Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Harmonius Order of Flies and Bluebottles.

“All you need to form a Sherlockian society is two Sherlockians and a bottle. And in a pinch, you can dispense with one of the Sherlockians.”

         -- Rob Nunn, quoting the thing people say John Bennett Shaw always said, 
which is hard to find an original citation for, hence this double quote.

(Pictured: Left to right.) Bottle, moongazing rabbit, Canon, Martyrdom of Man,
moongazing rabbit, odd social action statement.

Given my true failure to organize a Sherlockian society meeting of late, this month seemed a lot like the "pinch" John Shaw spoke of many decades ago. This might be marked as my personal low-point, finally dispensing with a second Sherlockian and forming a society with just a bottle, but contingency plans like Shaw's were created by better minds than mine for, apparently, just such an occasion.

Allow me to introduce the bottle, a short-ish, green-blue glass specimen of his/her kind with
raised in glass letters on one side.

Chas, as I shall call him/her for short, is plainly a local. 

The meeting was called to order, and I proposed the name of our new Sherlockian society be "The Harmonious Order of Flies and Bluebottles," paraphrased from "Black Peter," as I was feeling a bit fly and Chas a bit bottle. The vote in favor of adopting the name was one vote for and one vote abstaining, so it passed and our Harmonious Order was officially identified. (Not sure what Chas's issue with it was in abstaining, even though transparency is a large part of his/her personality.)

I then began the featured presentation for the night, a sonorous listing of the bottles of the Canon. Since it was the first meeting, I thought I would pander to Chas.

"Countless bottles.
"Spotted bottle.
"Sherlock Holmes's bottle.
"Quinine bottle.
"Glass-stoppered bottles.
"Ink bottle.
"Picnic bottles.
"Spirits bottle.
"Another ink bottle.
"Champagne bottle.
"Second table bottles.
"Whisky bottle.
"Two whisky bottles.
"Penny ink bottle.
"Array bottles.
"Cobwebby bottles.
"Claret bottle.
"Brown sherry bottles.
"Nitrate of amyl bottle.
"Empty brandy bottle.
"This or that bottle.
"Rum bottle.
"Wine bottle.
"Same wine bottle.
"Same wine bottle again.
"Same wine bottle with dust.
"Same wine bottle opened.
"Same wine bottle without using a screw.
"Same wine bottle half empty.
"Same wine bottle full of beeswing.
"Same wine bottle violently agitated.
"Same wine bottle on the sideboard.
"Row bottles.
"Dust-covered bottle.
"Same dusty Imperial Tokay bottle.
"Litter bottles.
"Famous vintage bottle.
"Fresh bottle.
"Whole full bottle.
"Montrachet bottle.
"Small blue bottle.
"Whole evening bottle."

By the time the list was done, both Chas and I were silent and weary and the meeting came to a close.

Personally, I think John Bennett Shaw might have been mistaken about this whole bottle thing. I hope I get to socialize with some more talkative Sherlockians one day soon, within the boundaries of a society or not . . .


  1. You are an odd man. But an entertaining blogger!

    1. Odd is the currency of this interweb realm, so thanks! (And thanks for that quote!)