Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Don't take Sherlock's job, Americans!

Here's a disturbing headline: "7 out of 10 Americans want Sherlock Holmes's job."

Look, I love my countrymen as much as the next guy, but come on, America. Seventy percent of you are not capable of doing Sherlock Holmes's job. I'd also wager that seventy percent of you couldn't actually give a fair assessment of what Sherlock's job actually is/was. Sure, it looks like a lot of laying around the couch all day, but there's some serious brainwork going on there. Necessary brainwork.

As a human being in the potential client pool for a modern day Sherlock, I'm sticking with the guy who trained himself in observation, deduction, criminal history, tobacco ash, perfumes, disguise, code-breaking, boxing, inner role-play, the city of London, chemistry, anatomy, brain storage, stimulants, etc., etc., etc., and NOT hiring an American from the 70%. The rest of you 30% who surely include much of my canny readership, well, we shall discussion qualifications. But I warn you . . . I do know what the real deal is when I see it, and I really want to hire Sherlock Holmes.

The fact that these same people polled would want to have been taught by Charles Xavier or Albus Dumbledore also makes a certain statement: They have a death wish. Both of those fictional schoolmasters have an unreasonably high death rate among their student bodies.

So do we want a bunch of suicidal Americans who have probably watched more Elementary than they have read Conan Doyle charging into the consulting detective business? Hell, no!

That 70% also picked Sherlock's job over Richard Castle from TV's Castle, most likely due to pure name recognition, but perhaps they even realized that Castle was a best-selling author as well as a mystery-solver . . . which means they'd have to spend time writing things, in addition to solving things. Extra work!

Which gets me to the real point in all this: Apparently Sherlock Holmes has made detective work look very easy over the last 123 years. People seem to look at it as an exciting, high-pay, high-respect, low-effort career choice. I suspect the first time they smelled that room full of flies that contained Black Peter's harpooned corpse, they might change their mind. Or if they had to put in the time, focus, and study to achieve Holmes's skill set, even if they were born with a Holmes-level I.Q.

To magically be Sherlock Holmes, with all the skills and insights, is one thing. Just to take on his job?

Don't do it, America. If you think I was a tad insulting about that prospect in this blog, you really don't want to see the one I write when you do take Holmes's job.


  1. This seems too serious a response to a survey that was clearly done tongue-in-cheek...

    1. Too serious? Perhaps I'm just not as clear on my tongue-in-cheek as survey articles . . .

    2. Lol! Perhaps... you're quite convincing here as A Sherlockian Scorned.

  2. "Which gets me to the real point in all this: Apparently Sherlock Holmes has made detective work look very easy over the last 123 years"

    "When I hear you give your reasons, the thing always appears to me to be so ridiculously simple that I could easily do it myself, though at each successive instance of your reasoning I am baffled, until you explain your process."