And Limericks Also Beget Toasts . . .

Ron Lies “Chips” has begun a sub-culture of limerick and toast composers. Here is a musical toast created by Sheila Holtgrieve “Daisy” of the Seattle Sound of the Baskervilles (SOB’s).

Daisy writes:

I am attaching here a musical toast that I made up for the SOB Masters’ Dinner (the move in the apostrophe is deliberate: some of our older members are not able to come if the dinner is in January due to darkness and weather, so we decided on March to celebrate SH and JHW meeting at St. Barts; we celebrate SH’s birthday at our January club meeting.)  My JHWS bull-pup name of “Daisy” got me to remembering the old song, “Daisy, Daisy,” so I made up the words, and three of us sang it at the dinner.  What a kick!

Sherlock, Sherlock, Give Us Your Answer
to the tune of Daisy, Daisy

Sherlock, Sherlock, give us your answers, do
We’re half crazy over the likes of you.
We’ll ride in a big, black carriage.
And go to Irene’s marriage.
We’ll stay out late to keep your dates
In our hansom cabs built for two.

Watson, Watson, give us your answers, do
We’re half crazy over the likes of you.
We’ll go to the turf for betting;
We’ll dine with ladies fetching.
We’ll meet with Lestrade,
We’ll go to Lowther Arcade,
In our hansom cabs built for two.

Holmes and Watson, give us your answers, do
We’re all crazy over the likes of you.
We’ll meet with you in the stories,
With you life is never boring.
We’ll keep your name,
We’ll keep your fame,
In our hansom cabs built for two.

Limericks Beget Limericks . . .

Thanks to Ron Lies, we have our Weekly Limerick. It appears Ron has created renewed interest in this very old literary form,  as several members have commented and offered their own favorites. We will include these from time to time for the enjoyment of all. Our Chair, Prof. Don Yates “Pal” sends along this limerick and comment:

I’ll throw in a Sherlockian limerick of my own, in case you’d be interested in using it. It’s somewhat seasonal and requires familiarity with BLUE’s cast of characters, but most of our members will likely understand the play with words.

Sans hat and sans goose do we meet
This poor fellow roughed up in the street.
In the end such a winner,
He might have us for dinner.
Which could aptly be termed Baker’s treat.

Limerick of the Week

Here is Ron Lies’s, “Chips” Limerick of the Week:

Here is the second of the limericks for the week of the 23rd.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes was the great master sleuth,
For he always discovered the truth.
He assisted the poor
Using logic quite sure,
And he never did one thing uncouth.

Author is William S Dorn, BSI, DWNP, From his book THE LIMERICKS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES and his card set, Pencil Productions 2005, both currently out of print with no plans to reprint.

A note of interest (at least to me).  Dr. Dorn’s is the only set I have found to include limericks about characters from the Canon as well as the two stories that surfaced after Doyle’s death and thought by some to be written by Doyle.

Yours in the willing service of Dr. Watson,


New Feature: Limerick of the Week  by Ron Lies, “Chips”

Our always interesting and interested Charter Member, Ron Lies “Chips,” will be sending us a new limerick each week. These are the limericks of  author William S Dorn, BSI, who published The Limericks of Sherlock Holmes, now out of print and unavailable. Mr Dorn has graciously given Chips permission to reprint the work and we will all be able to enjoy these classics once again.  Thank you Ron, as always, for your ever-welcome support.

John H Watson

Watson wrote all those wonderful tales

Besides which every other tale pales.

What more can we say

But up to this day,

Each attempt to improve on them fails.

An Observation on Our Passion by Ron Lies “Chips”

Ron Lies, our always thoughtful and interesting member from Denver, sent this observation along. It has components pertinent to recent discussions in the Sherlockian/Watsonian world and, therefore, deserves as wide an audience as possible. Feel free to comment, and thank you “Chips”.

An Observation

Recently, there have been exchanges online about who is a Sherlockian. We have always had a healthy exchange of different ideas. This discussion question has brought out responses that have caused hard feelings among some Sherlockians. This concerns me and I would like to share some thoughts I have about the Grand Game we play.

I was fortunate to meet and know John Bennett Shaw, who had the largest individual Sherlockian collection in the United States and was one of the kindest, most decent human beings I ever had the pleasure to know. In my too few visits by letter and in person, we discussed all things Sherlockian. The following points are concepts I took away from my conversations with John Bennett Shaw. I try to base my Sherlockian actions on these points:

1. If you have one of a Sherlockian collectible, you gloat. If you have two, you share.

2. A Sherlockian is anyone who has read a Sherlock Holmes story (preferably a story from the Canon) and tries to find more.

3. A Sherlockian is someone who has watched a Sherlock Holmes movie, television program or play and who tries to find more.

4. A Sherlockian is one who has listened to a Sherlockian radio show, tape or cassette and tries to find more.

5. We should treat a Sherlockian’s opinion with respect even if that opinion is wrong or disagrees with yours.

6. The most important rule is: if you are having fun, do it; if you are not having fun, don’t do it.

I wish you all could have met John Bennett Shaw. He was a Sherlockian and human being of the finest kind.

These then are my thoughts: I am afraid we are losing some of the fun in and respect for each other’s point of view that John mentioned we should have. We each have our own favourite Sherlock Holmes and his world. I am a traditionalist. My Sherlock Holmes is that of the Canon and of the world of 1887. The actor who portrayed my quintessential Holmes is Peter Cushing in his portrayal of Holmes in the 1968 BBC television series.

