‘Tis the season for Sherlock Holmes birthday events in the next few weeks, and should you want to throw a little shout-out to our loveable little society in with your local celebrations, we have a PDF handout that’s already shown up in the BSI Dinner’s digital packet. With our ten dollar digital memberships, it’s never been easier to be a Watsonian or give the gift of membership to a friend . . . which, unfortunately, the flyer doesn’t mention — but you can!
Europe, Asia, and . . . where else? At Saturday’s gathering of the John H. Watson Society, our assemblage of Watson experts considered the question of Watson’s social experience and the number of continents (and many nations) it spanned. Sure, there were plenty of other good parts, but we saved the answer to that one for the Watsonian Weekly. Of course, it you were there, you already know what that answer was. But if you weren’t? There’s always the Watsonian Weekly! Give it a listen and find out!
Next Saturday, it’s that time again! Get your show-and-tell item ready, think of your Watsonian New Year’s Resolution, decide where you fall on the subject of Watson’s “Third Continent,” and let Sampson Buttons know if you’d like to give one of the traditional toasts (Murray, Mary, or Medicine) at email@example.com .
Saturday, December 12 at 9 AM PDT, 10 AM MDT, 11AM CDT, 12 Noon EDT, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST, etc. Wear your Watson hat if you’ve got one (Yes, we’re going to try it again! Don’t wait to throw one on until after Bonnie shows up.), and get ready for some fun. If you need the Zoom invitation, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you the link.
Also, it’s time for your weekly does of Watson with the Watsonian Weekly!
It’s a very special week at the Watsonian Weekly, the John H. Watson Society’s official podcast, as we get a live report from the celebrations of Watson’s return to England and landing at Portsmouth! We may be a small podcast, but our international team apparently can be in just the right place at just the right time once per year. It’s been a fine 140 years since Watson returned to England and set in motion the course of events that would bring us the Holmes Canon, which means we have just ten years to plan a Portsmouth gathering for the 150th!
Also this episode, Watson-related treasure, Watson-related holidays, and a certain species of ape that Watson was surely not related to. Apologies for the poor sound editing on one segment, but the content is still solid! Look for the latest episode of the Watsonian Weekly at:
As today is a feast day for some, following an important Watsonian holiday that most of us didn’t realize was there until yesterday, it is a good time to step back and look at the whole of the Watsonian holiday calendar. This is, by no means, a complete Watsonian holiday calendar, as we celebrate that great man on so many days of the year, and could change with time and comment, but these are still some special dates to look forward to in the coming year.
Sherlock Holmes’s Birthday
January 6 — A day John Watson would celebrate in ways dependent upon the mind of the Watsonian. See the short film “The Adventure of the Furtive Festivity” for one of Watson’s major efforts to organize one such celebration.
“Whatever, Watson!” Day
February 14 — The day we celebrate John H. Watson’s vague and ever-changing relationship status. How many times was he married? Was he straight, gay, or bisexual? The fact he made it through over a thousand pages of autobiography without giving clear answers to any of that makes us just go, “Whatever, Watson!”
Contrived Miracle Day
April 3 — The date of Sherlock Holmes’s return to Watson’s life in 1893, causing the doctor to faint for the first and last time in his life, only to be himself revived by his own miracle cure, brandy.
May 4 — A solemn day of remembrance recognizing the day in 1891 when Sherlock Holmes died ending Moriarty’s criminal empire and Watson’s two year period of mourning that followed.
June 27 — The day to show your friends how you feel about them in honor of Watson’s second wounding at the apartment of Nathan Garrideb, believed by some to be the final reason for Sherlock Holmes’s retirement from detection, not wanting to further endanger Watson’s life. “It was worth a wound — it was worth many wounds — to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay beneath that cold mask.”
Watsonian Veteran’s Day
July 27 — The date of the tragic Battle of Maiwand in 1880, when the gallant Murray the orderly saved John Watson’s life by throwing the wounded doctor across a pack-horse, bringing him safely to British lines. (Curiously, John H. Watson could only be injured on the 27th of the month. If we ever find evidence of the day he died, it will surely prove to be on the 27th of the month.)
