The Miss "Sherlock Holmes Is Like" Pageant commission put me on notice after last night's round of judging, and though I am filled with guilt and shame, and apologize to all of those contestants, the pageant rounds keep pressing onward. Tonight, however, I am, I swear, attentive and alert.
That turns out to be a very good thing when the first person vying for the Miss "Sherlock Holmes Is Like" crown appears on the stage -- I wouldn't want to get this guy angry.
It's Gandalf the Grey, direct from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. And, man-oh-man, is this guy a real Miss "Sherlock Holmes Is Like" if ever I saw one. Tatyana Dybina has brought all of his Holmes-ish features to the fore and they are impressive. No non-royal so far has had such potential to look good in a crown. He's got all the right moves, from the pipe to the fall-to-his-death-but-not-really, and . . . well, just wow! Gandalf is going to be tough to beat.
Let's see who's next.
Jimmie Lavender, a pulp detective from the pen of Vincent Starrett. Ray Betzner is ably manning the spotlight on Jimmie, but I just can't get over Lavender's Watson being named "Gilly." I mean, it's not Jimmie's fault, Vincent's fault, or Ray's fault that Saturday Night Live ran a series of skits about a character named "Gilly" in which the character's name was said so many times that it became imbedded in my head. You can almost hear the question coming: "Who was it that ruined Jimmie Lavender's chances in the Mis 'Sherlock Holmes Is Like' pageant? Was it you, Liam? Was it you, Sam? Gillllleeeeeey!"
Well, we'll see no such issue with the next contestant . . . Jesus Christ!!!
No, that wasn't me taking the Lord's name in vain, the next entry for Miss "Sherlock Holmes Is Like" is actually Jesus of Nazareth, and as the book's closing act (remember, I'm doing this out of order), I think somebody was trying to stack the deck. Laura Sook Duncombe has the unenviable task of shepherding the Shepherd to the stage, but like Jimmie Lavender before him, Jesus has a real Watson problem . . . too many Watsons! We do like our resurrected heroes, and we do like Father Ronald Knox, but a cozy Baker Street type of scene with a member of the Trinity is a little hard to see. Not liking J.C.'s chances here, though I don't want to betray anyone with a kiss until this round is completely over.
Nick Charles coming to the stage is a fresh breath of smart-ass. (Well, that's not the best turn of phrase. Nick would do better. Or Nora would.) But Angela Fowler has set Nick up in a most glowing lite, not making him look like a Sherlock Holmes clone, but just enjoying the detective for who he was and when he was. Saying Sherlock Holmes is like any of the detectives that came after him, following his lead, is always a tough go, so why not appreciate the guy for who he is? (And that Watson of his -- hubba, hubba!)
The pageant gods (or maybe Jesus) are giving us a wholesale run of detectives tonight, and next supposedly-coming-up-the-runway-but-refusing-and-staying-in-his-house is Mr. Nero Wolfe.
Nero Wolfe? Well, of course, Sherlock Holmes is like Nero Wolfe, as much as [SPOILERS!] any father is a bit like his son. David Marcum has presented that paternity evidence to those judging this pageant, and . . . well, it's going to be very hard to push Nero Wolfe through this round without accusations of Sherlockian nepotism. Give us another candidate, and not a detective, please, Jesus.
Not a . . . well, I guess agents of the F.B.I. aren't technically detectives. Investigators, yes, as in "Federal Bureau of Investigation." But isn't Dana Scully more of a Watson? I am sure Michelle Birkby considers otherwise. Let us see how Dana looks in comparing Sherlock Holmes to her.
Well, I had hopes for Dana Scully. This pageant is turning into such a sausage-fest, that a little representation from someone bringing out Holmes's feminine side would be very welcome. But I just can't go for Scully, with the shadow of Mulder constantly intertwining with hers, and his Sherlock-ness confusing matters. Still, this round of the Miss "Sherlock Holmes Is Like" Pageant can at least go to someone who doesn't wear pants.
Gandalf the Gray, you are tonight's winner! We'll see you in the finals.