"Precision clock becomes a bag of worms."

In this sentence, I don't get the meaning of 'precision clock' and 'bag of worms'. I mean, I know the meaning of each phrase, but not under this context. It came out while a medical examiner was dissecting the body. I think it's something to do with the heart.

Anyone can answer with these? Thank you.

  • 2
    The sentence means almost nothing without greater context. 1) Where did you read this? 2) What was the topic? Au autopsy? 3) What were the lines said before and after? 4) Was it written/said by a native speaker? 5) Were they subtitles? – Mari-Lou A Feb 5 '18 at 10:08
  • It's usually a can of worms, the fact that "bag" was said, suggests that the subtitles were not written by a native speaker – Mari-Lou A Feb 5 '18 at 10:13
  • @Mari-LouA Can of worms typically has a very distinct meaning which you note, I don't think that is what is meant here. Although I do not recommend searching for "bag of worms" as an image search... It has nothing to do with the creatures that crawl in the ground, but rather something else... uh... medical... (nsfw) – Skooba Feb 5 '18 at 14:51

It has to do with how a body holds itself together while alive versus after death.

To steal a wondeful quote from a children's movie:

It only works if all the little cogs mesh together. Now, a clock needs to be cleaned, well-lubricated and wound tight. The best clocks have jewel movements, cogs that fit, that cooperate by design.

Gilbert Huph in The Incredibles

Which gives us something that looks like this:

precision clock inside

But this is only true while we are alive. The point the speaker is trying to make is that now this once intricate and natural system has fallen apart and become a "bag of worms", or simply a jumbled mess. Like so:

bag of worms

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