The View from Sherlock Peoria (282)
November 4, 2007
Comet Holmes Gets Brighter
This week a brief note came my way from one of this page’s most regular readers, pointing me toward a story on MSNBC’s website. The story was about a comet named “Comet 17P/Holmes” that has suddenly been getting brighter for no apparent reason. “A portent?” my correspondent asked.
We can but hope. The opening editorial in the last issue of The Baker Street Journal suggested there was a mini-Sherlockian publishing boom going on, but many of the books cited revolved around Conan Doyle, who, while tied as closely to Sherlock Holmes as any other person could get, outside of Watson, isn’t exactly the same person as Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes is the comet we need to get brighter, the nucleus of our atom, the carrot that pulls the rabbits into our scion society hutches.
Is our own comet Sherlock going to get brighter? Well, for now he seems to be at least holding his own. A birthday present that I got this week from that same regular reader (no, I don’t have stalker fans – he’s a co-worker who has actually appeared in Action Sherlock Brain Theater) seems to say so. Take a look at “The Detective’s Pipe,” apparently available wherever fine costumes were sold this Halloween:
Yes, there is a mustachioed Holmes impersonator on the card, but that's who they're selling these to. The thing I like about it is the classic William Gillette look of the pipe, and the thought that there's still somebody out there who wants to be Sherlock Holmes on Halloween. Interestingly, even though the manufacturer's avoided paying licensing money to the Doyle estate by calling it "The Detective's Pipe" rather than "Sherlock Holmes's pipe" (name one other detective than Sherlock who smoked one of these babies!), the store where it was sold itemized it as "Pipe, Sherlock" on its bar code label when it classified it.
The white color of the pipe may seem unusual, like it should be brown, but when you come right down to it, it's one more sign: comet Holmes is getting brighter, so bright he needs a bright white pipe!
We can but hope.
Your humble correspondent,