Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Valentines for our dear John

 A call went out for the next Zoom meeting of the John H. Watson Society for folks to bring their valentines to the good doctor at Saturday's meeting, and I'm curious as to what that will bring. A lot of us in America were used to the old grade school routine of buying the variety pack of little cards of featuring some cartoon characters and scrawling classmate names on the little envelopes, but how many of us have actually created a valentine, be it poem, art, craft, or just lovely sentiment?

John Watson deserves our valentines, if anyone does, since he had to take a bullet wound to see any sort of affection from his closest companion. And our love for that good friend and his chronicles certainly makes him deserving in our eyes. But with only a few days left until that Saturday Zoom, I still haven't gotten my act together to produce a proper valentine, due to several job-related distractions this week. But February 13 is coming, and even though Watson might forgive me for not getting him flowers or a card, I will certainly feel pretty guilty showing up at the JHWS meet empty-handed. 

(Not saying, of course, that anyone else has to have a valentine to attend -- our meetings are open to all comers. You can email for the zoom invitation.)

But what suits Watson best? A man of words, so poetry? A man who liked to describe the attractive client, male or female, so something of visual beauty? A man who didn't get enough chocolates, so . . . well, I might feel bad eating Watson's chocolates for him, being a sort of Santa-and-cookies situation.

Perhaps Watson would like a valentine from some character in the Canon he admired. There were a couple I know that he was sad never to hear from again. Or it might be fun to construct a hypothetical valentine from a particular moment in the Canon -- one is tempted to write Holmes's card to Moriarty from 1891 when he "inconvenienced" the professor around Valentine's Day in mid-February, but that wouldn't be for Watson. Moriarty deserves no cards.

The John H. Watson Society meeting will be a show-and-tell for Watson's valentines, so I guess it's time to dig out the red paper and paper doilies. Little Tonga-Cupids probably might be too much, or just weirdly inappropriate, even though he was a bow-and-arrow kinda guy. Who knows?

But I'd better get to work now, in all the senses of that phrase. Happy VD prep! (Apologies to anyone with actual VD for that line. Take care of yourself, and take care in spreading your Valentine's Day cheer! Even John might have had it once, according to some Sherlockians.)

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