Weekly Forum 2015: #17

Today’s topic is from our fellow JHWS member “Gwen.” Thank you!

What is a moment that you find particularly funny in the Canon? Quote it to share with us.


Comments

Weekly Forum 2015: #17 — 9 Comments

  1. “I am inclined to think—” said I.

    “I should do so,” Sherlock Holmes remarked impatiently.

    I believe that I am one of the most long-suffering of mortals; but I’ll admit that I was annoyed at the sardonic interruption.

    “Really, Holmes,” said I severely, “you are a little trying at times.”

    • Brilliant! This particular scene and the “My blushes, Watson!” scene that “Reggie” quotes below are two moments I remember laughing out loud to myself when I first read them.

  2. Watson’s pawky humour in VALL:
    You have heard me speak of Professor Moriarty?”
    “The famous scientific criminal, as famous among crooks as– –”
    “My blushes, Watson!” Holmes murmured in a deprecating voice.
    “I was about to say, as he is unknown to the public.”
    “A touch! A distinct touch!” cried Holmes. “You are developing a certain unexpected vein of pawky humour, Watson, against which I must learn to guard myself.

    Holmes’s self-reproaching sarcasm in DEVI:
    He relapsed at once into the half-humorous, half-cynical vein which was his habitual attitude to those about him. “It would be superfluous to drive us mad, my dear Watson,” said he. “A candid observer would certainly declare that we were so already before we embarked upon so wild an experiment.

  3. A couple of my favorites, that always make me laugh:
    From THOR: Holmes smiled languidly and reached his hand out for his pipe. “Don’t be noisy, Mr. Gibson. I find that after breakfast even the smallest argument is unsettling.” [I guess before breakfast is ok?]
    From REDH: Sherlock Holmes and I surveyed this curt announcement and the rueful face behind it, until the comical side of the affair so completely overtopped every other consideration that we both burst out into a roar of laughter. [Me too, right along with Holmes and Watson]
    From SIXN: “If you are going back to Pitt Street, you might see Mr. Horace Harker. Tell him for me that I have quite made up mind, and this it is certain that dangerous homicial lunatic, with Napoleonic delusions, was in his house last night”….”You don’t seriously believe that?”…”Don’t I? Well perhaps I don’t.” [I always picture Holmes looking like the chessire cat when he said this and it makes me laugh.]

  4. From SPEC:

    “Which of you is Holmes?” asked this apparition. “My name, sir; but you have the advantage of me,” said my companion quietly. “I am Dr. Grimesby Roylott, of Stoke Moran.” “Indeed, Doctor,” said Holmes blandly. “Pray take a seat.” “I will do nothing of the kind. My stepdaughter has been here. I have traced her. What has she been saying to you?” “It is a little cold for the time of the year,” said Holmes. “What has she been saying to you?” screamed the old man furiously. “But I have heard that the crocuses promise well,” continued my companion imperturbably. “Ha! You put me off, do you?” said our new visitor, taking a step forward and shaking his hunting-crop. “I know you, you scoundrel! I have heard of you before. You are Holmes, the meddler.” My friend smiled. “Holmes, the busybody!” His smile broadened. “Holmes, the Scotland Yard Jack-in-office!” Holmes chuckled heartily. “Your conversation is most entertaining,” said he. “When you go out close the door, for there is a decided draught.” “I will go when I have said my say. Don’t you dare to meddle with my affairs. I know that Miss Stoner has been here. I traced her! I am a dangerous man to fall foul of! See here.” He stepped swiftly forward, seized the poker, and bent it into a curve with his huge brown hands. “See that you keep yourself out of my grip,” he snarled, and hurling the twisted poker into the fireplace he strode out of the room.
    “He seems a very amiable person,” said Holmes, laughing. “I am not quite so bulky, but if he had remained I might have shown him that my grip was not much more feeble than his own.” As he spoke he picked up the steel poker and, with a sudden effort, straightened it out again.

  5. “I have always held, too, that pistol practice should distinctly be an open-air pastime; and when Holmes in one of his queer humours would sit in an armchair, with his hair-trigger and a hundred Boxer cartridges, and proceed to adorn the opposite wall with a patriotic V.R. done in bullet-pocks, I felt strongly that neither the atmosphere nor the appearance of our room was improved by it.” [MUSG]

    It’s the understatement of that last bit that makes me laugh every time.

  6. Being an author myself, I’ve always loved this particular scene which makes me laugh every time I read it:
    “The Haven is the name of Mr. Josiah Amberley’s house,” I explained. ” I think it would interest you, Holmes. It is like some penurious patrician who has sunk into the company of his inferiors. You know that particular quarter, the monotonous brick streets, the weary suburban highways. Right in the middle of them, a little island of ancient culture and comfort, lies this old home, surrounded by a high sun-baked wall mottled with lichens and topped with moss, the sort of wall –”
    “Cut out the poetry, Watson,” said Holmes severely. “I note that it was a high brick wall.”
    -Adventure of the Retired Colourman (RETI)

  7. I’ve always gotten a smile from the absurd image in this item in “A Case of Identity”:

    “‘Here is the first heading upon which I come, “A husband’s cruelty to his wife.” There is a half column of print, but I know without reading it that it is all perfectly familiar to me. There is, of course, the other woman, the drink, the push, the blow, the bruise, hte sympathetic sister or landlady. The crudest of writers could invent nothing more crude.’

    “‘Indeed, your example is an unfortunate one for your argument,’ said Holmes, taking the paper and glancing his eye down it. ‘This is the Dundas separation case, and, as it happens, I was engaged in clearing up some small points in connection with it. The husband was a teetotaller, there was no other woman, and the conduct complained of was that he had drifted into the habit of winding up every meal by taking out his false teeth and hurling them at his wife….'”

    • I always smile at the last clause of that sentence: “which you will allow is not an action likely to occur to the imagination of the average story-teller.”

      To break out of The Game for a moment, I can’t help but raise an eyebrow at good Sir Arthur for *that* comment.

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