October 31 — Whether it’s wearing a black silk mask you made at home or just shouting “Hallo, Watson!” at your friends, Hallowatson is the October celebration of Watsonian weirdness, created simply to summon a spirit in one’s heart more powerful than any disembodied spook. Hallowatson!
November 25 — Since no Watsons were on the Mayflower, the real Watsonian Thanksgiving occurs on November 25th, when his ship landed in Portsmouth in 1880 and he dined on English soil once again
Compliments of the Season Day
December 27 — The day John Watson gets around to telling his friends “Compliments of the season!” which is about as vague as his love life. Appropriate compliments of the season can range from “Happy Hannukah!” to “You have built a really nice snowman!” and since we don’t know Sherlock Holmes’s religion or snowman-building habits, this is a very non-denominational seasonal holiday.
This week’s Watsonian Weekly sets the year for the first use of the term Watsonian in a John H. Watson context as 1914. Do you know of an earlier use? If so, let us know at email@example.com . But give us a listen in any case!
Come for the traditional toasts, a little show and tell, the finals of our poetry contest, and a Watsonian artist panel on Saturday, November 14 at 9 AM PDT, 10 AM MDT, 11AM CDT, 12 Noon EDT, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST, etc. Wear your Watson hat if you’ve got one, and come say “Hi!” to our brand new Buttons. Our fifth meeting ever, and we’re hoping to get better every time.
If you need the Zoom invitation, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you the links.
Also, it’s time for your weekly does of Watson with the Watsonian Weekly!
Be your own Boswell and tell us a little about yourself!
Name (or alias):
Bullpup moniker (Contact us if you don’t know):
Who is your favorite Watson and why?
John C. Reilly, whose genius as a comic actor in movies like Walk Hard and Step Brothers brought a John H. Watson to the screen who could explore his relationship with Sherlock Holmes in the movie “Holmes and Watson” more than any other film Watson has done. (Yes, I’m serious about this point. There is more insight in “Holmes and Watson” than most folks would like to admit.) Unfortunately, Reilly’s Watson is not discussed on this week’s episode of The Watsonian Weekly, but you can listen to it anyway at:
If Watson was writing a story about you, what would it be titled?
“The Case of the Persistent Podcaster?” (No, that’s too Perry Mason.) How about “The Adventure of the Perpetual Writer?” That gets it, I think.
Give us an improbable fact about yourself!
I served a year aboard the S.S. Albatross under Captain Jinks and first mate Salty Sam. (It was an afternoon kids show that I wrote for and occasionally appeared on camera as “Bosun Brad.” And that’s the whole of my experience as a seaman, as I do not swim well.)
Why did you join the JHWS?
I don’t know. I think it was just cool that there was a John H. Watson Society.
(Also, it has this great podcast that you can also listen to on Apple Podcasts at
You’re a Wonderful Watsonian, aren’t you? Answer the questions above and send to email@example.com because we want to know your Watsonian secrets too!
Desperate for the sound of another human voice talking about John H. Watson? Well, look no further — here comes another Watsonian Weekly, the Frankenstein’s monster of podcasting!
This week we ramble on about our usual bits, but eventually get to talking about yesterday’s Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium. Maybe we’re not completely Watson-focused this week as a result, but after a day like yesterday, things need to be said! Spend a few minutes out of your lazy Sunday with Margie Deck, Robert Perret, Paul Thomas Miller, Rob Nunn, Phil Bergem, Heather Hinson, and Brad Keefauver (though not all at once) with some chat about John Watson and more.
Podcast time again, with a brand new feature!
October’s coming up on us soon, the costume shops are open, and you can buy a deerstalker cap in most of them. But what about the faithful Watsonian? Where’s our hat? What’s our hat?
A hat is perhaps the simplest cosplay available and with the costume shops selling hats of all varieties, it seems like a great time to start picking out a Watson hat for your Zoom calls and the like. But what was Watson’s hat of choice?
