Wouldn’t you like to meet . . . Would you Really?

My first post of 2012. Everyone heard the old New years song that begins, “Should old acquaintance be forgot?” And I agree that they shouldn’t but fictional characters are a kind of acquaintance too so instead I ask the question, Should all acquaintance be met?

I am sure that everyone has felt attached to a fictional character before, a character that you have grown to know over the course of a good novel or a riveting movie. But even I have to admit that the most entertaining characters are without a doubt the ones that we would find most annoying in real life.

Take Sherlock Holmes for example: probably the most famous detective ever. There are even clubs made up of well-respected scholars and authors that are devoted to proving that the Doyle’s Holmes adventures really took place. If any of these devotees actually had the chance to meet a real life Sherlock Holmes would they still be so enthralled by him?

I love the Holmes stories and most of his screen incarnations but if I were left alone in a room with him would I still like him?

If I were ever to meet this man, in any of his various incarnations, I just know that my self-esteem would plummet. No matter what I say or how clever I think I am Sherlock would be sure to point out how much I overlooked or how wrong my reasoning or just how much more intelligent he is. I know I’m not as smart as Holmes but still no one likes being made to feel stupid. Not even Watson enjoyed the feeling of inferiority, yet he did put up with it. I am not as patient or forgiving as Watson.

The meeting might run something like this:

“Mr. Holmes it is a great honor I have read all about you.” A say with fan-girlish excitement.

“Oh don’t tell me that you read Watson’s exaggerated accounts that he publishes in that frivolous magazine.”

“Oh so you disapprove of Watson’s writing. But didn’t you write two adventures yourself?”

“Yes but I was in desperate need of cash at the time.” Sherlock grimaces in distaste. “Over all Writing is a waste of valuable time unless it is to either inform or instruct.”

“I see so you must not think very much of me then.” My pride is stinging by this point.

“No not really. From the pressure marks on your wrists I can tell that you have been typing recently and for a considerable length of time. Only the novelist gets so caught up in their work that they sit for so long a period. From the red irritation under your lower lip I tell also that you play the flute, an inferior instrument, and you last practiced sometime this morning as the spot is barely discernible save to my enhanced skills of observation. I noticed also that your clothing is out of fashion and well-worn. This tells me that you shun society and spend most of your days in your own home either creating worthless fiction or reading it. You lack both the intelligence and the motivation to ever amount to anything.”

Through my tears I manage to defend myself, barely, “I am intelligent. I have a 3.9 GPA and an Associate degree which I might add is more than you have Mr. Holmes. As for motivation it takes a lot of it to work through all the rewriting and revision that it takes to finish a work of fiction. A lot more than a true story where all of facts and everything are already there just waiting to be recorded.”

“I suppose you have a point. You don’t create any of that drivel known as Fan Fiction do you?”

“Don’t be ridiculous. Fan fiction is an inferior from of creativity and I would be loath to write about another’s creation when I know my own so much better.”

“Well thank goodness for that. If you turn around and describe to me my appearance exactly then I shall take back every ill word I have spoken about you.”

I turned and pictured him in my mind. “A brown deerstalker hat and in your mouth is a long steamed pipe. On your shoulders you wear a brown Inverness traveling cloak and trousers and shoes to match.” I turned and saw a bareheaded Mr. Holmes, empty mouthed and wearing evening attire, sadly shaking his head in disappointment.

It probably wouldn’t happen that way. In reality I would probably so in shock that I would most likely not say anything. I would think desperately of something to say but by the time was ready to speak Sherlock would have grown tired of waiting.

I can say that I am just not a people person but the truth is that when I become in awe of a character or even an actor I start thinking about how I would act or what I would say. Almost as if I would expect the meeting to change me. In reality though I am just me and I will still be me no matter who I’m meeting.

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