Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

The Press Questions the Occupant

December 2, 2016

“The Press, Watson, is a most valuable institution, if you only know how to use it.”…Sherlock Holmes


Q.: Mr. Soon to be Occupant,would you discuss your choice of Attila the Hun as an advisor?

A. “ he is a loyal supporter and a man who knows how to break down barriers. The millions of people who have dealt with him know that.
Many people are saying that. Many people. Except for the millions who voted illegally. And the atheists.”

Q There is a groundswell of disappointment that you rejected Joan of Arc as ethics advisor-how do you respond?

A.“Joanie? First of all, she’s never been a ten-more like a four-and that’s if I’m being generous. Did you see those clothes?
And always playing the woman’s card. That thing with the voices was ok-I get that-but -she had no stamina. A real loser- she goes into court and didn’t even sue anyone. And then she got burned-
Well I like people who don’t get burned. “

Is it true that Torquemada, the former Grand Inquisitor, is under consideration for a cabinet post?

A. It’s between him, the Naked Cowboy, and Giuliani. I’m gonna keep you in suspense on that-
if the lying media don’t like it-they can kiss my tweet

As always-Pursuing Verity EJ Wagner


For Sherlock Fans “The Sign of Thor”

August 2, 2016

The Client

The Chief Advisor smiled somewhat sardonically at the Client on the opposite side of the desk.


“ I see you’ve been energetically following our advice, and are having astounding success”


“It’s been huge- HUGE I’m booming- just booming ” responded the Client. “I’ve won a majority of delegates in sixty states. It’s unprecedented!”


“Actually ,” murmured the CA-“ you might recall there are only fifty states,”


“ Minor detail,” replied the Client. “ If I got hung up on every tiny minor detail crowds wouldn’t rush to my rallies. They wouldn’t call me the Gold King. I wouldn’t be huge. Which I am.”


“ Understood-but I suggest that a slightly more measured tone might be helpful at this stage- a bit more statesmanlike… not calling your opponent “ Flatulent Fibbin’ Freddy” for instance.. or referring to orphans as “Losers” ”


“ My opponent, that sleaze, whose wife looks like a potato, viciously attacked me . He  said my public charities are a screen to cover my private iniquities”


“ Isn’t that true?”


“So what-how else could I get elected?

All my life I’ve been a man that reached out his hand for what he wanted. I can make or break-and it is usually break. I’m large –huge beyond the belief of an ordinary man.

Business is a hard game-and the weak go to the wall. I understand business-that’s why I’m huge in politics. Really huge.

I’m number one in over one hundred and twenty polls-even in Saudi Arabia and parts of Croatia wherever that is . That’s because I do it my way.


I’ll see you next week,” said the Client, and he marched out of the office, slamming the door behind him.


The sign on the door read

Moriarty, Moran, Milverton & Sons

Political Advisors since 1895

 EJ Wagner

(A version of this piece appeared in spring 2016 edition of  “Prescott’s Press”)








Sherlockian Matters: Toasting Trevor Bennet

August 14, 2015

A version of this appeared in latest issue of Prescott’s Press

Toast to Trevor Bennett EJ Wagner

I rise to pay tribute to Trevor Bennett- an excellent young man whose sacrifices in the interests of both science and family values have rarely been adequately appreciated.

At the end of The Adventure of the Creeping Man, Professor Presbury lies wounded and unconscious in the care of Watson and Trevor. For the world at large, the story ends there.

But the truth, although long suppressed, is this:

As the as the medical men watched ,the professor began to emit peculiar sounds-grunts and whoops and honks and chatters and barks and rumbles and hiccups-all typical of a crawling , climbing ,black faced langur.

Weeks, then months, passed, but the professor remained in this incoherent state.

It was evident that the serum he had ingested had caused a permanent and sinister simian change .

It was apparent to Trevor, that his prospective father in law would likely be an embarrassment at the marriage ceremony. (And even worse, would certainly never pick up the bill for the reception.)

Many young men would have abandoned the situation-but Trevor was made of stalwart stuff.

