Monday, December 14, 2020

Too many Zooms can make one hungry

Well, it's been one of those weekends-plus. Four Sherlockian Zooms in three days, which I'm thinking a lot of folks did this weekend, as I saw some of the same faces at two or three of those, and the one Zoom I wanted to attend, but missed due to the John H. Watson Society Zoom, which I was running, going long.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, Zoom.

So then tonight, I've just put some frozen fish in water to thaw, getting my pans ready to cook up a nice Monday night supper after a long work day, and the good Carter says, "What's this calendar reminder that says 'Six Napoleons Toast' in fifteen minutes?"

Back in the freezer goes the fish. Zoom!

Never been to a Six Napoleons of Baltimore  meeting before, as with all those other faraway Sherlockian societies that we're getting to know a little bit in Zoom-world. I say "a little bit" because a lot of the same people tend to overlap in the online experience, and whatever clubs stay online after the pandemic is over will probably all have the same members.

Greg Ruby has become one of our foremost Sherlockian Zoom meeting facilitators, if he's not the Sherlockian Zoom facilitator, and he began the Six Napoleons meeting with a couple remembrances of Sherlockians who recently left us. He opened up the floor for personal memories of those mentioned, and even though I have one really good memory of what a great guy John Pforr was to talk to, I didn't think invoking Ronald Reagan and a popular Peoria strip club were appropriate for such a moment. Plus, new scion, I'm just here to observe. Oh, and give a toast.

I was asked to toast "the woman," which came very early in the program, which is both blessing (getting it out of the way) and curse (being my first attendance at a Six Napoleons meeting, it wasn't a venue I was completely at ease in -- though now that every venue is Zoom, not all that new or uncomfortable).

Julie McKuras's talk on Watson's second wife was right in my wheelhouse -- she dove right into the chronology of matters. Julie is good. She lays out the timeline of Watson's marriage, and how Mary Morstan shows up after Watson already seems to be married. It's one of those talks where you suddenly find yourself going, like Watson himself, "How did I never see that?"  It's a very up-to-date talk, too, citing ideas from last month's Adventuress meeting and Tim Johnson's useful phrase "the Watsonian Witness Protection Program."

After Julie's talk, we got the results of Steve Mason's membership inquisition. The Six Napoleons of Baltimore is an old Sherlockian society with certain rituals and formalities in that area, which Greg Ruby explained, and the reportage on Steve's membership trials were quite entertaining in themselves. Mentions of "absentee balloting" in the process did bring up shadows of the recent election, but those were quickly brushed aside as the evening moved along, and Steve Mason was up for the next toast.

A little story discussion of "The Blue Carbuncle" followed. " Not too much, as I suspect we're not all keeping up with all the stories for all these meetings very well right now. And then a ten question quiz, nicely done with Zoom's polling feature so we could see how we scored en masse. I liked that, as I'm about done with quizzes after forty years of them, and the ten questions were more entertaining than annoying.

Announcements followed, Steve Mason got voted on for membership, some other housekeeping, at which point, my attention was being severely torn away by hunger, having not gotten any supper, and one dear, dear friend was torturing me about that fact with a description of his meal via text message. So rather than a quiet reflection after a fine meeting and meal, as one would usually wander from such an even with, I left my computer with a shout of, "TO THE DRIVE-THRU!" and the good Carter and I raced off into the night.

There's a villain in Flash comics called "Professor Zoom." How did he get his powers? Why did he turn to crime? Well, the old comics had one answer, but I think I might be imagining a brand new one. Sheer hunger.

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