“I’m a bit deaved wi all the gunplay Watson. Can you hear onythin? Along the lines o ‘…sinking in a bottomless gullion…’, ‘help help’ an sic like?”

Translated:

gullion: deep pool of mud, a quagmire, marsh.

“I’m a bit deafened with all this gunplay Watson. Can you hear anything? Along the lines of ‘…sinking in a bottomless quagmire…’, ‘help help’ and such like?”

[gullion spelled out in the phonetic alphabet.]

Illustration Friday.
Detective – in the mists.

Conan Doyle, Scottish of course and creator of Sherlock Holmes, the best kind of detective, became interested in the paranormal and the use of mediums.

Although supposedly investigating these areas he was taken in by several hoaxes.

This was surprising to me particularly with the logical reasoning, science, and deductive powers he gifted to his characters Holmes and Watson.

Houdini was a friend of Doyle at the time and tried to persuade him of how easily illusion and trickery can fool people.

The Amazing Randi who debunks the paranormal today seems to me to be the exact opposite side of the coin from the gullible.

I don’t care for his methods, so much so that he almost persuades me to become more credulous.

I much prefer the mental thought tinkering of Derren Brown that demonstrates clearly how amazingly we can fool ourselves. He also has a sense of humour and can draw.

Scepticism should be the default position of us all.

A sceptic is one who questions and doubts all accepted opinion.

Which also means to be sure to question and doubt the accepted ‘sceptical’ opinions promoted by such as: science knows best, the ‘wise’ know what is good for us, and those that say entertaining the mysterious in your life is to be laughed at.

Just stay grounded, all things become ordinary in the end.

And to a friend that gnashes his teeth and blows steam out his ears about Homeopathy. Proving that something cannot be found does not prove that it does not exist. Try harder.

A detective factoid: Doyle’s brother in law created Raffles.