"A Scandal in Bohemia" seems like a story well worth further discussion these days.
An idiot king shows up at 221B Baker Street, covered in the trappings of more wealth than taste. He ascended to his position in life via birth and not skill, which is probably why his child-like mentality thinks a simple Halloween mask should cover up the truth of his identity. (Probably because his fawning servants, following his suggestion of the disguise, went "Oh, yes, another of your brilliant ideas, your majesty!" No one in his inner circle cared or respected him enough to point out how silly the mask alone was as disguise.)
John Watson, ever the man of common sense, attempts to get as far away from this idiot during the first moment that presents itself, but Sherlock physically stops him: A silent "Oh, you have to stay for this . . . people are going to want to read about this one!"
"Count von Kramm" as the idiot king calls himself is plainly short for "Count von Krampus," as the king's child-like imagination can't stretch much beyond local children's fairy tales, the equivalent of a modern idiot calling himself "Baron von Santa" in an attempt at an alias.
Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, Grand Duke of Cassel-Felstein, as his Sherlock Holmes reveals the king's full name, has at least one woman in his past whom he's attempting complete denial of, and keeps trying to get other men to help him in this creation of alternative facts, lest the woman involved somehow stop him from gaining more power as the husband of a Scandinavian princess. (But, who knows, maybe she's just a hot model from another country he's looking to bring on as an additional decoration for his palace . . . )
Sherlock Holmes, using one of his less intense methods, take's the idiot king's money, has a nice time hanging out with horses and stablehands, smoking and drinking beer. He goes to a wedding and makes a little more money. Good times.
More beer and a nice bit of cold beef, and Sherlock Holmes organizes a crowd for a demonstration in front of Irene Adler's house due to her causing the idiot king to show up in his life.
The idiot king returns to 221B Baker Street, in the expectation that all of his wishes have been carried out by Sherlock Holmes, who explains that the woman the king thinks loves him so much probably doesn't love him at all. The idiot king immediately goes into "sour grapes" mode, mentioning how she wasn't really in his class, even as he's still stuck on how hot she is.
SIDE NOTE: Irene Adler has her own John, just like Sherlock, in the able John the coachman. Interesting.
The idiot king keeps going on about Irene Adler's status, which Sherlock Holmes turns around to insult him to his face, which the idiot king entirely misses. Why?
The idiot king is busy crowing about his failed efforts, reframing them with "Nothing could be more successful." He tries to give Holmes a trinket, expecting the detective to take it and agree, but Sherlock is completely in the woman's camp at this point, if he wasn't there to start with after meeting this dunce of the wealthier classes the day before.
And in one final gesture of disrespect to an idiot with power, Sherlock Holmes pretends he doesn't see the idiot king wanting to shake his hand and turns to walk away.
It's the fair sex that really carries the day in "A Scandal in Bohemia," putting a childish bigot in his place. And Sherlock Holmes always holds that moment in a place of honor. Like so many of Watson's accounts, this one holds a good lesson for us in that.
Let us hope we see such stories play out again and again.
Funny enough, even if the king in question was a pompous idiot, I've always been on his side of the case. When Irene Adler hooked up with him she must have known that marriage was out of the question. She also must have known that one day he would have to marry for dynastic reasons. So, pray, what right had she to threaten his marriage prospects? None, as I see it. She should have done what every other reknown courtesan did and retreat into the background. That was an unspoken but understood by all conditio sine qua non of these affairs.ReplyDelete