Ah, that bright and chipper refrain "We can never have enough Sherlock Holmes!"
It pops up all over the place these days, usually in defense of some particularly shabby corner of the Sherlock Holmes universe, and while I'll excuse it in the young, innocent, and energetic, to hear it from Sherlockians past a certain tenure in the hobby always sounds quite delusional.
Because we can, indeed, have too much Sherlock Holmes. From deerstalkered chotchkies to vinyl record albums of radio shows, from Bantam paperbacks to comic books of Muppets dressed as Sherlock, eventually there will come a point when the sheer mass of it all is physically too much to deal with. Unless you're hiring an in-house curator, it can start to impinge on your actual living space. And that's just on the personal, collecting side of things.
Culturally, we can also have too much Sherlock Holmes. Suppose I decided to get my name legally changed to "Sherlock Holmes." And you do too. And your sibling. And my postman. And that woman at Walmart wearing the inappropriate garment that gets her photo on the web. Sure, each of us might have as much in common with Sherlock Holmes as a certain CBS TV character, but is it really a happy thing for all of us to be running around named "Sherlock Holmes?"
And if I graduate from the Sherlock Holmes academy, get a job at 221B World amusement park as Sherlock Holmes running the Sherlock Holmes Reichenbach Bungee to pay off the mortgage on my house at 221B Baker Street in the Sherlock Holmes subdivision ("Where every street is Baker Street!"), where I live with my wife Sherlockina and our three kids . . . do you have to ask their names? To say nothing of Sherlock soda pop, my Sherlockmobile, president Sherlock Hussein Holmes, Gap for Sherlocks, Sherlock Air, HolMart, Sherlock Holmes Idol, the Sherlock Bowl being held at the Sherlock Dome with Sherlock Holmes as the half-time entertainment . . . .
Maybe you're currently not getting enough Sherlock in your life. That happens. In fact, if I was getting enough Sherlock this week, I might have something else to blog about besides "too much Sherlock." But remember the tale of "The Monkey's Paw" and every other genie story the next time you find yourself starting to say, "We can never have enough Sherlock Holmes."
Because someday you might learn to regret those words. And if you already know it to be true, and are completely with me on this point?
Congratulations! You, my friend, are a Sherlockian who had pushed that envelope and seen the outer limits of this little hobby. (And, hopefully, made it back . . . .)