Monday, September 12, 2011

Elementary, my dear Watson.

Prompt was to put a favorite literary character in Walmart, so naturally, I picked Sherlock Holmes. :)


"Are you quite certain that he came here, Holmes?" Watson shifted hesitantly from foot to foot. "I do not doubt your deductive skills, but this strange building cannot, it seems to me, be any sort of a warehouse."

"Sorry," a mother said as she bumped into his shoulder while pushing past him. Watson decided she must have possessed some extraordinary strength and agility, to carry two children in her arms, push a stroller, carry four shopping bags and maintain normal walking speed. Either that, or it was that mysterious "mother strength," as Mary was inclined to call it. Holmes, of course, did not acknowledge such an unscientific force.

"I cannot be surer," Holmes replied, waving a dismissive hand and eyeing the various brightly-colored food items with a disdainful eye. "I an informed that our good man has entered into this establishment, and as... strange as it may appear, he is a very sly man; although not quite, perhaps, as clever as I am. He would have picked the most expansive shop with the most number of people inside, so as to hide well. The gaudy merchandise is only another reason."

"Pardon me--he has a reason for this..." Words failed Watson as he motioned to the eye-wrenching labels and cage of neon rubber balls.

"He means to distract, inundate, or repulse us," Holmes said, before adding wryly, "I cannot say that he has not done a fair job."


"I did not realize England could produce such an extensive selection of children's toys," Watson remarked in awe.

"We have only walked two aisles," Holmes said, "and really, Watson. Your assumptions have misled you again. We are currently in the United States of America."

"What!" cried Watson, astonished. "America!"

"You must have heard the immediately recognizeable American accent and noticed the subtle switch from English grammar and spelling to American spelling in this text," Holmes explained mildly. "It must be excused. The author is not, after all, as competent a writer as our Doyle."

"Spelling! America!" Watson repeated. "And -- author!"

"Do not dwell on such a subject too long, Watson. I am afraid it may be too much for you to handle."


"Watson! Have you realized what an invaluable tool this 'laptop' is? With it I shall be able to access such a world of information that I have not been able to before. I am told that a man in the furthest corner of the Asian countries may send an 'e-mail' to a man in England in nearly no time at all! One with no knowledge of all could rise of the height of knowledge by reading on the 'Internet'! Why have I not heard of this before?"

"I -- I cannot be sure..."

"I must have it at once. Take that 'camera,' too; I'll need that as well."

"I... camera?"


"Sorry, we don't take English money," the cashier apologized, handing the money back.

"Pounds," Holmes replied shortly. "English pounds sterling."


Holmes' expression cooled. "You might begin to save money if you did not allow yourself the pleasure and luxury of cocaine and cigarettes, although I am sure a fellow like you might not have the strength to stop. Then you could quit this vile job as a cashier like you want to."

The cashier was aghast. "What?"

"In addition, your girlfriend has begun -- what is that peculiar American idiom? -- 'two-timing' you."

Watson felt sincerely sorry for the cashier; he looked quite young and distraught. There were not many instances in which he felt the need to interrupt Holmes' tirades, but for the sake of maintaining the peace, he tapped on his friend's shoulder. "Holmes, we really ought to be tracking our man, in any case," he said mildly. "I am sure there are fine enough laptops and cameras and Internets in England."


In the parking lot:

"Heaven's sake, Holmes," Lestrade said, passing the culprit to his aides. "What took you so long?"

Holmes gave him a tight smile. "I suppose we were -- distracted, of a sort..."

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