Sunday, May 12, 2013

A mother's burden.

Let's take a holiday today, and let our minds wander a little ways into the future.

A young lad, we'll call him little Johnny, as his mother was a big fan of a certain literary figure, has come home from a birthday party with a little goody-sack of temporary tattoos. Having the limits of a typical child of his age, he has applied every single one of them to himself and has come running proudly into his mom's hobby room, announcing:

"Look, mom! I'm Sherlock Holmes!"

His mother just shakes her head, knowing some ne'er-do-well brother-in-law has let the child watch Elementary on Netflix again. And then comes all those duties that make motherhood a job to be respected: Finding some picture books about the real Sherlock Holmes. Taking the lad to a family-friendly Sherlock Holmes society, where he can gain more Sherlockian education. Downloading The Great Mouse Detective immediately, but then spending some time debating on whether or not Young Sherlock Holmes is age-appropriate.

And all this, just because somewhere a TV producer hired an actor with vaguely Cumberbatchian credentials, and when confronted with the fact that said actor was covered in tattoos, went, "Well, our Sherlock Holmes will have tattoos." And why not? If you were not really a fan of the original material and were just assigned to create an American Sherlock, the sky's the limit. Have him wear rubber hip-waders to crime scenes and wear those glasses where spring-loaded eyeballs pop out to show he's observing things. That's just being original, after all!

But somewhere, a mother has to read her child Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man to show her child a character in fiction that actually has the tattoos he's now become fond of. And then take great pains, as all mother's do, to try to get that boy back on the path to being a reasonable specimen of adulthood.

So here's to the mothers out there, fighting a never-ending battle against the lazy whimsies of popular media. Happy Mother's Day, you maternal heroes! Continue to make sure the kiddies get to bed before ten, nine central, and you may never have to face that dreaded moment that little Johnny's mother had to deal with.

Because the birds and the bees talk will be a lot easier.


  1. As opposed to the child who reads the original stories and comes home all shot up with cocaine? Just saying...

  2. LOL. Looking forward to your take on the season finale.


  3. I don't hate 'Elementary.' I don't love it, either. I think of him like the character Justin Playfair in (the great) film 'They Might Be Giants', a nice kook running around New York playing at Sherlock Holmes. I wish the writers would take this view also. It would allow them to have a physical relationship between Holmes and Watson. Come on, Lucy Liu living in your brownstone and you don't hit on her? You would HAVE to. I mean, at least, I would have to.