He discreetly had the professor moved to the laboratory of primatologist Lady Jane Goody.

That clever woman devoted herself to teaching the professor to communicate in sign language.

Many are the droll tales of her merry shrieks :

“No! Presbury ! No! Dirty, dirty!”

At length, the professor made enough progress to request, in sign, a suitable companion, and a winsome languress was procured for him.

Their descendants are many-and have contributed mightily to both medical research and the space program.

Several, even as we speak, are standing for political office.

All this was possible only because of the originality and high ethical standards of the very best of sons in law.

Ladies and Gentlemen-I give you-Trevor Bennett!

GAGA General Assessment Of Governing Ability

October 29, 2012

Dear Candidates:

Thank you for taking part in testing GAGA- a new standardized exam for prospective government officials

This innovative process will eliminate the needlessly hostile television debates.

Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. This is merely an exploration of your knowledge and positions. Here are a few sample questions:

1. Economics: A woman of 28 has just received a graduate degree in education. Her husband, same age, had recently graduated law school.Their combined debt for education is $200,000. They have not yet found full time employment, and are working at several part time jobs which have no health benefits. to pay bills. Their birth control has failed, and the woman is pregnant.

Please explain, in 500 words or less,hoe de-funding Planned Parenthood will aid their  economic situation.

2, You have changed your position on major issues 7 times in as many years.Explain, in 250 words or less, how this demonstrates your reliability.

3. Planning  and Strategy:

You must plan a 12 hour car trip for yourself, five children, a spouse, and an Irish Setter.

Choose your arrangements

a. Rent U haul for luggage,have family and dog ride inside/

b. rent van, have family and luggage inside.

c. Place dog in crate, tie crate to roof of vehicle.

For extra credit,explain your choice.

E.J. Wagner as usual pursuing verity.

Pursuing Verity

The Amazing Powers of Sherlock Holmes and Mr Romney

October 6, 2012

Watson frequently remarked on the amazing histrionic abilities of Sherlock Holmes.-who could hide in plain sight,  and disguise himself so cleverly that he fooled his close friend. In our own time, we must gasp in admiration at the similar abilities of Mitt Romney, one of  the  great  character actors of our time. He has appeared as a moderate, a liberal, an arch conservative, a protector of women’s rights, and an anti choice proponent.
He has played all these roles in only a few years, wearing the same hair style, and with only a modicum of makeup.
Holmes, I recall, had to make use of beeswax.

Political life may suffer, but the theater has a new star.

EJ Wagner

Pursuing Verity

Selling Sherlock Holmes

March 31, 2012

Sherlockian scholars have been electrified by the entirely unsubstantiated report that Pulsating Productions is mounting an innovative TV series starring Jackie Mason as  Sherlock Holmes.  Oprah Winfrey and Madelaine Albright are to alternate in the role of Watson, and in a  creative break with tradition, Irene Adler will be played by a newly svelte and contrite Arnold Schwartzeneger.

The part of Inspector Lestrade is not yet cast, although Callista Gingrich is said slated to portray Mrs. Hudson.

Both independent booksellers in the western world took the news philosophically.  “If it sells books, it’s a gift !” said one dealer, as with trembling hands he unpacked a large carton of deerstalkers.

EJ Dissecting Room  hopes to reach out to internationally known  experts such as Les Klinger, Peter Blau, and Roger Johnson for their take on the matter.

Stay tuned.

EJ Wagner

As always,

Pursuing Verity

Pursuing Verity

A sceptic’s thought for Valentine’s Day

February 9, 2012

Have you no sensitivity?

Sherlock Holmes and the Surge of Moriarty

January 30, 2012

The primary race on this side of the pond has us all riveted, watching so many race to achieve the nadir of politics. If  someone with more stature were in the running—we might see something like this.

The dramatic surge in the polls of Professor James Moriarty has stunned political pundits. Best known as “Sherlock Holmes’ Nemesis,” Moriarty has kept an extraordinarily low profile since his confrontational meeting with the Great Detective at Reichenbach Falls. Press reports of the professor’s death, however, have proved to be unfounded, and his resurrected primary campaign continues to gather steam.

