Days 1,138-1,145: The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time

Sun 12.02.12 – Sun 19.02.12:

After a spot of brekkie at Mandy’s mum’s gaff in Ballarat, Mand and I returned to Melbourne and caught up on the BBC’s Sherlock (more about that in a moment). Monday morning chores included taking my video camera to the fix-it shop to get the screen sorted and then going to Bunnings Warehouse (Australia’s B&Q) to buy stuff to decorate Mand’s old office, a job I’ve been roped into do in return for all the awesome stuff Mand sorted out for me over the last few days. That took up most of Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by the Peacock Pub Quiz with our old friend Hayden. We came third (as always) but then my team is banned (by me) from cheating.

Thursday involved wrapping up at Mand’s old office and finding somewhere that could do a date recovery job on my old laptop’s funky harddrive (a 1.8” IDE drive, pop-pickers). Friday morning was spent picking up my (now gloriously working) video camera, buying a new pair of shoes (my old Vans were quite literally falling apart) and picking up my harddrive.

That night, Mand and I went out on the lash with Ross and Pricilla and their mates. We started in the Thornbury Theatre and ended up in The Pinnacle in North Fitzroy, a good night was had by all. Saturday we headed over to see our friends Steve and Linda who, just a few days ago, have become the proud parents of a bouncing baby girl.

In the evening we went to see Tin-Tin at the Moonlight Cinema in the Botanical Gardens. Unfortunately for us there was a wedding going on in the governor’s mansion around the corner and all too often our audio was drowned out by the neighbouring wedding DJ. And the film? Eh, you know what the problem was? The lack of danger. I mean, come on, it’s a cartoon, right? At no point did I think that Tin-Tin could possibly actually die, not like the magnificent Burj Khalifa scene in Mission: Impossible 4.

Tin-Tin was directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson, the animation was done by Weta and it was co-written by Sherlock/Doctor Who scribe Steven Moffat (as well as Joe from Adam and Joe!). It seems there are only a handful of people in control of the world after all.

Sunday afternoon Mand and I invited Mand’s sister, her husband, Mand’s flatmate Pricilla, Pricilla’s fella, Mand’s mate Ange and my mate Rocco around for a feast of scouse – that’s the form of Irish Stew we stole from the Vikings from which us scousers (Liverpudlians) get our nickname. Every year I organise Global Scouse Day on the 28 February: only this year I’ll be at sea on the 28th, fighting my way to nation 195 of The Odyssey Expedition… Nauru. So, hell with it, methinks… lets cook up a batch before I leave.

Mand dropped me off at the bus station at 6.30pm just in time for the overnight Firefly coach to Sydney. The ship to Nauru, The Scarlett Lucy, leaves from Brisbane on Wednesday, so I’ve got to start heading north.

Barring some miracle, it’s unlikely that I’ll see Mand again now before I finish The Odyssey Expedition. Just getting to Nauru and back is going to take FOUR WEEKS. Although I only have SEVEN nations left to go (Nauru, Micronesia, Palau, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles, South Sudan) I can’t see myself getting back to Liverpool before August at the very earliest.

Just seven nations eh? Christ: I remember back in Europe when I was clocking off seven nations in a DAY.

ODYSSEY EXTRA: How (I reckon) Sherlock Faked His Death…

Just managed to catch up with the greatest TV series of all time, the BBC’s Sherlock. Superb last episode and goddamn how much better than the Moriarty from the recent movie is Andrew Scott? So in the end, Sherlock magnificently fakes his own death. This might be a spoiler for some, but I have a strict three-year spoiler policy (if the material is older than three years then it’s fair game) and Sherlock faking his own death comes from the original short stories which are over 110 years old, so no fuss please!!

I’m not saying this is the definitive explanation, but here’s how I would do it:

The simplest explanation is usually the correct one. That being the case Sherlock jumped, like definitely jumped. However, unseen by Watson (there is the single storey building blocking his view), Sherlock landed in a garbage truck full of black plastic bags filled with foam. He then rolled out of the garbage truck onto the pavement still quite alive with a squib of blood from Molly’s morgue in his hand which he squirted on the ground and stuck his head into.

Want further proof? Check out the chalk lines on the pavement marking the exact place the truck needed to be at the moment Sherlock jumped and the fact that you see the goddamn truck itself pulling off away from Holmes’ lifeless body… bit of a strange thing for a truck driver to do given a guy has just smashed himself on the pavement mere inches away!

Oh yeah, and check out the position of Holmes’ body: he jumped facing perpendicular to the building, but when he hits the ground he’s parallel. Like he rolled out of the garbage truck perhaps?

Earlier in the episode we saw Sherlock playing with a squash ball. A conjuring trick as old as the hills: stick a squash ball under your armpit and squeeze. The pulse in your wrist will stop. So we have a real Sherlock ‘body’ (not the hanging mannequin, even a concussed Watson could tell the difference between flesh and plastic), no pulse and a bunch of paid Baker Street Irregulars/Homeless Network types pushing Watson out of the way.

Some things to consider: Sherlock chose the location, not Moriarty. He carefully positioned Watson so there was a building blocking the line of sight to the pavement. The ‘Mask on Moriarty’s corpse’ theory is a bit too Scooby-Doo for a mind such as Sherlock’s. Too many things could go wrong. In any case Moriarty is a tiny little guy compared to Sherlock, it wouldn’t fool anybody. The nurses turned up so quickly because Holmes jumped from St Bart’s hospital, where Molly works and where she would be happy to go along with the scheme.

Moriarty killing himself probably wasn’t part of the plan, but it made little difference in the end, Sherlock was always intending to jump. He asked for some space so that Moriarty would be far enough away not to see him hit the truck when he jumped: he would only need a few seconds to hit the plastic bags before rolling off onto the hard ground. But Sherlock couldn’t resist one last pop at Moriarty and so we got the dénouement we were least expecting.

Of course, no theory is perfect and there are at least two problems with this one. The first is that Holmes was being watched by the sniper who was following Watson, but this can be explained away by the fact he was following Watson, not Holmes. Watson’s genuine reaction to seeing Holmes dead told the sniper everything he needed to know.

The other problem is this: the old adage still rings true… two people can only keep a secret if one of them is dead. I’m sure Molly and Mycroft are more than happy to keep their mouths shut, but the Homeless Network? If Holmes can buy their service, why can’t Moriarty’s familiars? All you need is one boozed up vagrant to tell one of his mates he was paid 100 quid to help pretend Sherlock Holmes is dead and the cover is blown. Way too risky for canny old Sherlock. The only solution to this problem: the crowd gathered around are genuine and the garbage truck is being driven by none other than Mycroft himself.

Whatever the real solution is, we’re going to have to wait an age to see it: with Martin Freeman off filming The Hobbit (and Benedict Cumberbatch doing the voice of Smaug) it’s going to be summer 2013 before we’re likely to see Moffat and Gatiss’ take on The Adventure of The Empty House. I can’t wait. Maybe they’ll call it “The Empty Child”…

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I tend not to create a ton of remarks, but I browsed a few of the responses here Days M138-145: The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time | The Odyssey Expedition.

    I do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind. Is it just me or does it look like a few of these comments look like they are coming from brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting on additional places, I’d like to keep up with you. Could you list of the complete urls of your social networking sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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