Let’s take a little poll in the comment section below and start thinking about a little Watsonian cosplay from the top down, even if we never get past the moustache. (Oh, no, once the hat’s discussion is down, we have to start with moustache talk. But don’t rush it. Don’t rush it.)
Also, it’s a new episode of The Watsonian Weekly!
Take a listen to this week’s Watsonian Weekly, while we ponder just what was going on with the good doctor and the tunes.
Announcing the winners of the 2020 John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt concocted by Paul Thomas Miller and myself. They are:
Rich Krisciunas, who earned an Honorable Mention for managing to turn in some answers in between attending every Sherlockian society’s Zoom meeting in existence.
Joanna Freeman and Alessandro Mellilo who both reached the “Honours” level with their skilled attempt at solving the unsolvable, and enough “close enough” answers for a virtual tie.
And the big winner, receiving “High Honours” for going beyond all others in his answers of this year’s John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt, is returning champion Michele Lopez!
All four of these hardy souls deserve medals for such an achievement, especially this year, with all the undue strain placed upon us all in normal life. Eventually, they will be receiving some little token of their achievement, depending upon the many factors involved in producing and mailing such tokens during the current state of things. But it will happen!
Here is a link to the answers: https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/JHWS-2020-Treasure-Hunt-Watsonican-Answer-Key.pdf
And for your weekly dose of Watsonian Weekly tidbits, along with the reader’s theater production of “Watson’s Lion’s Mane,” here’s a link to our club podcast: https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/
Next Saturday, September 12th at 9 AM PDT, 10 AM MDT, 11AM CDT, 12 Noon EDT, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST, etc. the John H. Watson Society meets again! We’ve got a full program, including:
- Toasts! (Actually assigned ahead so they’ll be better this time!)
- Show and tell! (Not required, but if you have something cool, show us!)
- Dr. Watson’s birthday (Come with any month and day you think the good doctor was born and make your case! No established dates need apply!)
- “The Watsonian Lion’s Mane” (A cast of Watsonian talent will enact a reader’s theater dramedy before your very ears. Sherlock Holmes definitely didn’t give us the full story of what was up in Sussex!)
If you haven’t received a Zoom invitation already for attending in the past, just send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org before Saturday to get in on the fun. (Saturday morning requests for an invitation, sadly, not guaranteed. Meeting mornings are busy ones!)
IN OTHER WATSONIAN HEADLINES
The 2020 John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt Stress-Free Winners!
This years winners of the special, take-it-easy, pandemic-stress-reduction part of the Treasure Hunt were Anuj Dutt, Michael Ellis, Roger Johnson, Michele Lopez, Alessandro Mellilo, Naching T. Kassa, Rich Krisciunas, Stefan Guerra, Nancy Holder, and Robert Perret. Their well-deserved winners reward will be headed their way, USPS willing and the creeks don’t rise, around month-end.
As for the winner(s) of the full Watsonicon, those entries are currently being scored and the results will be announced at Saturday’s meeting, and then on this page. (The contenders have initials JF, ML, AM, and RK.)
No team entries this year, and we were using a different e-mail address than normal, so if you think your entry to either the stress-free or the full Watsonicon quiz might not have reached us, we hope you will re-send it to email@example.com . Apologies for any confusion this might have caused.
The Watsonian Weekly remains the greatest weekly John H. Watson podcast on the planet!
Sure, there are Sherlockian podcasts, but a true Watsonian podcast? Get into a new podcast habit, if you’re not there already, for a weekly dose of Watson. You can find it, as always, at Libsyn — https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/ , Apple Podcasts — https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-watsonian-weekly/id1465553726 , or Spotify — https://open.spotify.com/show/23X2gDGeWfsvapGDrZfVQs . If you hear of it anywhere else let us know.
