Bardiness

"..a bardy view!"

The Curious Case of the Victorian Detective…….

Regular readers will be aware from my previous instalments that I have been visiting my good friend Sherlock Holmes in his retirement. Holmes and watson

Sadly he tends to live in the past, and has difficulty keeping abreast with 21st Century technology….

"Watson! You have returned" he remarked whilst fiddling with an iPod as I entered his rooms at the Baker Street Residential Home for Fictional Victorian Detectives.

"This device is remarkable" he continued whilst simultaneously conducting chemical experiments with a plastic Bunsen burner. "Do you know that I can listen to Mendelssohn if I attach it to my phonograph that was given to me by the Earl of Filofax whom I assisted  in the curious case of the missing halifax of 1986".

"I think you mean 1886" I replied. "And it was the Earl of Halifax. I fear you are bordering on dementia"

"You are such a yuppie" he replied. "Have you forgotten so soon that the case revolved around the brilliant Moriarty, that dastardly devil who I thwarted when he attempted to flood the markets with the Beta-max azimuth magnetic helical scan synthetic polymer. I have a sample here in a bowl – behold!"

"That's Wheatabix Holmes" I sighed. "It's your breakfast, and you are confusing it with a VHS tape."

"Watson. I despair of you. It clearly says on the exterior packaging that with a modicum of milk it will provide entertainment throughout the day. Although I cannot see its function. It goes very soggy and clogs up the visual display machine.

"Anyway, be seated dear friend and avail yourself of one of Mrs Hudson's fine cold suppers! Is that the eye-padded device you had last time I saw you?"

"No!" I responded with sudden animation, realising he was referring to the iPad which I had on my  last visit. "It is an Amazon Kindle. I have 1000 books in it which I can read at my leisure."

"A thousand books?" he said raising an eyebrow, "When on Earth do you have time to read them? I do despair with you Watson. But then again you are a General Medical Practitioner and presumably you merely issue prescriptions all day or refer your patients to specialists. I do hope you have the Complete Works of Arthur Conan Doyle on it. I met him once you know. A very odd chap and prone to excitable prose. He created a detective who was quite preposterous!"

(Holmes has always been curt, but that negative reference to my profession was hurtful. Which reminds me I must take my Mercedes in for a service.)

"Personally" he continued "I prefer Agatha Christie. Have you heard of Poriot? An odd Belgium investigator who was accompanied by a dimwit called Hastings. In fact I think he has rooms next door. He called only yesterday 'Monsieur Holmes’ he said ‘I have reason to suspect you have a powdery white substance in a receptacle on your dinner table n'est-ce pas?’

"I thought he’d clicked my opium supply until he I realised he was wanting to borrow some sugar. You should read those books  about him Watson. They stretch the imagination somewhat, but even Conan-Doyle believed in fairies at the bottom of the garden."

"Really Holmes" I said "I hope you are not making comparisons with Hastings and me?"

"Not at all, my dear friend. Hastings and Poirot are fictional characters, where as you are as real as this chocolate bar in front of me."

"That is an Apple iPhone Holmes" I remarked,  "It enables telecommunication similar to an old bakelite telephone except it is wireless but with the further advantage of accessing the internet. I'm surprised you have one."

"You are an idiot Watson. It's certainly not an apple. I think you've been reading too much H.G. Wells on you’re Amazonian Krinkle. I've been trying to get the wrapper off for the past 48 hours. I even showed it to Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard who suggested it was a Hershey Bar – an inferior cocoa product from the colonies. I think I shall try Cadbury's Dairy Milk. I may get a better signal."

“Actually Cadbury is now owned by Kraft Foods" I replied pedantically "and they don’t make telephones.”

“Kraft Foods?" he retorted. "Surely they are a Dutch cheese company? Where do you get your strange ideas from Watson? On the subject of cheese, I have made an in-depth study of 6,887 global varieties which aided the Metropolitan Police in their search for the missing cheese and curd maker in the Case of the Great Cheddar Gorge Mystery of 1910. Surely you remember that Watson?

"Goodbye Holmes." I said, "Take care and enjoy the iPod. By the way – you should stick it in your ear."

It was only afterwards I remembered with horror that I should have mentioned the necessary headphones.

A few days later a report in the London Times said that an elderly man had been admitted to hospital with a device wedged in his ear. Surgeons spent several hours extracting it, but they said it was a very pleasant and successful operation performed to the strains of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64.

On the same day an odd Belgian wandering up and down Baker Street was arrested for being under the influence of  narcotics. His defence that his coffee had been laced by Sherlock Holmes the great Victorian detective did not fool the magistrates. He was sectioned and is currently in a drug rehabilitation unit for an indefinite period.

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March 3, 2011 - Posted by | Arts, Books, History | , , , , , ,

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