I am sure there are others who will disagree with me. I look forward to discussing my beliefs with you whether you are Brett supporters or the new wave of Cumberbatch supporters from the BBC Series “Sherlock” which updates Holmes to modern times. All I ask is that you treat my beliefs with the same respect and courtesy I will treat yours.

Greetings to all my Sherlockian friends and those friends I have not yet met.

Ron Lies “Chips” in Denver

Monograph Review from Ron Lies “Chips”

This kind review of the Society’s first monograph publication was received from our appreciative member Ron Lies “Chips” in Denver. Thank you, “Chips”:

“I received my copy of Coin of the Canonical Realm written by Nicolas Utechin and edited and designed by Dr Joanne Yates. This first monograph by our society is a pleasure to read. It is full of information for each case that I now have at my fingertips. It is a great bargain for what little it costs. I feel there will come a day when you will not be able to obtain a copy and you will be sorry.”

Ron in Denver

From Ron Lies and Sandy Kozinn: An Ode

Our Maven of Miscellanea, Ron Lies “Chips” of Denver, who sends us wonderful tid-bits he finds in his Watsonian and Sherlockian peregrinations, suggested we offer the Ode written by Sandy Kozinn “Roxie”.  Ron writes:

“Buttons, I read this and thought it would be a good piece to put in our blog. I wish you and yours all the best for a blessed and wonderful Christmas and all things great for next year. Please extend all my hopes and wishes for the holiday season to all the members of our Society.”

“Roxie” writes:

“There are always new Sherlockians.  Some of them may actually have never seen this, a toast I presented to a Blue Carbuncle Dinner meeting of The Three Garridebs some years ago. It’s another take on that old question:  What was that stone, anyhow?”

ODE ON THE O.E.D. ON THE CARBUNCLE, or What Was it, Anyhow?

Each year we meet to greet and dine,
Perhaps to sip a glass of wine
In honor of the carbuncle blue.
A carbuncle blue?  It can’t be true!
As I glanced through the O.E.D.
Three definitions popped out at me.
A carbuncle stone, it clearly said,
Was a precious stone of a fiery red.
A carbuncle could be a red facial spot,
An infection or a tumor, but both red hot.
There’s one thing more that it could be:
A small lump of coal, quite black to see.
Such coal in a goose would be quite shocking.
(It really belongs in Moriarty’s stocking.)
But if Mycroft Holmes had sired a child
(And I admit that idea is wild)
And if Sherlock were sad on the day that he sat
For Oscar Meunier — did you get all that? —
And Oscar worked in coal, then that statue or trunk’ll
Turn out to have been a blue carb uncle.
But a statue in black, the size of a bean
In the crop of a goose might never be seen.
So what was the stone?  what color?  what kind?
There’s only one answer I’m able to find.
Since Watson wrote “scintillatingly brilliant blue”
Then what must have happened — I leave it to you —
Was:  He made a mistake!  There’s a very good reason,
For Watson, like us, was toasting the season.

Ron Lies “Chips” on an Allusive Mystery Story 

Our Society’s frequent contributor, Ron Lies “Chips”, sends along a few clues to an allusive mystery story related to Dr Watson and Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes.

Members who would like to add this to their collection, can find the book on Amazon listed for about $7.00. Information below:

“Chips” writes:

“A fellow member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of India posted the information about a short story where Dr. Watson beats the Holmes Brothers at their own game. The story is written by Collin Dexter who created The Inspector Morse stories. It is in the collection Morse’s Greatest Mystery and Other Stories. The short story is “A Case of Mis-Identity.” The tale is enjoyable and worth the time to find it.”



The Good Doctor Offers a Toast by Ron Lies, JHWS “Chips”

We thank our Society’s author of interesting miscellanea, Ron Lies, JHWS “Chips,” who sends this toast he gave to Denver’s Doctor Watson’s Neglected Patients two years ago:

“The Song of Doctor Watson”
Words and music by Harvey Officer

Doctor John H. Watson was I,
Known as a straight and honest guy.

Was to be a Surgeon for years,
In the Northumberland Fusiliers

But wounded was I in the thigh
Or was it the Subclavian Artery?

‘Twas by a vile bullet Jezail,
Shot by the Ghazis murderous hail.

Needless that I should repeat,
How I arrived in Baker Street.

Of all the tales I have versed
A Study in Scarlet was the first.

Holmes, ‘tis true, made me the goat,
Criticized every word I wrote,

But he tried, after a while,
Even to imitate my style.

However, I did marry again,
Who was the dame I married then?

The name must be mysterious still,
Roberts declared ‘twas De Merville.

Morley, he did not agree,
Said it was Sherlock’s landlady.

But any proof I do not see,
So, it must remain a mystery.

Rightly, then, praise you my pen,
All you men and women.

Was I not willing to be?
Called by him “Elementary?”

For you see, I had to be,
Boswell to his curious vanity,

After all, but for my tomes,
What could you know of Sherlock Holmes?

OK, Here’s the Answer:

The Sonnet came from a pamphlet titled A Lauriston Garden Of Verses, six Sherlockian sonnets and a ballad by Helene Yuhasova and published by the Pamphlet House, Summit, New Jersey; 1946. Helene Yuhasova is a pen name for the great Sherlockian scholar, Vincent Starrett.Thanks to Ron Lies, “Chips” for this delightful remembrance of the legendary Mr Starrett.

An addendum from commenter Marci in April 2015: Helene Yuhasova is the pen name of my Auntie Helene, who is the author, not Vincent Starrett.