Friday, March 27, 2020

The Madness of the Remote Sherlockian

Welcome to the world of the remote Sherlockian.

It may be a little early for a complete adaptation to that role, but as someone who has been living that life for years, welcome! The crazed hermits of the Sherlockian world twitchingly bid you enter our world of creeping madness!

Think that's a little hyperbolic? Hey, you don't get called "the worst person in our hobby" for nothing, y'know! I've got a resume to back it up, as well as a Peoria tradition.

This whole train of thought came up recently when a friend mentioned the Hounds of the Internet, and the first thing that came to mind was my old friend and neighbor Bob. Bob was a very invested Sherlockian hermit, who avoided NYC like it was a coronavirus center from day one, yet still got into the Baker Street Irregulars based on his contributions to the cause of Sherlockiana, back when the group was a little more about the Sherlockian world as a whole and not so much about just working for the BSI itself. See that comment? That's the comment of a remote Sherlockian right there.

We're disconnected enough that we bitch about things just a wee bit more. Bob steadily and publicly complained about The Baker Street Journal never arriving by the month on its cover date, in the days before the quarterly switched to seasonal cover dates. Did he influence that change? Well, I might question the motives of anyone too quick to say "He most certainly did not!"  The established order hates for anyone to think that such mad hermits influence them in any way. Things do happen for reasons, though, acknowledged or not.

But Bob was a thorn in many a side, and on the Hounds of the Internet, his repetitive horrible jokes and recipes got him booted from the group more than once. He was retired, didn't venture from his house much, and had to do something to cure the boredom, a situation a lot like Sherlockians are suddenly finding themselves in today. Retired Sherlockians who live apart from the urban centers have often found themselves in this state, and with no peer pressures to steer them to a proper course, can come up with the best and maddest of ideas. (Also, once you cross the age 60 mark, you can also get a real "who gives a flamin' fock" attitude" -- that just comes with the age.) We'd probably have had less wacky pastiches pre-internet if not for such retiree situations.

So here we are in 2020, socially distanced, and our remote Sherlockian population has temporarily skyrocketed. How mad will things get? How many out there will start singing "Let It Go" and spinning in their desk chair before launching into the sort of Sherlockian crazy previously reserved for the hermits with self-published books, blogs and multiple podcast channels? Only time will tell.

But, hey, times are tough. Release that stress any way you can. And if you need anyone to look the fool first, just to ease your stepping into the waters of creative abandon, just give a shout-out to your local crazed Sherlockian hermit. They're up and ready for the job!


  1. Bob was a funny man on the Hounds of the Internet, but other members did not always have a sense of humor. They took things a bit too seriously. I had many fun moments mentioning the tent joke, and watching Bob go off like 4th of July fireworks a few moments later. He hated that joke! I miss old Bob Burr.

  2. I am jealous! 'The worst person in our hobby!' It is my own fault, being a hermit, that I do not get to offend enough people... so I will try harder.