Well, even with the buzz about "Sharknado" filling our global electronic networks today, bits from the London filming of a certain thing I'm not talking about this summer still managed to ooze through the cracks. The Sherlock Holmes fan networks are nothing if not exhaustive these days, and if a building pops up with a great big "221" on it, they're sure to notice.
The WelcomeHolmes list and Howard Ostrom pointed me to the Baker Street Babes tumblr (a route with solid credentials, if ever there was one), where I found a photo of a building on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch, London seems to be the latest stand-in for 221B Baker Street.
First thought: "Oooooo, pretty green bricks!"
Second thought: "Hey, there's O-Ren Ishii's identical twin who's nice!"
Third thought: "What the hell? It's on a corner? All of the years of scholarship, research, trips to London by first-hand Sherlockian amateur archeologists, and THEY FRICKIN' PUT IT ON A CORNER?!?"
Phew. Deep breath.
And then I felt the full impact of it. I am a fan. That horrible, horrible denizen of our internet world, the fan. Watson has been a woman many times. No big deal. Even Rex Stout foretold that in ancient Sherlockian times. Sherlock Holmes as a drug addict? Hey, The Seven Per Cent Solution and the disturbing The Last Sherlock Holmes Story took that ride about as far as you want to go between them. But putting 221B Baker Street on a CORNER? A SON OF A COPPER BEECH CORNER?
It's like a slap in the face of all Sherlockian scholarship! It's like they're whipping out the urinary appendage and freely hosing down old series copies of The Baker Street Journal while reciting a filthy limerick about Father Ronald Knox! It's like . . . it's like . . .
Well, it's like fully understanding that you care about details most people don't really give a crap about. And care about them on a gut level. If you can step back from the surface reaction for a moment to the love that's underneath, it feels just fine, too.
That's what being a fan is all about. And if some random mundane, as non-fans get called in other venues, wants to mock your love of Sherlock Holmes in such a moment as this . . . just take a look at their spouse or significant other, and chances are you'll see that they did something very foolish-looking for love as well. We all do at some time or another.
So, yeah, I had a fan moment. But don't mess with me or I'll point out how funny-looking your mate is.