Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Yips

Because every once in a while a kid needs to write some bad Sherlock Holmes fanfiction due to a recent obsession with Steven Moffat’s update “Sherlock”.

[Sherlock sits at his desk; he’s pouring over a large folder full of notes and police reports. He’s a mess, hasn’t slept in days, and is either still drunk from last night or very hung-over. Mrs. Hudson enters.]

HUDSON.   Mr. Holmes, are you quite all right?

HOLMES.  No, Mrs. Hudson, certainly not!

HUDSON.  Must I ask why, or can I continue on my way out?

HOLMES.  You see, Mrs. Hudson, you couldn’t have walked upstairs without reason, Mrs. Hudson, so I would deduce that you came up to ask me a question—innocent, perhaps, but I think not. Your anxiety to leave suggests that you were attempting to share some news, but decided against it when you see my state of hysteria, which was evidenced by my fervor concerning this police file. Given that Watson was to return hours ago, I am able to surmise that the news concerns him, and the handkerchief suggests that the reason is not positive. In summation, Watson is dying or dead. Which is it?

[Mrs. Watson pauses for a few shocked seconds.]

HUDSON.  I was checking your kitchen for milk. I was headed to the grocers’. And I think I might have caught a cold from the woman next door when I came for tea yesterday.

HOLMES.  (tossing a pen across the room)   Damn! It’s as I suspected.

HUDSON.  Mr. Holmes, are you sure you are well enough? You seem… upset.

HOLMES.  Quite upset, indeed, Mrs. Hudson. I seem to have developed a case of the Yips.

HUDSON.  Pardon me, the what?

HOLMES.  “The Yips” is a condition commonly associated with athletes, particularly those who play golf or cricket, athletes who experience the complete loss of their fine motor skills and are otherwise unable to play as well they once had. I am using it here in a figurative manner, so as to invoke the comedic reaction as you put together that I have lost any ability for deduction.

HUDSON.  That’s nice, dear.

HOLMES.  I assure you, this affliction is the very antithesis of ‘nice,’ Mrs. Hudson. It is un-nice, that is to say, bad.

HUDSON.  Of course. Is there anything else I can get you?

HOLMES.  (returning to his paperwork)  Not particularly, Mrs. Hudson, other than a request that you refrain from visiting the grocers’ before your illness has subsided. It would be a shame if I were afflicted similarly through your handling of the milk.

HUDSON.  And risk your becoming needier than you already are? Goodness me, you’re right. I’ll wait.

HOLMES.  (not paying attention)  Mm, yes.

[Mrs. Hudson moves to exit, but Dr. John Watson stands in her way. He carries a small suitcase and a hat in his hand.]

WATSON.  Lovely to see you, Mrs. Hudson.

HUDSON.  (quickly)  Yes, lovely, John, how was your trip? Very nice.

[Mrs. Hudson exits as fast as she speaks. Watson rounds on Holmes.]

WATSON.  What have you done now?

HOLMES.  Everything within my power, but it seems to be all for naught.

WATSON.  (pause)   I’m going to ignore the fact that you’re not making any sense now, as you rarely do, so am I going to assume that at this point you’re not even listening to what I’m saying.

HOLMES.  (he isn’t)  Glad to hear it.

WATSON.  At least you’re acknowledging my presence. That’s a start.

HOLMES.  Yes, yes, but the more pressing issue at hand would be my case of the Yips.

WATSON.  I have heard of no such thing.

HOLMES.  “The Yips” is a condition commonly associated with athletes, particularly those who play golf or cricket, athletes who experience the complete loss of their fine motor skills and are otherwise unable to play as well they once had. I am using it here in a figurative manner, so as to invoke the comedic reaction as you put together that I have lost any ability for deduction.

WATSON.  Holmes, how many times have I asked you to refrain from making cultural references based on your intuition about the future?

HOLMES.  Precisely seven and three-quarters times. On one instance we were interrupted by a rather feisty ginger with a gun.

WATSON.  Exactly, and why is it you insist on continuing to do so?

HOLMES.  Human nature, on the whole, is… thoroughly disappointing. I find everything to be rather predictable.

WATSON.  Yes, but what you may find predictable, others actually find annoying.

HOLMES.  I cannot concern myself with how others feel about truth.