The autumn issue of The Watsonian, currently in the editing stage
Our first issue for 2020 was a beefy boy, looking more like a book than a journal. Did someone say “twice as thick as The Baker Street Journal?” Yes, it was, but to be fair, they come out twice as often, and as most Watsonians know, [Joke deleted for mature content]. Will our fall 2020 issue measure up? Hard to say, but your editorial team is on the job!
Those Watson poems! Halp!
Back when we were fumbling through our first Zoom meeting in early summer, a call went out for Watsonian poetry to fill in as a “221B” to close out our meetings. Due to the chaos of covid summer, we hope we didn’t lose any. Due to come out in the fall issue of The Watsonian before a final poll of what we might use as our new Watsonian meeting closer, we have poems from Sandy Kozinn, Margie Deck, Sheldon Goldfarb, and Robert Perret. If you think we missed yours, or want to be a last-minute addition to that roster of Watson-centered Vincent-Starrett-esque poetry, send it in before Saturday’s meeting!
As always, for all editorial matters featuring The Watsonian, just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The cursed greed which has been my besetting sin through life has withheld from her the treasure, half at least of which should have been hers.”
— Thaddeus Sholto
Did Thaddeus Sholto create this year’s John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt with the express purpose of keeping Watsonians too confused to find their treasured answers? Does half of that treasure still elude the deserving Morstans of our number, with no Sherlock Holmes on the scene to make matters right . . . though it we may be watching it fall into the river even now?
Well, climb aboard the police boat that Athelney Jones has provided and let’s give chase, even if the stokers have to put pieces of the boat itself into the furnaces. Let’s throw that page 279 of Strand Magazine into the furnace first.
The eight points to come away with are those questions Mary Morstan badgers her poor husband with.
1. “Why, vampires should fill up the very Earth, they’re so prolific! Tell me his name, won’t you?” (It wasn’t Bram Stoker, but another writer, perhaps?)
2. “This fellow has the makings of a proper pirate! Tell me why!” (I think she means Hatherly.)
3. “Because he eventually got fitted with a wooden peg-thumb?”
4. “Speaking of ships, this one plainly had a fleet. Name please!” (Someone with a fleet, I guess.)
4. “If the man with the fleet lived up to his name, which marvelous sequel would his fleet appear in?” (Modern folk do have two names, unlike the fleet guy. And you might need to capitalize a word in that question to fully get the reference.)
5.“How many times do I spread Napoleon III’s cheap alternative to butter?” (Napoleon the third might have invented the generic, but the name brand is what Watson uses.)
6.“Tell me about the seven hour bear, at the very least!” (Someone engaging in a bear-like behavior for seven hours, perhaps?)
7.“Highest paid strumpet in England! Tell me!” (Oh, don’t tell Watson that she walked the pavement!)
8. “Who gave you sixpence and who gave you a farthing? The opium addict on his off day or the drunkard between nips?” (The opium addict gave sixpence, the drunkard the farthing. Somebody with a filthy mind concocted a puzzle based on the location of one of these.)
All of the answers can be found on that page 279 in the image in the hunt, and even with those clues, you may not find it easy, as this part of the hunt was plainly the work of a madman on a deadline, grasping at allusions to history, pop culture, and body parts.
Do we need to stoke the fire with more of the dread Watsonicon?
For “The Adventure of Two Men,” you have to think like Sherlock Holmes. Exactly like Sherlock Holmes.
“Mystery Missive,” “Bunch of Places,” perhaps those were straightforward?
That “Breakfast Interrogation.” Hmm. Let’s count those out.
“First question. If we applied the canon process thrice, the result from my notes would be six. Can you name the six?” (Six answers, and maybe not the canon you’re thinking of with your canon eyes.)
“Home alone and the two lovers made a trio. Can you name the three?” (Three answers, a movie reference and two synonyms, maybe?)
“These other three weren’t snowmen and one was not a man at all. To whom do I refer?” (How many kinds of snowmen are there? These folk weren’t that one kind.)
“Three who didn’t have to pay a bill?” (There are a couple ways to get out of paying a hotel bill. One always works, but few use it.)
“Two with the same attorney?” (You can get this one.)
