For some reason, Monday is just not a day for celebrations.
St. Patrick's Day fell upon Monday this year, which made no difference to the hard-core paraders and such, but many a celebrant did their feasting and green-decking on the Saturday before. The clan of Keefauver, which has a share of Irish blood in the mix, chose that course, which left Monday open and mostly ignored, having had our fill of corned beef and cabbage, as well as leftover corned beef and cabbage by then.
But my Sherlockian side now looks back upon that situation as a missed opportunity -- since St. Patrick was already feted, it seems like a good time to honor another Irishman of note, "Saint" Altamont of "His Last Bow" fame.
Sure, he was *SPOILER ALERT* a certain Baker Street detective in disguise. But we aren't completely sure of that fellow's bloodline, and Altamont's Irish life was years long upon this Earth, so he should be at least an honorary Irishman, for all he did for the English-speaking folk of the world, the Irish included, at the onset of the first world war.
The different thing about celebrating St. Altamont's Day from the normal St. Pat's shenanigans, however, would be green wine needing to replace the green beer, as Altamont was known for his "nice taste in wines." He also smoked cigars and looked like Uncle Sam, which would add some different touches to the celebration. But as I contemplated just how one would celebrate St. Altamont's Day, I realized something else . . . .
The true holiday hadn't happened yet.
"His Last Bow" is one of those rare Canonical tales we can put an exact date on, as it tells us specifically in the story's opening, "It was nine o'clock at night upon the second of August - the most terrible August in the history of the world," which is followed by the safe combination keyed to the current month, August 1914.
And this is 2014. The hundredth anniversary of Altamont's triumph comes this year, as well as the hundredth anniversary of Sherlock Holmes's last recorded presence upon this Earth. So August 2, 2014 is the true St. Altamont's Day, whatever we choose to call it by then, and a time to celebrate largely. And best of all . . . it's still many months away.
So you might want to hang on to your Irish gear a little longer this year. St. Altamont's Day is coming. And it should be a good one.