Monday, October 12, 2020

Plane trees, wooden gates, and bow windows

One of the problems with being a rabid Sherlockifan like myself is the distraction.

Paul Thomas Miller almost sabotaged the start of my workday with the revelation that he was in agreement with Bonnie MacBird's theory on the location of 221B this morning, and my inner old Sherlockian immediately went "Harrumph, I say! Gray Chandler-Briggs, burfle, burfle, burfle!"

Paul liked Bonnie's evidence of the plane tree in a particular yard, which sent me into researching plane tree longevity and finding that London had its own particular variety of pollution resistant plane trees called "London Plane tree." So you know, head canon immediately gravitates to that one for Mrs. Hudson's backyard tree out of sheer London-loyalty.

Gray Chandler-Briggs, in addition to sounding like a character from TV's Friends, hinged a lot of his own  theory on a wooden gate leading to his theoretical location for Camden House, Moran's chosen sniper post.

Plane tree or wooden gate? And what about that thrice-damned bow window?

And that yellow brickwork across the street with the sun shining so brightly off it that the yellow brick had to be on the west side of the street.

Was 221 Baker Street really 72 Baker Street? 111 Baker Street? 61 Baker Street?

Ah, the simplicity of Watson being wounded in shoulder, leg, both, or neither. Only four options.

Baker Street was a whole street.

And it's a rabbit hole that I've managed to avoid, even though I fell a long way down the chronology one, probably for one reason and one reason only . . . the thing most of the Alices for this particular rabbit hole have in common? They've been to London. The Baker Street that exists there is a real thing to them, as in they've felt the solid pavement under their seats. They believe in London's city plans.

I'm just still not convinced that 221B Baker Street wasn't just 221B Baker Street, and I'll tell you why.

Consider Sherlock Holmes, a man who came to London and went, "I'm not doing into the existing profession of doctor, Scotland Yard inspector, government clerk, musician, artist . . . no, I, Sherlock Holmes am going to create my own unique role in this great metropolis!"

If anyone in the world was going to move into Baker Street and go, "These are nice numbers, but I need to have 221B as my home address. Here's a few extra pounds, Mrs. Hudson, buy two twos and a one and put them on the door. A couple of days and the delivery men will know where we are," it was Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

And, y'know, if I published a book titled Watson Does Not Lie, I might have a little faith in that fellow and his choice to advertise Sherlock Holmes's address in The Strand Magazine as 221B Baker Street.

Of course, I guess we would still have to discover which house on Baker Street that Sherlock Holmes decided to designate as 221. Well, FUUUUUU . . . .

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