Jody Baker: Incredible Imbecility

Friday, June 28, 2013 - by Jody Baker

In *The Five Orange Pips* John Openshaw had already told Sherlock Holmes the details of the mysterious death of his uncle, Elias Openahaw. Elias was found face downwards in two feet of water in a little green-scummed pool. That death was ruled -- suicide. Now, John Openshaw was putting before Holmes the details of the death of his own father, Joseph Openshaw. Joseph was found lying senseless with a shattered skull in a chalk-pit. That was ruled -- death from accidental causes.

Sherlock Holmes admonished young Openshaw: “Tut! tut! You must act, man, or you are lost. Nothing but energy can save you. This is no time for despair.”

Openshaw advised Holmes: “I have seen the police…..But they listened to my story with a smile. I am convinced that the inspector has formed the opinion that the letters [warnings from KKK] are all practical jokes, and that the deaths of my relations were really accidents …and were not to be connected with the warnings.”

Holmes shook his clenched hands in the air. “Incredible imbecility!” he cried. 

“‘Incredible Imbecility’--- ‘Incredible Imbecility’” I said to Mrs. Baynes. “What a marvellous expression! What an excellent combination of words and of concepts. It is a delight to the ear and a titivation of the mind. It is the ultimate in perspicuity. I’ll bet that Peter Blau is pleased that Holmes came up with that one.”

Then, I continued, “You know, Mrs. Baynes, I wish that I had said that.” 

“ I’m sure you will, Inspector. No doubt about it; I’m sure you will,” she said as she left the room.

Respectfully,
Insp. Baynes


(Jody Baker is a Chattanooga attorney, who specializes in Sherlock Holmes lore. He can be reached at josiahbaker@bkhcw.com.) 


Finley Stadium Needs To Grow Up - And Response

RE:  Finley Stadium Financial Picture Rosy; Beer And Alcohol Sales Approved; AstroTurf Almost Ready and City, County Pitching In $250,000 Each For New Finley Stadium AstroTurf I read a story here five days ago about a rosy future for Finley stadium. It lead me to believe that the stadium was making money and even improvements with donations.  Then we get a short ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Recall J.C. Owens

If you were to go to Oakville, Ala, a little ways from Decatur, about the biggest thing you’d find would be some 20 or so Indian mounds, where the early tribes would bury their dead many centuries ago. But if you sniffed around a bit, you’d learn it was the birthplace of James Cleveland Owens, a man whose name is of no consequence to anyone. I’m proud to say I talked to him ... (click for more)

Robber Who Was Shot At Rossville Boulevard Car Lot Dies; No Charges To Be Filed

Police said a person who was shot during a robbery attempt at a car lot at 4314 Rossville Blvd. around 1:50 p.m. on Thursday has died. Police said the shooting has been ruled a "justifiable homicide" and no charges will be brought against 27-year-old Alan Miller. The shooting in which the robbery victim shot the suspect was at Miller Auto Sales. (click for more)

Man Charged In Shooting On Sixth Avenue Had Been Shot Himself Last Week; Police Say Incident "Part Of Gang War"

A man charged with attempted first-degree murder on Sixth Avenue Court on Thursday afternoon was shot himself earlier this month. O'Shae Kadaris Smith, 20, of 2114 E. 12th St., is also charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime. He was one of two people shot on Rawlings Street on March 16. Kendre Allen, ... (click for more)

Mossburg Fans 11, Stymies Innisdale In Pounder Classic

Innisdale Secondary School, out of Barrie, Ontario, Canada, looked like a baseball team that had been cooped up in its basketball gymnasium for weeks while harsh winter weather slammed the province. The Invaders, getting outside for the first time, were held hitless and scoreless over five innings by Silverdale pitcher Tyler Mossburg and the Seahawks went on to beat Innisdale, ... (click for more)

Tennessee Fires Basketball Coach Donnie Tyndall

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.  – Tennessee has fired men’s basketball coach Donnie Tyndall. The decision was made based on information the university received during the NCAA's investigation of another institution. The university concluded that Tyndall will likely be held responsible for serious violations of NCAA rules that occurred during his tenure as head men's basketball ... (click for more)