BAKER STREET COMPREHENSIVE
Name of Pupil: HOLMES, Sherlock
Dear Mr and Mrs Holmes,
I write to inform you that you will shortly be receiving a visit from an extremely angry Bow Street Runner. He will be asking you to knock some sense into your cretinous son, Sherlock.
Why? Because today, after employing what the boy fancifully calls his
‘Come immediately,’ he told them, ‘a mass murderer is on the loose.’ Within minutes a horde of armed policemen had descended on the school and arrested the man who, it transpired, was perfectly innocent of any crime.
Only then was your son’s part in this dreadful waste of police time and public money fully revealed.
The man in question walked with a limp. He was also sporting a carnation in his buttonhole, carrying a newspaper under his arm and, at the instant he was unfortunate enough to be spotted by your son Sherlock, had been in the act of picking his nose.
As far as I have been able to determine, the following conversation then took place between Sherlock and the numbskull who sits next to him in class, a boy named Watson:
HOLMES: Watson That man is a mass murderer!
WATSON: Good Lord, Holmes Why?
HOLMES: The carnation in his buttonhole for a start. Carnations are out of season, Watson. It must be worth a fortune which he, as a poor man, cannot have. He must have stolen it.
WATSON: Blooming brilliant, Holmes! But how on earth do you know he’s poor?
HOLMES: The limp. An industrial injury, if I’m not mistaken, which would leave him out of work to boot …and desperate, as the rolled up newspaper reveals!
WATSON: Newspaper? Holmes, I know you’re the Star Mail of our Times Today, Sun, but why?
HOLMES: Observeration, my dear Watson. He’s been checking it to find out if the police are hunting for a dangerous carnation thief who has committed mass murder!
WATSON: Murder? Holmes, you’ve lost me…
HOLMES: The man is picking his nose with his little finger, Watson. Most people use their index finger. Why isn’t he?
WATSON: Haven’t got a clue.
HOLMES: Because his index finger must be badly injured, of course! Conclusive evidence that he has recently fired a heavy pistol a number of times!
The fact that the poor man was responding to an advertisement in the paper for a school gardener, whose carnation was evidence of his gardening ability, and his limp having been caused by him dropping his spade on his foot when he was digging up the carnations, appears not to be options that your son considered. Nor the fact that not everyone picks their nose with their index finger.
Doubtless the sergeant will explain this at great length to Sherlock when he calls.
Jim Berger Whack