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No. 499, December 25, 2011

The Best Sherlockian Christmas
By Don Hobbs

There are drawbacks to one being known as The Maniac Collector; Christmas and birthdays in particular. I have been a Sherlockian for more than thirty years so using that criteria, it means sixty Christmases and birthdays combined have passed. Yet rarely do I ever get anything Sherlockian. The excuse I hear most often is that surely, I must already own everything Sherlockian there is to own. Not!

As very collector knows, including Sherlockians there is ALWAYS something new to add to the collection. If you already have something, maybe the quality or condition needs upgrading. If it is the giving that is important not the receiving then it should not matter if the gift is something already in the collection or not. It is the meaningfulness of the gift and the thought behind it that is important. Well all of the ‘having it’ mentality disappeared this Christmas. I had the best Sherlockian Christmas ever.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I am not sure I can stretch the picture above to that many words but here we anyway. Starting from the left, Joyce bought me this wonderful Gasogene. Any good Sherlockian knows the about the Gasogene, this Victorian device for producing carbonated water. In article IV of the constitution of the Baker Street Irregulars, Gasogene is one of the three officers, with the basic duties of a president. The wire mesh around the bottle is for safety reason as the bottles were prone to exploding.

The next item I received for Christmas was the Sherlockian nutcracker. It was from my son and it caused a very strong reaction from my granddaughter, Madison. When she saw the nutcracker, her bottom lip protruded out so far she nearly stepped on it. Her pouting was because she also picked out the same nutcracker for me. I explained that as a collector, one could never have too many of anything. The book in the middle that says “Roman” is from a friend in Germany, Richard Kiederle. It is a 1939 German translation of several Canonical stories, a very rare edition. The beer stein with the Frederick Dorr Steele illustration came from my daughter, Megan. She told me how the first arrived in a million pieces and that she had to go postal with them to get the replacement to her in time. I asked for the shattered one also. Maybe there is a Sherlockian mosaic on the horizon.

Next to the beer stein is The Book of Sherlockian Puzzles, from my daughter, Kelly. a book I had not heard about and this pleased her to no end. That was just 292 words, far short of the thousand promised but I am not finished. Not in the picture was another gift from Joyce. This was a formal, white silk scarf to wear in New York City with my tuxedo. It will compliment my new formal, long coat I bought in Italy in the fall. Look out, NYC, I be sharp.

I hope everyone’s Christmas and/or his or her holidays are as wonderful as mine have been.

Happy Collecting!


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Past 2011 Columns

January 2, 2011
The Sherlockian Christmas Tree

January 9, 2011
Sherlocking in New York City, 2011

January 16, 2011
SherlockPeoria Episode #450

January 23, 2011
The Numbering Police

January 30, 2011
Sherlockian Potpourri

February 2, 2011
Sherlocking in Columbia, Maryland

February 13, 2011
Sherlocking on My Birthday

February 20 2011
No Fog Countries Meeting II

February 27, 2011
Six Degrees of Sherlockian Separation: The 83rd Academy Awards

March 6, 2011
A Don-B-Fete

March 13, 2011
Sherlocking at the Circle Brewery

March 20, 2011
Days Like This

March 27, 2011
Sherlocking in Tulsa

April 3, 2011
Sherlocking in Windom, Texas

April 10, 2011
Sherlockian Overload

April 17, 2011
The Hansom Cab Clock Club

April 24, 2011
The Sherlockian Wall of Fame

May 1, 2011
Sherlocking in Manila

May 8, 2011
No Tagalog To Be Found

May 15, 2011
Sherlocking in Destin, Florida

May 22, 2011
Sherlocking With Bill Mason

May 29, 2011
Le Petit Journal Illustré

June 5, 2011
Toothy Tales Without A Single Dentist In Sight

June 12, 2011
Sherlocking with Tim Evers

June 19, 2011
Around the World in 80 Days -- The Rest of the Story -- A Review

June 26, 2011
Sherlocking in Forth Worth, Texas

July 3, 2011
Sherlocking with Debbie and Ralph Hall

July 10, 2011
Sherlockian Potpourri

July 17, 2011
You Know You Are
A Sherlockian When...

July 24, 2011
Sherlocking in Pebble Beach with Michael Kean

July 31, 2011
Non-Sherlocking in San Luis Obispo, California

August 7, 2011
Sherlocking with Joan Proubasta in Flower Mound, Texas

August 14, 2011
The Concert in Catalonia: A Review

August 21, 2011
A Study in Il Cane Rosso

August 28, 2011
Being Sherlockian

September 4, 2011
Sherlocking With The Diogenes Club of Dallas

September 11, 2011
The Chuckapalooza

September 18, 2011
One Of Those Weeks

September 25, 2011
The Chinese Edition of The Annotated Sherlock Holmes

October 2 , 2011
Sherlockian Potpourri

October 9, 2011
Sherlocking Around The World

October 16, 2011
The Maniac Collection Reaches Five Digits

October 23, 2011
Gone To Italy

October 30, 2011
Sherlocking in Italy

November 6, 2011
Sherlocking in Italy, Part 2

November 13, 2011
Random Access Memories

November 20, 2011
Aesthetic Realism and Sherlock Holmes

December 4, 2011
It's Good Being A Sherlockian

December 11, 2011
Thubway Tham

December 18, 2011
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, A Review

December 25, 2011
Best Sherlockian Christmas