He has agreed to be interviewed, providing that his crowds of supporters are allowed in abundant attendance.

EJDissecting room: Professor, we are astounded by both your longevity and your stamina. It has been suggested that they are due to a medical procedure similar to that described by Conan Doyle in “The Adventure of the Creeping Man?” Would you like to comment?

Professor: No—but I will. My longevity is purely due to a potent mixture of genes and genius. The “Creeping Man” story is merely a canard promulgated by a cabal of effeminate elites and their media mob.  I am appalled that you would begin an interview with a topic like that.

(cheers and applause from the crowd)

EJ: Sherlock Holmes, the eminent consulting detective, seems critical of your candidacy, and has been quoted as calling you “The greatest schemer of all time, the organizer of every devilry, the controlling brain of the underworld” and even “the Napoleon of crime.” He points out you were to compelled to resign from a previous position because of “dark rumors.”  How do you respond?

Professor: No one’s perfect. It is an issue that I confront every time it comes up, and I confront it exactly the same way every time it comes up, and people seem to be satisfied with it. I remind you, Holmes also said of me, “He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. He has a brain of the first order . . . and is admirable in management . . .”

(cheers and applause from crowd)

EJ: In that case, if you win, would you appoint Mr. Holmes to head a crime-fighting agency?

Professor: Holmes is not nearly conservative enough and is much too inflexible. I remind you he’s one of the few public figures who has never lunched with Donald Trump. And one never sees Holmes in church. I am not perfect, but I’m right with God.

EJ: Professor, although you have asked publicly for courteous debate, you have called one of your opponents a “pompous, posturing pustule,” another “a sanctimonious, self-righteous slug,” and a third a “vacuous vacillating vapidity.” Don’t you think issuing  such aggressive remarks might be described as hypocritical?

Professor: Not all—Actually, I was merely indulging my penchant for understatement. Any suggestion of hypocrisy is a sign of gutter politics and the destructive, negative nature of much of the news media.

(Cheers and applause from crowd)

EJ: Professor, It has been reported that you forced your canine companion to travel tied to the top of your carriage. Is this true? If it is, what were you thinking?

Professor: “Baskerville,″ as he’s called, enjoys riding up there when he’s not roaming across the moor. He’s half hound, half mastiff, and drools phosphorus. We have to stop at gas stations all the time to clean it up. He’s in an air-tight crate of my design. It has a windshield.

EJ: If the crate is air-tight, how can he breathe?

Professor: That’s precisely the sort of gotcha question typical of a hostile rapacious press busily promoting class envy.

(Cheers and applause)

EJ: What do you consider the biggest obstacles to world peace?

Professor: Excessive education, contraception, and rampant health care.

EJ: Thank you, professor.

As always, pursuing verity,

E. J. Wagner

Pursuing Verity

Happy Holidays 2011

December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays 2011

Greeting Sherlock Holmes

December 25, 2009

Christmas Day, 2009. The latest film featuring the Great Detective has just opened. I have not yet seen it, but I have seen reviews, some appreciative, some scathing. Sherlockians are busily commenting and many are apprehensive. This is understandable. Most  lovers of the Canon hold a firm mental picture of Mr. Holmes and his good friend Dr. Watson. Film makers, pastiche  constructors  and others  who conjure  images  that oppose ours  can seem ill-mannered intruders. (I, for instance, have been convinced for many years that Sherlock Holmes bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Weinstein, my Junior High School English teacher. Mr. Weinstein, I assure you,  looked nothing like Robert Downey Jr.)

And while I’ve a particular interest in Mr. Holmes  scientific endeavors ,  I  understand the new film neglects  these in favor bare-knuckled fighting and general mayhem. So it will be a view of Sherlock Holmes that is new to me. It may be disconcerting, but it is not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe it will attract a new audience for the Consulting Detective—an audience that may  eventually actually read the Canon, and may develop a curiosity about that grim dissecting room . . . and maybe even read a book dear to my heart, The Science of Sherlock Holmes. With hope for the film and for the New Year . . . EJ

for a festive touch