Friday, May 16, 2014

It's my party and I dance if I want.

Today's kind of a special post because usually I keep activity to what happens in the Parallel Case meetings. However, you're in for a special treat because I went to the Harpooners of the Sea Unicorn meeting and I got to lead!

Be forewarned, I get to color this one

Read more under the cut!

As per usual, the Harpooners meet at the Mother in Law House in St Charles, MO at 6:55 PM. The evening started out late, we actually didn't get onto the meeting until 8:20 pm because we were waiting for someone to show up with the paper for this month. We called him, and he did indeed forget. No matter, I was procrastinating by doing research with interests of my own.

After the dinner, we went to the basement, where the customary toast to Queen Victoria was given by Claudia Riley's husband (I can't remember his name, help me?). Claudia Riley, her husband, Jeff Brabow, Michael  Bragg, and I were present.

 I presented research on the likely culprit of the scandal that is mentioned in the first bit of IDEN where the scandal was so sordid that Holmes refused to discuss it with Watson. This is unusual because rarely do we see something that Holmes is unwilling to discuss with Watson. So I wondered who was the royal that could do worse than the King of Bohemia? (SCAN)

The royal mentioned in this story comes from Holland, which most likely referred to the royalty of the Netherlands. Since 1850, Holland led a cultural unification and modernization of the Netherlands as a whole, which is why Holland is sometimes synonymous with the Netherlands despite being only one section.

The king which ruled during this time period (1890) was King William III of Netherlands, who led a scandalous life. He was famous for his royal tantrums, flouting of marriage traditions, and capricious personality. Although he lacked scandal we haven't seen elsewhere in the canon, or anything that seems pretty typical of free-wheeling royalty now, he was a figure that would have many rumors circulating about him for reasons other than being of royal blood.

 We also discussed Holmes' laboratory methods. I concluded that he might have been scientifically magical because he hadn't died or become disfigured due to lack of protection and unsafe chemical practice. Also, the story implies that he managed to precipitate Barium sulfate with hydrochloric acid (the chemical reaction would likely have gone the other direction in which barium sulfate becomes barium chloride).

Some other notable things worth discussing is that we got onto the subject of poisons, which led us to look up information on the Devil's Claw plant. We also discussed bringing in other members (a tangent that I disliked, but still was relevant).

   I was so proud because I only let three digressions go by and managed to take hold of the conversation again. It might not seem a big deal, but I've been named "Killer Whale", which I guess is like the House Majority Whip. I take my job seriously.

Three of us disliked the story because it seemed "too easy" to figure out and not noteworthy of Holmes. Another disliked the story because he prefers "a grisly murder". Claudia felt that it was excellent in that Watson gave a through description of Mary Sutherland, which is a canonical rarity due to the level of detail ascribed to a non-recurring character. Jeffrey Brabow delivered the 221B poem by Vincent Starett, Claudia did the toast to Holmes, and I did the one to Watson.

 We made such good time that we were all out by 9:20 PM despite having started so late.