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Monday, July 9, 2012

It's elementary...

I am making my second pass at "The Complete Sherlock Holmes", which, as the title suggests, is a compilation of all the Holmes novels and short stories, written early in the last century by the esteemed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The volume itself was given to me by Debbie Carrick and the inscription on the inner cover reads "Kenneth - Happy Christmas 1974 Debbie". I happen to know that Kenneth was her husband in 1974 and his last name was Howell, because her moniker was Debbie Howell in the mid-seventies, when she was my drama teacher. What the writing of this curt inscription tells me, however, is that the love had already faded from this union and the note was a cursory one at best. Opting for the British "Happy Christmas" instead of the traditional American "Merry Christmas" may have been a particularly savage dig at the recipient, who may have had virulent opinions about the English, in which case, the gifting of the the very British Holmes tales would have proven an even deeper insult indeed. The fact that she had the book to give to me thirty years later and that it was not in the hands of the afore-mentioned Kenneth Howell only serves to prove my point.

As you can see, reading Holmes makes me more observant, and hones my already keen natural ability to reason in a clear, logical fashion. When my daughter answered a simple question with a tone that was patronizing and sarcastic, I made an instant deduction and told her the following: "I see that you are angry, possibly gay, do not shower or brush your teeth regularly, live in a room of filth and I am most likely not your real father." With that, I turned sharply, lit my clay pipe and adjusted my deer stalker hat and made my way quickly to my quarters, where the cocaine and junior chemistry set were.

Other revelations soon followed. When one of the girls tracked dirt onto the carpet, I produced my over sized spyglass and examined the debris, occasionally grunting in affirmation or humming a gentle "hmmmm...". "I see that you have been gallivanting in the park, apparently with an oversexed teenage boy, who may or may not have been in possession of condoms, which may not come to a bad end, as you seem to be at your mense's heaviest flow at the moment. You obviously ignored  the 'Don't Walk' signal at the corner and have abandoned the idea of eating sensibly, opting instead for a grilled cheeseburger, large fries and a chocolate malt, with extra malt. You laughed at three bad jokes that didn't deserve it, but that can be forgiven because you were simply being kind to someone with an awful sense of comic timing." I peered through the spyglass for another short peek and nodded to no one in particular. "I am also most likely not your real father."

As I read further and expose my mind to the razor-sharp abilities of Sherlock Holmes, I expect to continue to increase my knowledge and refine my deductive reasoning to the point where no detail will slip through the cracks. Eventually, I may even be able to deduce the cowardly, sinister son of a bitch who fathered these children and bring him to swift and reckonable justice.


  1. You are going to give your daughters an anneurism if you are not careful good sir.

  2. I see that you have not selected a photo of the brilliant JEREMY BRETT as Sherlock Holmes, but instead some no account B actor playing the part with much less commitment and verve. Even still, it appears you may live to finish the aforementioned volume and may I recommend it on audio book by the BBC if your bleary, whiskey dimmed eyes cannot complete the tome. I see you have spent some less time on the hammock reading, and expect even less tomorrow as temperatures soar above 100 and no Sherlockian scholar can stand any but the moist tepidity of a Baker Street summer. No matter how unlikely...etc.

  3. "What the writing of this curt inscription tells me, however, is that the love had already faded from this union and the note was a cursory one at best." You are mistaken, my dear Ford. It is quite obvious from the nature of the gift, the terseness and reserve shown in the inscription, and the use of "happy" rather than "merry" in the Christmas greeting, that Kenneth Howell was, in fact, British himself. And it follows that your teacher Debbie, still missing the departed Kenneth, and desiring to forge a new relationship with another intelligent, sympathetic individual, had somehow focused on you, Jerry, and had given you this book in a (hopefully vain) attempt at seduction. Thank goodness your powers of deduction are weak, for had you been more astute, you may have discerned the true purpose of the gift and succumbed for your drama teacher's charms, resulting, no doubt, in a disgusting scandal that would have rendered you unfit to associate with decent members of society.