Insufficient Stories by Patrick Alexander
and the Adventure
It was a fucking autumn morning. I dropped into 221B Baker Street to borrow a cup of cocaine, and was taken aback at the sight of a gleaming white refrigerator floating around the sitting room.
“Ah, Watson,” came a familiar voice, and I realised the refrigerator was in fact the gargantuan forehead of my esteemed friend Mr Sherlock Holmes. “Come in, will you.”
“I am in, Holmes.”
“So I deduced,” he replied intelligently, “from looking at you and seeing that you are here.” Turning to the fireplace opposite me, he casually played a minuet on his ukulele, drop-kicked it into the fire, and continued: “I see that you came here by hansom cab to-day, and your driver was hard of hearing.”
“That’s right!” I exclaimed, my funny little eyebrows leaping comically.
“Furthermore,” said Holmes, “I observe that you left your own residence in haste, following a marital spat regarding which side you ought to part your hair on.”
“Gadzooks, Holmes!” I sputtered oafishly, my saliva spraying forth in astonishment. “Correct again!”
“Recently, you purchased as a pet a pomeranian puppy with peach-yellow patches, naming it Archibald – only to then discover that the animal is female.”
My eyeballs bulged impossibly from their sockets, so startling my lips that they tried to escape my face: leaping forth from the stupidly gawping mouth, and sticking there, protruding and fishlike. Moved by amazement at the precise accuracy of my friend’s deductions, I made tiny hops from one fat leg to the other, back and forth like a performing pig. My polka-dot necktie came untucked from my trousers and rolled itself up, like a cut piano string. I was dumb with excitement, and although Holmes was still facing the mantle, it was all I could do to jiggle my blobby round head about and hope this resembled an enthusiastic nod. But the master detective had not finished yet.
“For luncheon yesterday,” he declared, “you ate steak and kidney pie, but the overpowering scent of a new lavender potpourri diminished your enjoyment of the meal. Two Thursdays ago, you trod on a cat. When you were eight years old, you suffered a sprain of the right elbow upon falling eleven feet from a bonsai tree. You trim your nose hairs with scissors properly intended for your wife’s toenails, and your favourite colour is green.”
The force of my own surprise lifted my entire egg-shaped body into the air, and I fell backwards into a wheelbarrow full of mulberries. Then my head fell off.
“Good gracious, Holmes!” I spurted. “Great flapping bottoms!” I blurted. My rudimentary legs wiggled in the air, as I struggled to regain verticality. “Jehovah’s jolly green genitals, Mary’s memorable mammaries, and the consecrated cunt of Christ! Your every inference is correct to the last detail. Having barely glanced at me since I entered the room, you have nonetheless extrapolated my biography. How did you do it, Holmes, and how, unfailingly and unerringly, do you do it?”
At last my companion turned to face me, and fixed his steel grey eyes upon my own. “My dear Watson, it could not be simpler. You see, I am a wizard.” And he painted rainbows in the air with his finger.