“Hand me my violin, Watson.”
“Certainly, Holmes,” I said, turning my back on the great sleuth as I reached for the instrument, discreetly stamping on it once or twice out of respect for his musical skills before handing it over. Nonchalantly accepting his cracked violin, Holmes played a delightfully splintered tune, so distracted was he by the events of the night that he did not even notice the violin was in four pieces.
As a great music lover, I am used to Holmes’ singular violin playing, and in the earlier days of our friendship I could often be seen offering encouragement by striking him on the head whenever he reached for the instrument. Holmes’ violin playing is a reflective accompaniment to his thoughts; melodramatic and prone to great gusts of narration.
It is with this particular skill in mind that I have spared no effort in obtaining the finest ear plugs money can buy. I sat behind a newspaper between a pair of these, and wondered how much more I could take of Holmes’ moody eccentricity. It was bad enough him keeping his tobacco in a Persian slipper, but of late the habit of keeping his feet in my cigar case had been getting me down.
Undeterred by the barrage of cushions and small arms fire, Holmes played his violin into the dawn, and I spent the time as best I could composing lengthy, heartfelt telegrams to the Samaritans.
Making the Baddie Really Bad – and Original“It is far safer to be feared than loved” – Machiavelli
Evil is entertaining. It’s a riot. Famously, in Paradise Lost, Satan is the only one who has any fun. That isn’t saying much. Milton wasn’t exactly a barrel of laughs and epic poetry isn’t really entertainment. Out of the whole Eden, heaven and hell kaboodle, Satan rocks. God is pompous. Adam is wet, Eve sulky, and the angels suck. Milton shot himself in the foot.
Part Of Us Wants To Be Like That
We can’t help admiring the cool of Verbal Kint as he walks out of the police station. Seeing the expression on Tony Montana’s face as he fills his pockets with bullets and grenades is an experience. Sharon Stone’s turn in Basic Instinct (and say what you like, she’s a creepy customer) titillates and challenges.
We like evil – it’s fun and when done well, we get a thrill of having safely visited the edge. Just as a rollercoaster gives safe thrills, the Terminator blasting through a police station has us tensely breathless.