“I’ve got the 3 R’s, 3M, 3G, and Triple H, yet all are the same subject.
Give me the dozen and the subject!” (Well, it’s not a bakers dozen. The apostrophe in bakers is missing on purpose. When you get the twelve points, the thirteenth point might be something in the same category as “baker.”)
“A lady with a snake unknown to science!” (It’s not an adder.)
“Both women gave off light, yet their sources were entirely different!” (Two answers, pretty much as described.)
“Sergius! Gruner! One is an anagram.” (Get in the pool, you’ll figure it out.)
“Only a superman fears no disease.” (You know a superman, don’t you? Google him if you don’t.)
Is that enough stoking of the furnaces to keep your police boat in the chase? Do we have to break this boat of a JHWS Treasure Hunt up even more? A third of the month left!
As we approach the mid-point of the John H. Watson Society’s annual Treasure Hunt, the question ever rises . . . is it even possible to complete this monstrosity? Can I keep looking at this same set of words and see sense where none has appeared before? Or maybe even, “Hey, I just noticed this! Am I such a Sherlockian prodigy that I can start it now and still show the world what a Watson scholar looks like?”
Perhaps those questions are the hardest ones in the whole Treasure Hunt. But the masters of this year’s hunt have their own question: Did we finally break the spirits of our Treasure Hunters? Are clues needed for some sections? Or has this hunt been mastered by a quiet few who might consider clues unfair to them?
So here’s the solution to our quandry: Clues will be released on August 20 to anything requested (except maybe “The Adventure of the Two Men” . . . oooooh, you’re gonna not enjoy missing the secret answer to that one). If you want to demonstrate a strength of purpose that rises above the need for clues, you can turn what answers you have in before that date and get extra special no-clue credit. (The turn-in address is for this year is still email@example.com )
And in case you just want to take it easy, the the Stress Free version of the Hunt is still available, where you are not only most probably a winner, but also have the potential to gain style points on top of that.
Good luck! And throw us a comment below if there’s a part you especially think clues should be offered on, or if you just want to offer general encouragement to our competitors!
The long-awaited report on Holmes-ish hives, which seem better thanks to the care of a Watsonian. A little Canonical commentary on the John H. Watson Society’s annual Treasure hunt, that most prized of wines, and that other “mendi.” Will all this make more sense if you listen to the Watsonian Weekly? Life always does!
Ready for a listen in all the usual spots!
We’ve had to move the next JHWS online meeting to Saturday, August 15 at 9 AM PDT, 10 AM MDT, 11AM CDT, 12 Noon EDT, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST, etc. We’ll be doing the usual toasting, a little show-and-tell, and then discuss what we’d like to see at future meetings: Speakers? Watsonian games? A little reader’s theater? Watsonians can be very creative, so don’t spare the suggestions. Who knows what is possible with this bunch?
If you attended the last meeting, you should already have the Zoom invitation, but if you missed last time and want to get on the list, just write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure you’re invited.
Additional news . . .
If you haven’t at least given the “Stress-Free” portion of the John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt a shot, you might want to take a look. For the simplest of quizzes, the answers coming in are getting very creative, and charter bull pup Count has already raised the bar in the part of the competition where it’s not that hard to win, but style points can make you smile. Listen to the Watsonian Weekly for our ongoing list on that side of things.
And for those of you who demand the harder challenge, don’t forget to keep scroller for the full hundred-plus point full JHWS Treasure Hunt, “the Watsonicon” as we’re calling it this year. Glory awaits those who survive, as always. For the Word doc and PDF versions of both sides to the JHWS Treasure Hunt, check out the lines below. Both come to a close on August 31.
The search for Watson’s treasure begin, a cat Watson, a known Parker, an unknown Anderson, a rappin’ Watson, the mystery of how Watson’s clothes were clean, and the clients we really wonder about. Hope his red pants are clean enough for Monday, because it’s here! You can find the Watsonian Weekly thru a few links or podcast services, such as . . .
On Apple Podcasts at
Or now on Spotify!