Natalie was describing the first Black Mirror Season 6 ep, and said it dealt with quantum physics:

  This is typical. Can't get too much of this.

This is what I love about these late-night text conversations - the ping-ponging, the connections. We construct a deep backstory for “Moreso” Everett with his quirks and failures and endearing qualities.

I actually had thought of Offlo the other day, as I think of his name. I may have wondered if she remembered him.

It was . . . 2013? 2014? We were sitting in a boarding gate at Schiphol - with, as it happened, one of the Powerline writers and his daughter. Just ran into them! In Amsterdam! As happens, some times. There was an announcement that played over and over again, and I heard the accented rendition of the English words “offload your baggage” as Ollfo Jabagidge, or some other spelling. And she remembered.

  So of course I had to send her the actual sound clip.

My wife was rather amazed I had this from so many years ago. “This gives you an idea of the depth and breadth of the family archives,” I said, portentously.

Now I’m curious about “Moreso” Everett’s sidekick. He has to have a Watson, no? If Everett is slightly comic and a bit puffed-up, but also decent and very English in an admirable way, he has to have a Watson. The standard approach would to make the Watson smarter than Everett. Rolling his eyes, protective of his friend, the one who actually solves crimes and lets Everett take the credit. He could be dimmer, but then you have the Thompson Twins.

But I don’t like the idea of the Watson being smarter than Everett. Or being his equal. At this point I’m thinking that Everett doesn’t need a Watson at all, in the usual sense.

I’m starting to rethink Everett. Perhaps he’s not a second-rate Sherlock who holds himself in high regard, but Sherlock’s equal, and one who solves crimes with less drama - and by presenting himself as being a bit dim and slow. He got the name “More So” when a newspaper reporter quoted him as saying he was like Sherlock, only “More so,” which seemed a ridiculous boast - but the reporter later realized that this was a sly dig, a little faux bit of self-aggrandizement meant tongue-in-cheek. So the reporter started following him around, and became his Watson, of sorts. He came to appreciate his plodding, methodical ways, and assisted him in creating a public persona that led the public to find him a comic figure, so he was constantly underestimated by his adversaries.

“Oh, pardon, afore I depart. One additional query, if I might.”

(Exasperated eye roll) Yes, Mr. Moreso. What it is. You’re really becoming quite tiresome, you know?”

“I apologize. I do. It’s just . . . the cigar ash.”

“What cigar ash.”

“The cigar ash they found next to the body. It tasks me. It truly does. It is a Balkan blend.”


“It has not been imported for a year. The agency that brought it to our sceptered isle, you see, they went out of business.”


“So how did it end up next to the poor deceased, I wonder.”

“I’m sure I don’t know. Perhaps someone brought it from the Balkans himself. Perhaps it was imported a year ago.”

(Moreso nods, as if agreeing.) “Yes. Yes, that has to be it. Unless.”

“Unless what.”

“Unless the importer did not actually cease his trade, but continued to supply some clients in secret.”

“And why would he do that.”

“That is an excellent question. Well, I have taken up entirely too much of your time. Have a good afternoon, sir. It has been a pleasure.”

“Entirely mine, Mr. Everett.”

But where does Offlo come into this, and how does Everett match wits with him? He’s not a sultan. He is an agent of the Sultan, operating a crime ring in London. The entirety of Everett’s career consists of realizing the scope and magnitude of Offlo’s perfidy. He even attempts to enlist the Famous Consulting Detective in his efforts, but Sherlock is dismissive, believing Moriarity to be the real threat, because Sherlock has read the press accounts and thinks Everett a wan reflection of his own self, a comic analogue.

But. Sherlock is intelligent enough to see the truth eventually. Watson, I’ve been a fool. And so they join forces. Nice scene at 222b when Mrs. Hudson gives Everett some scones and treats him with respect, because she read the accounts of his exploits in the paper, and thought him a sensible fellow without any of Mr. Holmes’ . . . peculiarities.

Of course, there was an entire TV series called the Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, so I’m not the first.

But I am tempted.










We're walking down the . . .

It’s been my experience that movies with “Street” in the title that also have a theme with a prominent piano end up being Barton-Fink-type tales of the Real Story of Real People, Cholly. Especially if they get jazzy.

I mean, we got tenements, man.

  Cliched “Bustling City” music at the open.


And to think that it happened on Tillery Street:

The demolition stuff knocks Burgess Meredith unconscious. Our first question: does he have amnesia? Does he suddenly think he’s someone else?

Annnnd then I realize I’ve heard this before, as a Suspense radio show. He was someone else for a long time, and now he’s back to his old self. His wife takes him back when he finds her.

That’s the movie! Ends after eight minutes. How odd.

Kidding. He’s soon tailed by the one guy what you do not want to be tailin’ you on account of he is not a citizen such as yourself.

Eventually Burgess sends his wife off, and roams the streets around Tillary to see if any memories are jogged. None of this was in the radio show, if I recall correctly. It’s an interesting picture of a bygone world - even if it is ersatz.

As for Tillery Street, there is such a place. In Brooklyn. Let's look again:


Sigh. Must I? Okay, let's look for it.


The intersection in the movie:

In the real world:

Tillary doesn’t intersect with 22nd anymore. It looks different.

The vision of old Brooklyn looks fascinating. Every door leads into a different world.

He runs into someone from his past, a hard dame -

- and here I remember everything, and why this doesn’t work. In the radio play, the protagonist is a manly man with a past as a hard case. Meredith is, well, too slight for the role.


Then again, he married Paulette Goddard, so the guy had something.

Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do: off on another week of stuff, and I hope you enjoy it.



blog comments powered by Disqus