I should write in this thing more often. I thought months ago I'd take a cue from Luke and funnel less energy into Twitter and more into the blog.
Well, that didn't happen.
Anyway*, I've been reading Sherlock Holmes. I knew there were a few novels, but turns out there are quite
a lot of short stories. More than I would have guessed. I own The Complete Novels and Stories: Volume II
because we had to read The Hound of the Baskervilles
for school one year. I never read anything but the one novel, and never picked up Volume I
until a few days ago.
It's not that I didn't like it. I guess I probably did. But it didn't capture me like those stories did for past generations. Probably too much TV rotted my brain or something. Plus the volumes are looong. Volume II
is 650 pages. I thought that was enough, but Volume I
is over 1,000 pages! Can't wait to start that one...
Anyway*, as I said, I've been reading Volume II
and I'm just over 600 pages in. (I can see light at the end of the tunnel! Actually, that's not really fair to say since I don't want it to sound like reading these stories is agony. It's not.) I just tonight finished a story called "The Adventure of the Creeping Man." No, it was not a biography of me...
*** Spoilers from here on out. ***
But it was about a 60 year old man who felt threatened because he might lose the girl he loved to a younger man. (The girl was like 40 years younger, but I guess this wasn't too uncommon in the 1920s? Whatever.) So what did the old man do? Quite naturally, he went to Prague and got himself hooked up with some drugs. And not just any kind of drug. MONKEY SERUM. I shit you not. The reason Holmes got involved was because this old man would, on every ninth day, go batshit insane. He was taking the serum every ninth day, and then later on that night would creep out into the yard, walking with his arms drooping down, and climb trees and shit. Just like a monkey. Then I guess he'd go back to his room, wake up the next morning, and have no recollection of this monkey business.
The story is a little incredible**, but that's not the point. As I was reading Holmes's brilliant deduction ("Eureka! Monkey serum!"), the greater notion of the old man feeling the need to improve upon himself in an unnatural way brought to mind the semi-recent steroid scandals in professional sports (most notably baseball
). At this point I would remind you that these Sherlock Holmes stories were written in the very late 1800s and early 1900s. Near as I can tell from the copyrights, this particular story was written in the 1920s. Even then
man was struggling with "performance enhancing drugs." It just boggles my mind that people can't be happy, or at least content, with what God gave them.
Carry on.*Use of the word "anyway" to begin a new paragraph and segue into another thought is lazy. Sorry.** Very few of the stories have loony plots like this. Please don't not read Sherlock Holmes because of this one example.