Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Monthly Meeting Minutes - 10th July 2018

The Shingle of Southsea Holmesian Society
Monthly Meeting Minutes

Date of Meeting: 10th June 2018

Location of Meeting:
The Sherloft, My House, Portsmouth, UK

Attendees:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller)

Apologies:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) apologised but "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) pointed out he was present so he didn't need to apologise. "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) apologised for the misunderstanding.

The Toasts:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) gave the following somewhat unfocussed toast:

The Consulting Detective
by "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller)

Quickly Watson, get your service revolver,
You be the muscle and I'll be the solver.
We'll make our way down to Stoke Moran
To stop a step-father who's a nasty old man.
Then we'll hop on over to Baskerville
Stop a monstrous hound, smoke pipes until
We'll go to Reichenbach, see the falls,
Kill a psychopath in a cliff top brawl.
Then back to London by the early train
To rest at Baker Street again.
But a Boho King stops our repose
Wanting our help to reclaim photos.
And though I'll save the King from ruin
Irene'll beat me; 'cos she's THE woman.
We'll interpret Greeks and dancing men,
Box some ears and now and then
I'll sulk on the sofa while you read trash,
Or I'll identify kinds of ash,
Or find lost gems while you exclaim
How great I am time and again.
And we'll both have fun for ever more
(Or at least until the First World War).

Motions:
1. "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) once again suggested that we should get more members. No one seconded.
2. "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) made a motion. It looked really suave. You wish you could make motions like "The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller).

Presentation:
"The Entire Canon" (Paul Thomas Miller) presented the following pastiche which he had written.

Sherloccoli "The Broccoli" Holmes
The Baker Street Genius of the Brassica Genus
Being A Reprint From Patient Records of John “Doctor” Watson

"I am inclined to think-" said I.
Sherloccoli Holmes did not answer, because he is a head of broccoli.
I tried again; "I AM INCLINED TO THINK-"
I believe that I am one of the most long-suffering of mortals; but I'll admit that I was annoyed at the lack of clever interruption. Indeed, nothing came from the consulting legume other than an eyeless glare and a green silence.

Before I could question Sherloccoli on the reason for his taciturnity, the door of our apartment swung open. No sooner had Billy the pageboy announced Inspector Old MacDonald than the man himself marched into the room. As he loomed over us, I found his six foot of height so imposing I had to ask him to step down from the table and use the floor like the rest of us.
"I apologise for the intrusion gentlemen," he began "but I have encountered a case so baffling I don't know where to start. The ticket inspector of the Clapham omnibus has vanished from the top floor of his bus, leaving only his socks standing in his place."
We both looked expectantly at Holmes, but as he barely flinched it was left to me to ask Old MacDonald to continue his narrative.
“Continue your narrative.” I said.
“Edward Futon is a ticket inspector upon the London omnibuses. This morning, at half past ten, he boarded the Clapham omnibus. It seems he went to make his way to the top deck of the bus. The driver stopped him and told him that there was no one on the upper deck. “I shall be the judge of that” he told the driver, in an unusually brusque manner.”
“The driver; Charles O'Cheddary, says that such rudeness was quite uncharacteristic of the ticket inspector. When Futon had not come down from the top deck twenty minutes later, O'Cheddary stopped the bus at Clapham Common and went to investigate. The scene on the top deck was quite beyond his comprehension. Edward Futon had completely vanished. In his place a pair of woollen socks stood upright on the floor in a small pool of blood. O'Cheddary can testify that the socks are those of Futon, being of a particular shade of grey. The blood, however, he claims not to have seen before.”
Sherloccoli remained silent. So as not to embarrass the inspector I elected to pretend Sherloccoli was talking. I surreptitiously wobbled him, concealed my mouth and did my best impression of talking broccoli. “What size shoe does O'Cheddary take?” he appeared to ask in a falsetto Welsh accent.
“I have no idea Mr Holmes.”
“Then perhaps Watson and I should investigate the scene. We will meet you at the omnibus at six this evening.”
I was walking the inspector to the door, when he peered over my shoulder and called to Sherloccoli, “Do you have any advice to give me in the meantime, Mr Holmes?”
Naturally, Holmes did not reply, because he is some broccoli. Nevertheless I imagined him giving an answer of some description and then I slammed the door in the inspector’s face.

When I had finished crying, I asked Sherloccoli what he intended to do next.
"It is quite the three pipe problem" I imagined Sherloccoli saying. So I jabbed three pipes in his stem, lit them and retired to a safe distance.

When we met Old MacDonald at the omnibus that evening, Holmes was feeling weary, so I carried him up to the top deck to examine the scene. Placing him on the floor, I addressed the inspector. “Holmes is quite tired,” I explained, “He has been working on the solution to this problem all day”.
“And what did you discover Holmes?” the inspector asked him.
Unfortunately I was having another episode, so Holmes was unable to reply. Because he is just some broccoli. Even if he had been able to speak, it is unlikely that anyone would have heard him over the sound of my sobbing. As Holmes rolled under one of the omnibus seats and back out into the small puddle of blood, I felt the world slipping away and fell into unconsciousness.

Sometime the following morning, I woke to find Sherloccoli Holmes singing me The Happy Song while dancing across my bed. In any other head of broccoli, I would have been surprised but I had learnt his ways long ago and simply smiled. And while Mrs Hudson, the police and my unhappy wife all insist there is no such person as Inspector Old MacDonald and that Sherloccoli Holmes is nothing but a vegetable, I am proud to add the Adventure of the Clapham Omnibusman to the many hundreds of cases which Sherloccoli and I failed to solve.

Any Other Business:
No, thank you.

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