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.) 



Equity Study

What exactly is an Equity Study? Is the the damage control that comes in the wake of the UnifiEd outburst a few weeks ago? I can save the board a whole lot of hassle since the mere mention of doing such a study means that the study will reveal inequities, regardless of any basis.  If they would like to throw a quarter million down the drain for 20 pages ... (click for more)

Coppinger And UnifiEd

I am writing in response to Mayor Jim Coppinger's puzzling quotes in Roy Exum's column this morning, wherein the mayor seems to disavow UnifiEd and its position on the socio-economic desegregation of our schools. On  April 5 , I attended a candidate forum hosted by the North Brainerd Neighborhood Council at the Eastdale Recreation Center gym. That evening, Mayor ... (click for more)

Jury Finds Donaldson Guilty Of Second-Degree Murder In Killing Of Son-In-Law

A Criminal Court jury late Friday afternoon returned a verdict of guilty of second-degree murder against Glen Donaldson in the killing of his son-in-law, Adam Levi. He is facing 15-60 years in state prison. Judge Don Poole will set the sentence at a sentencing hearing on July 12.  He has been free on bond, but was taken into custody after the verdict. The jury deliberated ... (click for more)

1st Vote On Controversial Signal Mountain Grocery Proposal Set June 13; Town To Choose Either Tennessee American Or Waldens Ridge For Water Service

The next steps in rezoning 617 Cauthen Way were discussed at the Signal Mountain work session Friday afternoon. Since the last council meeting, Town Manager Boyd Veal created a list of conditions to include in the zoning ordinance relating to the proposed commercial development designed to assure that there is no negative impact to the surrounding properties or to the interest of ... (click for more)

Summertown Stops Sale Creek's Bid For A State Class 1A State Softball Title, 7-5

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Sale Creek had its sight set on making some softball history Friday. The Lady Panthers reached their first TSSAA state softball championship with a 3-1 victory over Cascade, powered by a Trinity Liner three-run homer on her 18 th birthday. A few hours later, they wanted to beat Summertown and set up a second title game for all the marbles. ... (click for more)

Silverdale Wins D-II-A State Softball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Kaili Phillips got disqualified in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Tipton-Rosemark Lady Rebels and nobody gave the Silverdale Lady Seahawks a snowball’s chance of winning that game. But they did. Nobody gave the Lady Seahawks much of a chance of repeating that feat less than 24 hours later in the winner-take-all final game, but once again, ... (click for more)