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I say, Holmes

Herewith the joke of the week. And the vocabulary word of the week: eructate. Bon appetit.
Posted by John McIntyre at 1:58 PM | | Comments (7)


John McI,

Re/ your word of the week, "eructate", meaning: to belch............

............A little birdie, of some ill-repute, tweeted in my ear that the universally esteemed Bard of Avon was originally seriously considering naming his mead-swilling, gluttonous, pudgy reveler and grand schemer, Sir Toby Belch, from his shortish play "Twelfth Night/ Or What You Will", Sir Toby the Eructater. Who knew? (Nothing to do w/ edible tubers, i.e., tater tots. HA!)

Thankfully, the ever-astute wordsmith extraordinaire, Will Shakespeare, after a long, pensive interlude, concluded that "Eructater" was just too abrasive, and a tad jarring to the discerning ear. So he wisely settled on Sir Toby Belch instead, and the rest is history. (Burp!)

Now, don't ask me about that alleged missing character from Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, (the Wife of Bath's bawdy yarn, as I recall); namely Sir Toot the Flatulent, who naturally broadcast his whereabouts, both sonically, and olfactorally, long before he formally arrived face-to-face, in person. (Oh, behave! HA!)

Now that I've covered 'emissions' from both distal ends of the alimentary canal, I'll take my leave, forthwith. Am I blushing?


Possible push-back from sleuth Holmes and Dr. Watson re/ blogmeister John "Shecky" McIntyre's joke of 'this' week:

Dr. Watson: ----I have to say, old chappy, that oddly enough, I feel a tad violated, dare I say, somewhat mildly used and abused by that attempt at light jocular frivolity by Mr. McIntyre. What say you, Holmes?

Holmes:-----Whoa! I say lighten up, old fellow. Don't get your bloomin' stethoscope in a twist. Frankly, I felt rather flattered, to be honest. But for the life of me, the whereabouts of that confounded tent is a complete mystery.......... an enigma wrapped in a conundrum, snagged on the horns of a puzzling dilemma. (Ah! ha! Conan Doyle's long-lost little masterpiece, "The Case of the Disappearing Tent"? HA!)

Dr. Watson:------ Call me an old stuffed shirt, if you must, Holmes, but I can't say I found that McCrae fellow's earlier strained attempt at ribald, bodily (bawdily) functional humor very appealing, either. Crude, rude, and decidedly lewd. Do you concur, old boy?

Holmes:-----Honestly dear Watson, you old stuffed shirt. You asked for it, old boy. HA!...... I found it decidedly gut-wrenching, and vapors-inducing. Quite disturbing. Not really my cup-of-tea, to say the least. (Earl Gray, or otherwise.)

Dr. Watson:-----Surely, you jest? What, pray tell, was your first real firm clue that this chap McCrae's
slightly vulgar attempt at satire had gone awry?

Holmes:-----It's perfectly 'alimentary' my Dear Watson. (Hmm..... that has a familiar ring, no?) And dear fellow, I entreat you........... DON'T CALL ME 'SHERLY'! Sherlock is totally acceptable, old boy.

Dr. Watson:------Jolly good, SHERLOCK. I love it when you get slightly piqued, old chappy. HA! HA!


And THAT folks is just a little sampling of some of the scintillating dialogue you might find in the upcoming sequel to the Jude Law/ Robert Downey Jr. highly touted, box-office 'sleeper' smash hit, "Sherlock Holmes", coming this fall to a fine cineplex near you, in most major markets........ including that bustling metropolis, Wasilla, Alaska. Grizzly mamas take heed.

Clearly, this movie followup will be a subtle spoof on the classic Airplane Two (or was it the original Airplane?)------a filmic homage, of sorts, to the late-great leading-man-turned-late-career-deadpan-comic (who knew?), the hilarious Leslie Neilsen.

Now factoring in the fact that the fictive Holmes and Dr. Watson lived in author Sir Conan Doyle's imaginary world many decades prior to those very real, most ingenious Wright brothers ever took that remarkable flight at Kitty Hawk, to keep the historical authenticity of their era (Victorian England), naturally Watson and Holmes mode of transport will be either horse-drawn surreys, the London Tube (was it around back then........hmmm?), and for a little change of venue, the Paris Metro, a favorite of Monsieur McIntyre, non? A hot-air balloon might be cool, too.

Hmm.... if only we could persuade Kareem Abdul Jabar , that classically-trained thespian..........NOT, erstwhile NBA basketball star, to join the Sherlock Holmes/ Deux cast. I'll get 'my people' on it, toute suite!

Can't disappoint dearly departed Leslie Neilsen, comfortably ensconced in that giant screening room in the sky, can we. Frankly, he must be getting pretty tired of that Leslie Nielson's Greatest Flicks continuous 'loop' by now. HA!

Remember, folks, always keep that ticket stub. Recall, if you will, the fate of one absent -minded, pathetic schlub-----one George Costanza?HA! (But I ALREADY paid!)


Alex, if Wikipedia is to be believed, the first section of the London Underground opened in 1863. Holmes didn't appear on the scene until a couple of decades later.

Hi Dahlink,

Nice to hear from you, by the way. An old confrere, so to speak, from my bygone "Z on TV" days. I recall butchering your online moniker on at least one occasion, and you were so gracious in setting me straight.

Thanks for that London Underground factoid re/ when its first main trunk-line of subterranean track was officially opened for full service (1863). Generally, I trust the veracity of most Wikipedia's entries, so I'll take them at their word on this one. Sounds about right, since that date falls within the formative years of the Industrial Revolution in Europe.

So then it would be quite within the bounds of feasibility that Conan Doyle's arch sleuths, Holmes and Watson, could very well have availed themselves of travel within the bowels of London town on the Tube, w/ the Paris Metro likely having been up-and-running within the same timeframe, as well.

Sadly, Kareem Abdul Jabar is holding out for bigger bucks for his London Underground cameo appearance as the taciturn Tube conductor in the upcoming film, Sherlock Holmes/ Deux, starring Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr.. These basketball phenoms-turned-actors are such prima donnas. HA!

Dahlink, in the spirit of my earlier post fixating on various bodily 'emissions', can you believe that my Captcha words for this post were : Adicommi flatute. HA! I kid you not.

Would that be rootin'-tootin' (flatute) V. Putin (Adicommi) ? HA!

Better get out of here while the gettin' is good.


Nice of you to put a positive spin on that little episode, Alex. As I recall, we were busy deconstructing Gabriel Byrne's wonderful HBO series at the time.

(My Captcha: Sharker objectual. Not me--I'm a pussycat!)

Hey Alex , could I talk to you about your time in the illustrating business, I am writing a paper and could use your help


I would be delighted to help you out w/ talking about, as you put it, "my time in the illustrating business". I was actually mostly involved w/ TV animation for almost thirty years w/ the major Hollywood studios, mainly as a background and character designer. But I do have a bit of a passion for commercial illustration, caricature, editorial cartooning, and the like. I've actually professionally done work in a smattering of all the aforementioned disciplines.

I'm pretty conversant w/ those previously mentioned areas of so-called "commercial art", particularly their unique historical evolution, and those artists, over the years, (and to this very day), who have excelled in those particular fields.

If you perhaps could e-mail our blogmeister, John McIntyre, I give him permission to give you my e-mail address, and we can go on from there. Just explain your reason, and it should be fine.

Hope the deadline on your paper isn't TOO near?

Hope to hear from you, in a bit.


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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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