As darkness fell upon London, amateur detective Sherlock Holmes wandered into the living room for his habitual afternoon cup of tea and heron.
'Morning, Holmes', Dr Watson said to him, 'that blasted heron's still sitting on the roof! Shouldn't we go and shoot it, or something?' 'Never mind a blatant and continual drug problem, Witsun', the sleuth replied, his reddened eyes wincing as he put his copy of Socialist Expenses-Fiddling down. 'We have a new case.' 'We do?'
'Yes, Watson. Now listen carefully to what I have to tell you. On August the 13th. -' 'You mean thirteenth?' - '13th., or if you insist, 13th. Now I've lost the thread completely, Whatson. Stop interrupting, or we'll be here all day. The pint, I mean point, is that too many parodies of our work have been appearing around and about.' 'Abominable!' 'Yes, Watson, disgraceful, vilifiable, unreasonable, rogettable, etc., etc'
'.' 'Thank you, Watson, I forgot to use that full stop. We must go to the Yard to find our next clue, y'all!' 'Pardon?' 'Sorry, I was on holiday in Tennessee last week. To the Hansom cab!', and the intrepid duo would have been seen hailing that cab and being driven to Scotland Yard, if it wasn't for the almost inpenetrible fog.
'This fog is deuced impenetrable', Dr Watson said, 'there must be a reason for it.' 'Never look a gift horse in the eye of an impenetrable horse thief, Watson, for that way madness dies, like all that is quoth and narily quothified, save our Save The Whalers 'pon darkness shied.' 'Evidently', and they arrived at Scotland Yard.
'Ah, Lestrade', Holmes said to that stereotypical desk sergeant, 'I have come to reveal the secret of the parodies about myself and my bumbling assistant, Dr Watson.' 'Please take a seat, sir, as there's a queue.' 'Take a seat, forsooth!', replied Holmes, 'I'll tak' yer heid and batter it tae shite an' chuck it oot the windae!', he shouted at the copper.
'I was on holiday in Scotland a month ago', he explained to Dr Watson. 'Nae borra', said Lestrade, 'I wuz in Glasgae mahself yesterday, the boss'll be oot tae see you in just a wee minute, byraway', and in a wee minute he was.
'Ah, Holmes, I see your dress sense gets more ridiculous every day. Walk like an Egyptian', and Holmes and Watson did so into the Inspector's office. 'Now, what can I do for you?' 'We are here', Sherlock Holmes announced, 'in this building, this veritable monument of law and order, this -' 'Want some tea?', the Inspector asked him?
'Thank you. And you've used a question mark instead of a full stop, sir.' 'Remarkable, Holmes!', put in Dr Watsontv, 'if not incredulous.' 'Encroyable', added WPC Yvette de Fielding, pouring out the tea, and 'Wunderbar!' added a passing wood pigeon, on its way to Berlin.
'Don't mention the war', Watson muttered to Holmes, and that sleuth then got back to the main point of discussion. 'The main, if not conducive, if not downright essential point we are here to make - nice tea - is that WPC de Fielding looks rather nice in that tight blouse.' 'The parodies, Holmes, the parodies.'
'I mean the main point, apart from this tea, which is clearly Tesco's Value brand, harvested in 2008 in Assam -' 'Remarkable!' - 'is that I have discovered the source of these blasted, if not confounded parodies of myself and my assistant.'
'Think for yourself, Inspector, where could such grotesque and non-denominationable harpoons come from? Where could such quintessentially quinitifiable quintithingies be nurtured? Where, indeed, could such pseudo-quasi-neo-antedeluvian hogwash be sprung from?'
'Where - just milk, no sugar, thanks - could such hypogeomegatyrannosauro wordocities magically appear from, like a fake celebrity in a TheSpoofSpoof.yawn article? Where is a chocolate digestive to go with the tea, is the laterally-thought out point, Inspector, and one you would do well to take down and send in a sealed envlope to the Pope, who is, of course, a convicted murderer.'
'This all very well and elementary', Inspector Cleudo replied, 'but just because you're stuck in your office writing crap for a hopeless advertising firm doesn't mean you can swan in here and write nonsense because you're bored, in between taking tea breaks and eyeing up your tasty female temp, does it? So you see, Holmes, I had worked it all out long before you arrived here.'
'You're not a sleuth, nor a detective, but just an idiot filling in the hours to scam a few squid off your employers, before heading home for a snifter and a packet of crisps, aren't you?' 'Confound you, Cleudo! I will now leave in a sulky fashion! Come, Watson, we are clearly wasting our time here', and the two left, feeling like American Presidents - acting like they were important, but basically knowing they were about as important as an out-of-date tin of rhubarb.
At 223c Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson ordered more tea from their slave, Mrs O'Doyle, and sat in thoughtful silence. 'You know', Watson suddenly said, causing Holmes to drop his copy of 'American Satire, the Smallest Book in the World' onto the carpet, 'something doesn't add up about this case. There's more than meets the eye to this.' 'Well done, Watson, I wondered how long it would take you to spot it.'
'At the Yard', the detective continued, 'I noticed the Inspector's shoes were hand-made and Bulgarian. And size 9.' 'Nine?' 'No, 9, pay attention, Watson. And there was a trace of Boots' own-brand, organic, hand-reared, free range, slave trade shoe polish on those shoes.'
'But - ' 'So I deduced that my day filled with writing nonsense was about to end, and that I would have to end this article if I was to flirt with the temp in the lift before going home.' 'Ah!' 'Yes, this whole case has meant we are now at least £47-54 and 2 luncheon vouchers' richer!'
'But how did you work it all out, Holmes? How did you manage to do more or less no work and still get paid for it? How?'
'It was -' and the sleuth waited for a nearby drummer to start a drum roll - 'elementary!', and the drummer finished the roll, and hit a cymbal.
Professor Moriarty is on holiday in the Seychelles.