair in homage to his most recent incarnation. It is back to that Chevy's throttle body, that location of origin, that his spirit will someday return.
Merv Himself, on the gigantic rock formation "Merv's Roost".
Yet, as is the case with all great folklore, the government lab theory does have a small sliver of truth which explains why it took root over the years. You see, Merv actually worked in a secret underground lab as a mechanical engineer, where he invented the horrific concept of planned obsolescence. Faced with tremendous guilt over this monster he had created, Merv eventually became a recluse, wandering the swamplands and finally taking sanctuary in the high forested regions of North America.
Meanwhile, the love of his life, Helen, waited faithfully for 17 years as Merv continued to live in nearly continuous seclusion, with only an occasional conjugal visit or sighting by tourists as proof that he existed at all. He was once spotted near a stream by a trout fisherman, once on a trail used by loggers, and once on the rocky overhang (pictured) which is now known as Merv's Roost.
Helen and Merv dance on their wedding night, June 17, 1989.