Written by matwil
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Sunday, 18 October 2009

image for Sherlock Holmes and the Feeble Imposter 'Haven't I read this stuff here before?'

As Dr. Watson sat at the breakfast table eating toast and eggs he was feeling quite contented, as it had been months since Sherlock Holmes had retired for a second time and the peace in the house had been most pleasant. Apart from occasional evenings when that famous detective murdered some Vivaldi for hours on end on his out-of-tune violin, of course, but nothing was perfect in this world.

At that moment the door flew open, and Holmes himself stormed into the room. 'It's monstrous!', he shouted angrily, storming over to the table and throwing The Times onto it, 'absolutely monstrous, Watson!' 'What is?', the doctor asked him. 'Take a look at the paper!', Holmes said, then proceeded to storm up and down the room as Watson scanned the front page.

'Do you mean 'Sad Lack of Originality Leads to Copying Other People's Ideas'?' 'No!' 'Or 'Why Not Make Your Own Stuff Up?' 'No! Read down, you fool!', and Watson knew that the sleuth was angry, for usually he just called him 'you bumbling idiot'. 'Ah, 'Feeble Imposter of Sherlock Holmes Appears in London'. 'Yes, confound him! But read the article, Watson, read it!', and the doctor began reading it.

'The great detective Sherlock Holmes finally retired this summer, and London's criminals breathed a sigh of relief, though Scotland Yard's policemen didn't, as they would have to actually stop eating sandwiches all day and try and solve some crimes.

But last week a strange event occurred, for someone impersonating Holmes suddenly appeared and began trying to solve cases across the metropolis. The man of course wore a deerstalker hat and smoked a meerschaum pipe, but it wasn't Sherlock Holmes, just a feeble imposter. And one that never actually solved any cases, just tried to act like the famous detective.'

'You see', interrupted the sleuth, 'an imposter! A cheap, second-rate, ridiculous fake! Come, Watson, we must track the varmint down!' 'But I haven't finished my breakfast, Holmes.' 'Sometimes there are more important things than breakfast!', the detective replied, shocking Dr. Watson, 'to the Batmobile!', and soon the pair were roaring down Baker Street towards Central London in that newly-invented car at 7 m.p.h..

'Where are we going?', the doctor asked Holmes, and 'Quiet, Watson, I need to think, think', and soon they had reached the end of Baker Street. 'Stop the car!', and it stopped, 'we must take a cab to the West End, to Soho.' 'Why?'

'Because I have deduced the train will start there from the direction of the wind, and from that cigar ash beside that tuft of grass over there.' 'Train?' 'Trail, then, blast you! I wish you wouldn't keep picking holes in my grammar, Watson', and an hour later they were walking along the streets of Soho.

'Dashed interesting pictures these, Holmes', Dr. Watson commented, as they passed the windows of 'Jack the Ripper's Ankle-Showing Show', for there were photos in the windows of young ladies' ankles. 'Filth, Watson', Holmes replied, 'but we didn't come here to leer and ogle and drool at beautiful pairs of naked girls' ankles.' 'Didn't we?' 'No. Here is where we must begin our search for the imposter, here at 'Black Jack's Dirty Mack Shack', and the two entered that dingy emporium.

'Morning', said a man behind the counter, 'what can I do for you sirs?' 'Did the man who claims' - and here Holmes shuddered - 'to be Sherlock Holmes visit this shop last week, to investigate the theft of an expensive diamond ankle bracelet?' 'Why yes, sir, 'e did.' 'Aha! And did he use bad, even childishly poor grammar and punctuation?' 'Yes, now you mention it, 'e did.' 'To 'Madame Tussaud's, Watson!', and the detective shot out of the door with Watson bumbling along after him. 'But but but but but but but but but', he said, 'but but.'

'At that famous waxworks all shall be revealed, Watson, once more I have outwitted my opponents. Ah ha ha. Ah haha hahaha! MwahahahahahahahaHAHAHA!!', and forked lightning flashed across the sky, while bats flitted around under the gaslights.

'You feeling all right, Holmes?', Watson asked him, and 'never better' came the reply, 'though I could do with a pint and a half of a virgin young maiden's blood to drink. But later, we have work before us', and they had arrived at Madame Tussaud's Waxworks.

