Thought Experiment: Sherlock Holmes

I’ve been reading a lot of Sherlock Holmes stories lately and watching a bit of one of the older shows.  I’ve been enjoying them very much, but I like mysteries.  But, though Sir Doyle is certainly a gifted author and a first class mystery writer, there are a few points which I wonder if he considered.  They never come up in the stories, so I doubt they would be considered pertinent, but just the same, I wonder.  Let’s call them ‘thought experiments’.

One) Holmes and Watson occupy 221B Baker Street, but who occupies 221A?  Who would be willing to put with with a neighbor who practices the violin at odd hours; does chemical experiments which lead to many strange and noxious odors; has visitors at all hours, many of whom are suspicious; commits to no regular schedule and has lights and activity in his flat constantly; not to mention the revolver practice indoors.  It’s no wonder that in later stories Watson no longer lives with his friend.  Holmes is not one inclined to be much of a roommate.  Or, for that matter, a neighbor.  Mrs. Hudson, Holmes’ landlady, was no doubt willing to put up with him because of his princely rent payments, but losing her 221A tenants on a regular basis must have annoyed her to no end.

(Since writing this, I have discovered that Mrs. Hudson herself occupies 221A.  I’m not sure what to say about this.)

Two)  Can you imagine Sherlock and his brother, Mycroft, as boys?  Good lord, they much have been trouble.  Imagine all that budding intelligence backed by the curiosity of a young child.  The Holmes brothers much have been into everything.  Admittedly, at seven years apart, they probably didn’t see much of each other.  This is assuming they were both sent to different boarding schools.  Possibly at their teachers’ request.

And as far as sibling spats go?  I know the more years between siblings the fewer these arguments get, but if Mycroft was 14, that would make Sherlock 7, and at that age there’s nothing more irritating than a kid brother.  Particularly one that’s hard to outsmart.  There’s a reason Mycroft is smarter and Sherlock is more active – sibling survival.  The older one has to have some sort of preset defense and the younger has to be able to outmaneuver them.

And since we’re on this: who names their kids Mycroft and Sherlock?  Why do people do these things to this to their children?

Three)  This is the one I’ve never been able to comprehend in any way.  Eventually, Sherlock Holmes retires, goes to the country, and keeps bees.  Why bees?

Yeah, can’t even think of a way to flesh this one out further.  Every time I try, eventually my mind drifts back to, “But why bees?”

Of all the hobbies to pick…  After a lifetime of solving crimes…  Why bees?

Oh well, they’re entertaining thought experiments, I suppose.  I don’t really think they serve much purpose, aside from fodder for the authors that follow in Doyle’s footsteps and continue the adventures of Holmes and Watson.


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