WATSON.  No, I suppose you couldn’t be bothered to concern yourself with trivial matters outside the scope of your own existence.

HOLMES.  But the pressing issue at hand—

WATSON.  (deadpan)   Mary and I enjoyed our state of Mycroft’s estate. You must thank him again for me.

HOLMES.  Well, it was a fitting reward for… whatever it is you did.

WATSON.  I saved your life.

HOLMES.  Precisely.

WATSON.  Twice.

HOLMES.  My brother Mycroft. I have no doubt of the numerous disreputable transactions that have transpired in such a large country home in the name of Queen and country.

WATSON.  Terrific.

SHERLOCK.  Mycroft has the mind, but none of the discipline. Though through all his lack of discipline, I’ll bet he’s never caught the Yips. It has been three days, and I haven’t used the art of deduction successfully. Not once.

WATSON.  Perhaps it is because your particular reasoning is induction, not deduction. Induction being the use of small details to extrapolate generalities.

HOLMES.  I am sorry, you lost my attention after ‘perhaps’. Now is not the moment for speculation, as serious implications are afoot if I do indeed have the Yips. I have an unsolvable case.

[Watson picks up Holmes’ file and flips through a few pages nonchalantly.]

WATSON.  The Butler did it.

HOLMES.  Preposterous. It’s never the Butler.

WATSON.  I’ll prove it.


WATSON.  Elementary, Sherlock. You have a diamond missing from what is supposed to be the world’s least penetrable safe. The Butler fits your disgruntled employee profile. You found a strange clay-mud mixture common only to the docking area on the River Thames where they Butler had been required to drop off the family and their unruly dog at their boat for a day trip. The dog makes a run for it, and the Butler must follow after him, trailing his loafers through the mud-clay mixture. They return to the boat and the Butler returns home. Having already taken pains to discern the code to the safe, a feat of relative ease, given a Butler’s ability to blend in wherever they stand. He cracks open the safe and removes the diamond, though only realizing later that no damage to the safe might implicate him. Therefore, he takes a large shovel—the bent up one locate in the garage to be specific—and beats at the safe, which accounts for the scratches and dents it bears, though none that indicate a consistency with safe tampering, as the police suspect. Upon the unexpected arrival of his lord’s aunt, he is forced to call in the police immediately to investigate. The owners are swiftly returned home by the Butler, but not before he hastily hides the diamond in the small dug up patch in the flower garden visible from the office in which the safe is held. The diamond should still remain there, as the house and its grounds are likely to have been under complete surveillance since the initial report.

HOLMES.  (flipping desperately through his stack of papers)  That plan is completely void of any logic. But the summation fits.

WATSON.  And yet the Butler has not been caught.

HOLMES.  And you gleaned all of this from a quick scan of my notes? By God, Watson, have you possessed a Holmes-like wit from the start? Have you figured all of our cases at the same moments I have, or perhaps even before I have and kept yourself silent? I feel as though my world is tumbling out of order.

WATSON.  Your utter confidence in my intellect is truly overwhelming, old friend.

HOLMES.  No, tell me truly, have you really solved the case that I was unable to?

WATSON.  No, you reasoned the solution out three days ago.

[Watson produces a paper with Sherlock’s scribbling.]

WATSON.  You wrote down your reasoning on this paper next to a rather provocative drawing of the Queen, and you left the paper by the front table. I can only assume that your lack of sleep these past five days I’ve been gone and a celebratory binge of alcohol and cocaine has removed all memory of the incident from your brain. Does that sound plausible?

HOLMES.  (scratching his chin)  Almost too plausible.

WATSON.  All right then, here is our course of action. You are going to bathe, for the love of God, while I burn this drawing before it is found and you are hanged for heresy. Or treason. Or both. And then we shall find Inspector Lestrade and inform him of the culprit, if he doesn’t already know. Yes? Yes.

HOLMES.  I knew I must have solved the case. It was simple enough without the unnecessary complications I was attempting to add to it. Quite so, Watson. You see but you do not observe.  (pause)  Oh, I like that. You should write that one down, Watson.

WATSON.  Yes, Holmes, as you wish.

HOLMES.  Being your only friend is rather taxing. Has anyone ever told you that?

[End of play.]


One comment on “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Yips

  1. Taylor says:

    I haven’t seen or read anything about Sherlock Holmes, but this was pretty funny 😀

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