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Further Beating of the Subjects
by Brad Keefauver (and sometimes Kathy Carter)


June 1983 on Holmes and Peoria

July 1983 on familiar quotations

August 1983 on good husband Watson

September 1983 on bad husband Watson

October 1983 on Holmes's aging

November 1983 on Canonical masquerade

December 1983 on tin dispatch boxes


January 1984 on bibliographies

February 1984 on detective Barker

March 1984 on modernisms

April 1984 on epigrams

May 1984 on the awful truth

June 1984 on alternate Watson

July 1984 on book burning

August 1984 on summer camp

September 1984 on Holmes's index

October 1984 on spending a fortune

November 1984 on Halloween

December 1984 on the stereotype


January 1985 on a variety of topics

February 1985 on pasticheurs

March 1985 on being picked up by the police

April 1985 on Watson's quotes

May 1985 on the Granada TV Holmes adaptations

June 1985 on Holmes and pro wrestling

July 1985 on the Sherlockian collecting

August 1985 on Victorian verbiage

September 1985 on Canonical criminals

October 1985 on Holmes the entrepreneur

November 1985 on the Baker Street irregulars

December 1985 on Sherlockian holidays


January 1986 on the Sherlock-Santa connection

February 1986 on resolutions

March 1986 on Mary Morstan

April 1986 on FINA and EMPT

May 1986 on Sherlock TV

June 1986 on Holmesian horticulture

July 1986 on a Holmes family picnic

August 1986 on Two Adventuresses

September 1986 parody part one

October 1986 parody part two

November 1986 on Holmes and fishing

December 1986 on Gordon Speck


January 1987 on the newsletter's 100th issue

February 1987 on the BSI

March 1987 on Irene revelations

April 1987 on lame criminals

May 1987 on Doyleana

June 1987 on front page Doyle

July 1987 on a Holmes's methods

August 1987 on New York

Banquet 1987 on Peoria by gaslight

September 1987 columnist change

October 1987 on 221B scenes

November 1987 on Ronald Knox

December 1987 on consulting Dr. Watson


January 1988 on Springfield's society

February 1988 on Mrs. Turner's beer

March 1988 on Wild Theories

April 1988 on Scotland Yard

May 1988 on Clayton's horse

June 1988 on rude cuisine

July 1988 on eggspoons and laundry

August 1988 on Watson's passion

September 1988 on Holmes for President '88

October 1988 on Sherlock and Elvis

November 1988 on Holmes for President '88 - Part Two

December 1988 on Holmes's image


January 1989 on Morley's disease

February 1989 on Sherlockian certification

March 1989 on Help Wanted

May 1989 on California girls

September 1989 on adventure ratings


January 1990 on busts Napoleonic

February 1990 on doughnuts

March 1990 on method cost

April 1990 on Holmes's retirement

May 1990 on Holmes's telegram

June 1990 on the Game

July 1990 on the Canon

August 1990 on evil sheep

September 1990 on Conan Doyle

October 1990 on a quiz

November 1990 on the quiz answers

December 1990 on a hidden wife

There's a conversation in the beginning of A Study in Scarlet, before Dr. Watson has met Sherlock Holmes, in which their mutual acquaintance Stamford is describing the detective. It goes something like this:

"He appears to have a passion for definite and exact knowledge," Stamford says.

"Quite right, too," Watson agrees.

"Yes, but it may be pushed to excess," Stamford argues. "When it comes to beating the subjects in the dissecting-rooms with a stick, it is certainly taking rather a bizarre shape."

While my passion for definite and exact knowledge may never match that of some of my fellow Sherlockians, I've never been one to hesitate about beating Sherlockian subjects to death in pursuit of something new. Whether it was Sherlock Holmes, his brother Mycroft, the field of Sherlockiana itself, Elvis, Santa Claus, or professional wrestling . . . you name it. If there was a drop of Sherlockian sap to be tapped from any subject out there, I'd unashamedly drive a spigot into it . . . especially when my neighbor's monthly newsletter, Plugs & Dottles, was driving me to come up with something to put in a column every month.

The Keefauver column in Plugs & Dottles ran for about fifteen years, from June 1983 to December 1998. At first it was called "Alias James and Agatha: Being Phillimores' Sidelights on Sherlock," and my wife Kathy and I alternated months. After four years, Kathy decided to retire from her every-other-month, and the column became "Inferring the Possibilities." Two years later, I tried to retire from doing the column as well, and inadvertently caused the biggest uproar in the publication's history. I wish I could say it was my departure that caused the controversy, but it was, in truth, a single statement in my farewell column about sexual discrimination in a certain elder Sherlockian society. Certain elder members of that certain elder society weren't very happy about the comment, and the resulting furor lasted for months.

