Thursday, December 8, 2016

"I saw your iPod!"

Today was one of those interesting days when my coworkers learn a little more about my secret Sherlockian life. It's not that big a secret, really, I just don't haunt cubicle city going, "Have you read the good works of John H. Watson, friend?" But occasionally some little event will come along that shines a light on my lifetime love of Sherlock Holmes, and today was one of those days.

Monday night I did a little interview on the podcast of Steve Tarter from the Peoria Journal Star. It's out now as episode number 36 of "Tarter Source," touting me as "Peoria's Sherlock Holmes expert Brad Keefauver," the sort of thing that always gets me a little embarassed. It's hard to truly feel like an expert in anything, really, since the more you know, the more you know you don't know.

And, really, there's nothing like a live interview to put a little humility in you . . . Martin Freeman's name dropped completely out of my head and the Baker Street Babes didn't make it out of my mouth when listing Sherlockian podcasts. Non-Sherlockians aren't going to really notice such details, but you know other Holmes fans will . . . especially if you put a link to it on your blog.

My favorite moment of the day, however, was as I rushed out to the front desk on an errand and someone happily exclaimed, "I saw your iPod!" as I went by.

It was a very small Sherlock Holmes mystery, perhaps not taking the great detective's own level of skill, but if you forget everything I wrote above, it goes a bit like this:

"The Adventure of the Wandering Musical Device" by Brad's distracted brain.

It was not unusual for Sherlock Holmes to get cases mentally projected to him by folk who were in the middle of their workday. I would see his face suddenly go blank as he stopped for a moment in whatever activity he was involved in that day, and his eyes would open just a small bit wider as he came back to the present moment.

"Watson, I have a case!" he would most often say, and on one particular morning in the winter before my marriage, he followed it with "It seems a fellow has had witnesses claim his 'smart' device was seen wandering outside of his pocket, when he knew for a fact that it was inside his pocket the entire morning!"

"Astounding, Holmes! Such things have brains of a sort, yes, but not the limbs to escape a pocket with! What could it mean? An uprising of the mechanicals?"

And from there, Holmes and Watson would go off to interview the client and a witness or two, look at the iPhone at the center of it all, eventually revealing that the witness at the heart of it all had actually meant "I saw your podcast," which is indeed strange in itself as one typically hears a podcast.

But that is where so many Sherlock Holmes mysteries begin, with a situation that just doesn't quite make sense and needs Holmes to make sense of it. And after a hundred and thirty years, that little ability still charms the world enough that I get to go on a local podcast and talk about him for a bit.

Some abilities never go out of fashion, and I think we can definitely include those of Sherlock Holmes among them, even now. And possibly especially now.

Which makes it all the better to get out and talk about him.

"Have you read the good works of John H. Watson, friend?"

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