Sherlock Holmes. The great detective in the funny hat. Since first appearing in 1887, fans all over the world have been devouring the stories. There have been spin-offs, movies, TV series, merchandise and more.
But what a lot of people forget is that this is a fictional fucking character. Almost every day I get off at Baker Street tube station and see a long line of twats queued up outside 221B Baker Street, now known as ‘the Sherlock Holmes Museum’. It’s mostly tourists, but I’ve seen large groups of people out there as early as 8.30am, ready to shell out 15 quid to see the famous detective’s house and purchase some awful souvenirs.
It baffles me, it really does, that while these people are in line (mostly staring at their smartphones) they can’t put two seconds of thought into what they are about to experience. It took me about 2 minutes on Wikipedia to find out that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle chose this address for his books because in 1887 it didn’t exist. At the time of publication, Baker Street extended to 221 – this actual building wasn’t created until 1932 and was then occupied by the Abbey National Building Society.
Despite my ravings I am a fan of the series and have read all the books. But by reading all the books, I know that Sherlock’s greatest asset is his mind. Unless people walk in and see a giant brain, this whole place is useless. Sir Arthur’s daughter also publicly said that she was against the idea of the museum because it suggested that her father’s character was a real person.
The facts so far:
1. Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character.
2. 221B didn’t exist until 1932.
3. Sir Arthur’s daughter is against the museum.
4. Sherlock Holmes’s most valuable tool is his brain (and sometimes Watson).
So with all of this in mind, the only sane conclusion is that these fools haven’t even read the books, which makes it even worse that they are going to waste their time and money. Shortly after my disappointment in this lot was initiated, I walked by the Museum of London where they were having an exhibition that “delves into the mind of the genius sleuth”. There were people queued for this too, probably straight from Baker Street. It would be a different situation if they had props and sets from the movies and TV shows, but this gave you “a chance to look beyond the familiar deerstalker, pipe and cape and discover the complex character beneath”.
We are in dire times, folks, if people are celebrating a character known for his intellect when they can’t even think for themselves. If Sherlock Holmes was written in this day and age, he’d have to solve his greatest mystery yet – The Case of the Missing IQs. The game is afoot!