Such "popularity" made it hard to stay away from writing the column for long, and within months, I was back in the monthly essay business again, this time calling the column "The Dissecting Room." Writing about Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and the general state of Sherlockian culture every single month was just too much fun to give up. It continued on until 1998, when Plugs & Dottles (the Peoria newsletter, not to be confused with the later Nashville publication) finally folded.

There's plenty to read from those fifteen years. Some good, some not so good. But bit by bit I'll be adding selections to that list on the left, so stop by and see what's new every now and then.



January 1991 on Watson's place

February 1991 on the BSI dinners

March 1991 on deadlines

April 1991 on engagements

May 1991 on whist

June 1991 on Garridebs

August 1991 on fictional home

September 1991 on work

October 1991 on a quiz

November 1991 on exits

December 1991 on obliqueness


January 1992 on Holmes and Trek

February 1992 on February Sherlock

March 1992 on the state of things

April 1992 on a Sherlockian's cat

May 1992 on gauging train speed

June 1992 on villain cows

August 1992 on Moriarty bungee

September 1992 on summer whimsy

October 1992 on a quiz

November 1992 on judging answers

December 1992 on Holmes and bars


January 1993 on Both Holmeses

February 1993 on Memoirs and Numbers

March 1993 on Access

April 1993 on the Return of Elvis

May 1993 on the Writing Watson

June 1993 on Frankenstein's Sherlock

July 1993 on Those Other Sherlockians

August 1993 on Bob versus The Machine

September 1993 on Bliss, 1983

October 1993 on Quizmageddon

November 1993 on Mystery Writers, Biographers, and Journalists

December 1993 on the Name Game


January 1994 on a Canonical Christmas tree

February 1994 on Two Men of Note, 1994 Edition

March 1994 on Mary Morstan's trusted companion

April 1994 on the Good Sherlockian

May 1994 on how "We were here first!"

June 1994 on the Doyle/Watson scheme

July 1994 on three pastices of the day

August 1994 on Holmes, Watson and picnics

September 1994 on the quest for Private Life

October 1994 on a couple of things that needed saying

November 1994 on John Bennett Shaw

December 1994 on a Sherlockian Thanksgiving


January 1995 on 1994

February 1995 on the Canonical Scale of Drunkeness

March 1995 on the Hounds of the Internet meet the Baker Street Irregulars

April 1995 on Parietal Bones, Pate De Foie Gras Pie, and Catkins on the Hazel

May 1995 on the Two Hundredth Issue of Plugs & Dottles

June 1995 on the Constant Creation

July 1995 on Sherlock and Me at the Holiday Inn

August 1995 on the MediaWest*Con

September 1995 on Back to School Holmes

October 1995 on Trigger Lines

November 1995 on an Open Letter to Sherlock Holmes

December 1995 on Sherlockian Treasures of 1995


January 1996 on a lazy Sherlockian Christmas

February 1996 on Mrs. Hudson's yard sale

March 1996 on the letter Z

April 1996 on Holmes dancing

May 1996 on too many detectives from Holmes's life

June 1996 on summer Sherlockian activities

July 1996 on Sherlock Holmes the action hero

August 1996 on John Clayton's two looks

September 1996 on Holmes and Watson's heterosexuality

October 1996 on England

November 1996 on the two paths

December 1996 on what the publication dates reveal


January 1997 on gifts that stay gifts

February 1997 on grumpy old Sherlockians

March 1997 on Doyle's thought processes

April 1997 on French artists

May 1997 on letters

June 1997 on the really untold tales

July 1997 on a Sherlockian neighbor

August 1997 on re-demonizing the Hound

September 1997 on Sherlock for Morons

October 1997 on the club of legend

December 1997 Rant (not the musical)


January 1998 on the St. Helena Tragedy

February 1998 on Canon family

March 1998 on Holmes the machine

April 1998 on Valuable Institutions

May 1998 on Moriarty's leap

June 1998 on why it's great to be Dr. Watson

August 1998 on the faithful Irregulars and that other doctor

September 1998 on defending reality

October 1998 on Sherlocking your war to Arkham Asylum

November 1998 on Sherlock in the new millenium

December 1998 on the Final Column