The View from Sherlock Peoria (11)
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A certain evening in January
This week the first invitation to Januarys annual Baskerville Bash arrived. It is to take place January 10, 2003 at the Manhattan Club in NYC, the same great venue as the years past, and the price remains the same as last year. I love the Baskerville Bash.
Which is why Im in a bit of a funk. Ill be pouting around the house for weeks now, sticking my lower lip out and kicking the carpet like Shirley Temple. (What do you mean that aint manly? You want me to lay a Rock-style "Peoples Elbow" on ya? Ill do it . . .) The reason for my funk is a certain other event that takes place on the same night. Later in the week, Mike Whelans first letter of notice about this years Baker Street Irregulars dinner arrived in the mail.
When one is a member of a club, one likes to act at least a little bit like a member of that club. The problem comes when acting like a member of that club involves only one thing, and you only get one shot at it per year. To be a proper member of the Baker Street Irregulars, it is said, one should at least attempt to attend the annual dinner of the Baker Street Irregulars once and a while. And if one wants to be an even better member, according to some, one needs to attend it a lot more than that, like every year.
Okay, I like to think Im a good Sherlockian. Id also like to think I could be a good member of the B.S.I. But sometimes the fates just conspire against you.
The B.S.I. dinner is held at a very upscale venue, the Union League Club. The place has a fine library setting for pre-dinner cocktails, and a large banquet room with mammoth old portraits of Great Men, the sort of room. Very nice, very impressive. The food is very elegantly done think gourmet.
The Baskerville Bash is held upstairs at another club, the Manhattan Club. And though Ive never been downstairs at the Manhattan Club, I have the distinct feeling that its a night club, rather than a society club (or whatever you call the urban version of the country club sans golf course). The food is tasty and plentiful think gourmand.
Both dinners are fine affairs, but they are definitely two completely different events. The B.S.I. dinner is more formal, more carefully orchestrated, and, on the whole, more serious. The Baskerville Bash is more casual, more "anything-can-happen" (though it, too, is definitely well planned), and on the whole, more wacky.
The thing is, at heart Im a wacky sort of guy. I like the gourmand more than the gourmet. The id says go to the Baskerville Bash. But Im also a member of a club that only meets one time a year, I havent attended as many of those meetings as I probably should have, and I went to the Bash last year. The superego says go to the B.S.I. dinner.
Yes, I know, some people have real problems.
But we all hate to feel were missing out on something. And for a Sherlockian on a certain Friday night in January, it doesnt matter whether you stay home, you go to the Baskerville Bash, or you go to the B.S.I. dinner . . . everybodys missing out on something.
Your humble correspondent,