Once upon a time, a great sage of Sherlockian wisdom was asked what one needed to create a Sherlock Holmes society. His answer has resounded through the decades: "All you need are two Sherlockians and a bottle of booze . . . in a pinch, you can dispense with one of the Sherlockians."
If that's all it takes to create a Sherlock Holmes society, what then could one create from seven million Elementarians and an hour of broadcast network television?
Well, if you put them all in one place, you'd get something either like Switzerland or Bulgaria, or maybe Honduras, on an off night. Seven million is "national population" sized numbers. But, thanks to those happy people at Neilsen, we don't have to round them all up in some European land or Central American republic to get a find out just where they are. On Thursday nights, they're at home, in front of their television sets, tuning in the formerly titled Columbia Broadcasting System.
And I am, all too often, one of that legion. John Foster, of the Harpooners' Blog, has conjectured that I am becoming a fan of Elementary, but being an old school Sherlockian, I could never quite feel entirely like a true fan unless I belonged to a society of some sort. So in order to help John's cause along, and perhaps move myself a few microns more toward Elementary fandom, I am going to propose we build an Elementarian society around the place I'm currently sitting in relationship to the show.
That society will be called, quite naturally, the Thursday Night Elementals, paying homage to the regular viewer of that show as no other title could. (You're welcome to come up with your own society name and form a scion of the Thursday Night Elementals, of course.) And rather than attempt to come up with rigorous criteria for member traits, as some clubs do, the Thursday Night Elementals has but one membership requirement: You watch Elementary on Thursday night on CBS. At some point.
No pressure at all on the membership to dress up, sweat over creating a clever enough toast, or cough up banquet fees. In fact, the Thursday Night Elementals is so low pressure that you don't even have to expend the mental energy to recognize that you belong to the club . . . precious brainpower that can now be used to savor the adventures of Mr. Elementary and Joan Watson on Thursday nights.
Now, how does the existence of the Thursday Night Elementals make the world any different from the same seven million watching Elementary on some night before the society existed? Well, what's the difference between any Sherlock Holmes society meeting and that same set of people gathered for any other social evening, as often happens with one's local friends who might happen to be Sherlockians? It's all just a question of scale, really.
So keep an eye on your Thursday nights. You may not think you're an Elementary fan, the sort of person to join the Thursday Night Elementals. But you wind up walking past an East coast television turned to CBS during the 10 o'clock hour, or one in the Midwest between nine and ten, etc., and the *POOF!* instant member of the Thursday Night Elementals. Now that's an inclusive society.
I'll start getting your membership card made up.
(And, oh, yes: Mr. Elementary. I will persist in the use of that honorific, of course. That title lifts the show's main character up, unmistakably, from any other consulting detective using that common name "Sherlock Holmes," separating him from the pack. There can only be one Mr. Elementary, as anyone who has watched the show knows. No one is quite like him, and he is not quite like anyone else. He is, to a tea, Mr. Elementary.)