Striding purposefully past the ticket office and ignoring the eye of the ticket clerk, Holmes and Watson made their way to the Literary Section, though they had to pass through the actresses one first. 'I say, Holmes, dashed attractive young ladies here, what!', Watson commented, 'isn't that Mabel Braithwaite, 'the Black Pudding of Barnsley'?' 'Hurry up, Watson, we have no time to loose.' 'Lose.' 'Blast and confound you, Watson! LOSE, then!', and soon they were in the Literary Section.

Sherlock Holmes moved purposefully round the room, reading the name tags of the exhibits intensely. 'What are you doing, Holmes?' 'I'm moving purposefully round the room, reading the name tags of the exhibits intensely, Watson.' 'Ah.' 'Here, come quick! I've found what we were looking for!'

'What is it?', the doctor asked him. 'Look', and Watson saw that it was the models of William Shakespeare and Francis Bacon and Christopher Marlowe they were at. 'Give me your matches, Watson', the detective demanded, and then lit one and held it to William Shakespeare's wax face, which quickly began to melt.

'I say, Holmes, should you be doing that? We don't want the Bow Street Runners to get wind of this.' 'Observe, Watson, observe', and he did, but then gasped as the molten wax fell away to reveal a less flammable waxwork face - one of Professor Moriarty. 'Eek!', Watson gasped again, 'it's -'

'And now we can deduce that that foul villein -' 'Villain.' '- is working at Madame Tussaud's factory, let us waste no more time and let us not let another minute, another second, another smidgeon of a millisecond pass without taking to action at once. Let us not -' 'Shouldn't we get going, Holmes?' 'Let me finish my speech, curse you! Now I've forgotten what I was saying, so let us depart henceforth and forthwith', and shortly the pair were at the next door waxworks factory.

'Spare a penny for the 'omeless, guv', came from a figure at the door, holding out a paper cup and with a sign saying 'HOMELESS AND SKINT OF MY OWN IDEAS, PLEASE HELP' beside him. 'Call a Peeler, Watson, we have tracked down the culprit! For it was you, Moriarty, that donned my outfit and swanned around London pretending to be me, was it not?'

'And 'twas thee, thou foul and grotesque charlatan, that tried to steal all of my ideas and pass them off as your own, thou veritable Hound of the Baskervilles, verily speak I sooth?', and it was indeed Professor Moriarty disguised as a street beggar.

But Moriarty suddenly made a leap for Holmes, and soon the two were grappling for control of original ideas. 'Stop him, Watson!', Holmes shouted, 'or we are doomed to read the same old crap day after day, in the same style with the same characters, stolen from other writers' ideas in the archives!'

'But but but but but but but but -' 'This is no time for butting, Watson, grab the original ideas from him!', and the doctor did, and then whacked Moriarty with a rolled-up copy of 'Nurses' Ankles As You've Never Seen Them Before' he'd stolen from Jack the Ripper's, and it was all over, and soon a Peeler arrived and took the Professor away in handcuffs.

'Well, that's that then, Holmes', Watson said, 'but how did you work it all out?' 'Trigonometry', the sleuth replied. 'The Batmobile lead me to the grass tuft, the grass tuft lead me to Soho, Soho lead me to Tussaud's, where I had deduced we would find Shakespeare alongside Marlowe and Bacon.'

'But why why why why why why why? Why?' 'Because it is widely held that Bacon and or Marlowe really wrote Shakespeare's plays, and I knew that the Fowl moriarty would be drawn to such an unoriginal but famous character as that.' 'Er, Holmes, it's 'foul'. And you've muddled up your capital -'

'Oh, shut up about spelling, Watson, I'm trying to end this blasted story and you keep interrupting me! Anyway, I spotted a thread of Moriarty's coat on Shakespeare's waxwork, and knew he must have made that model. The rest was -' 'Elementary?' 'Exactly, elementary indeed. So now we must return to 232c Baker Street, my violin is calling me.'

'Er, I have an urgent appointment with, er, with ... with Mabel Braithwaite.' 'But she's a waxwork, Watson, you blithering idiot!' 'Yes, I know, but seeing as no real women are ever allowed into these stories, I'll just have to do with a doll.'

'Well, each to their own, Watson, but personally I'll be going out later for a wild cocaine-fuelled and drunken orgy with three girls in King's Cross, followed by hours of watching flicks full of lots of girls' naked ankles!'

'You do live, Holmes, don't you?' 'I try, I try', and the two parted with mutual good wishes, Watson to stand and leer at a waxwork model of Mabel Braithwaite for the rest of the day, Holmes to drive his neighbours for miles around to suicide with the screeching and wailing of his mad and out-of-tune violin playing.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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