Sunday, July 8, 2012

The value of a Watson, having or being.

Late last night, I made it back from Indianapolis. Indianapolis is a wonderful city for Sherlock Holmes fans and their functions, and I feel entirely guilty for spending a whole day there without seeing any Sherlockians. On the other hand, I saw a whole lot of horror fans, a genre that, ironically, I’m not that into.

But here’s the thing: One of the great attractions of the Sherlock Holmes stories, aside from Sherlock being amazing and all, is the friendship shown him by Dr. Watson. When Holmes says, “Come, Watson, come!” on his way out the door, Watson comes. While travel can be fine done alone, it is never so pleasurable as when shared with a companion or two. You can see the most astounding sight in the world, but if you have no friend to share that sight with, it doesn’t have nearly the same impact. I suspect that’s why Twitter and Instagram are so popular – the ability to share with friends when you’re alone.

Travelling in Sherlockian circles, I’ve always noticed that the most socially successful Sherlockians usually were the ones with reliable travelling companions. It’s hard to really get into Holmes fan culture without leaving your town, even with the internet, and having a reliable event travel-buddy, even if it’s your spouse, makes all the difference.

So it was that I found myself in Indianapolis last night, going to the “Days of the Dead” horror convention and enjoying an evening of John Waters, instead of something Holmes-related. I’d hit more Holmes events if I had a Watson to drag along, but in lieu of that, I’m delighted to serve as Watson for some of my more amazing friends and ride along on their adventures.

And I do recommend seeing what other fandoms are doing on occasion. For as proud as we are of the talents of our fellow Sherlockians, other avocations have their wonders as well. Soaking in their creative energies can be a very splendid thing. John H. Watson wasn’t a criminology buff, you will recall, but he sure found a lot of pleasure in hanging out with someone who was.

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