“Pastiche,” by Trash Clapton

Apr 20th, 2019 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

I was a doctor. One day I was visiting a friend’s lab to pick up some medicine when this guy wearing a deerstalker just abruptly walked up to me, magnifying glass tucked in his pocket. “Ah, so you’re the very fellow who’s looking for a roommate, eh? Obviously your name is Jack Duflack and you clearly fought in the Caribbean before turning into a professional sun tanner on the beach—am I wrong?” he said with a knowing wink.

“Yeah,” I told him.

His face fell: “Oh.”

“I’m not looking for a roommate,” I said, “I have a wife. Who are you? And my name is John. John Watson, I fought in Afghanistan not the Caribbean—”

“Ah so obviously you’re a man of great action. I think you might just be the perfect roommate for me.”

“N—no. I’m not gonna be your roommate; are you listening?”

“Listen, there’s this mansion out in the spooky countryside where they’re being haunted by a dog.”

We stood. “That’s—I mean that’s great, but I don’t—”

“I think I’ll be seeing you at 221B Baker Street pretty soon.”

“Is anyone hearing this?” I looked at the two miserable 20-year-olds putting the same chemicals into a Bunsen burner over and over again.

“Listen, I’m loud, boring, and don’t shave. Obviously you’re a lonely dud who loves to write about crime; so hurry up! We’ll make such a team!”

After explaining that as a professional doctor I didn’t really have time to just do whatever at any moment’s notice I launched out the door. “Ugh,” I muttered.


The next day I was coming home from work when I saw my home engulfed in flames. “Oh no!” I screamed. I ran up to the conflagration and saw a letter from my wife, saying, “Dear John: I saw your note explaining that you had to burn our home because I’m not some genius who loves to deduce crime. I’m leaving you forever. Bye.”


“Oh, Watson!” I turned; the deerstalker-guy was emerging from a streetcorner. “What a drag! Guess you’ll have to go with me on my mysteries.”

“What the fuck is this?!” I howled.

“Mm, an irrational temper I see. Surely you’re better-suited for the sentimental whereas I will use deductive reasoning to come to my ingenious conclu—”

I socked him, fuming.

“Whoa whoa, Watty Watty Wat!” he said, rubbing his cheek.

“I’ll call the police you fucker!”

“Well,” he went bashful, “not like that would matter, I’m pretty much like this with the inspector. But hey, I hear there’s an incident going on that you could maybe call ‘The Case of the Speckled Band’. It’s gonna be a lot of fun, I think we’ll grab our Samsonites and just head off!”

I stalked away in a huff.

 “Where you going?” he called.

“Stay away from me!!”


Later that night after holing up in my office trying to figure out where I could telegraph my wife, I heard a knock at the door and answered it. The deerstalker-guy waltzed in with a newspaper that had two holes cut in it, but he knocked down several vases and document-boxes. “Watson,” he whispered, “it’s me, I’m in disguise.”

“What the fuck are you doing in my—”

“Watson, listen! There’s a guy offering employment to gingers in London! We can’t have them in the workforce, we gotta stop it!”

“I’m giving you two seconds to—”

“Whoa,” said the guy, throwing the paper down to roll his eyes at me, “didn’t know this was ‘The Case of the Total Dick’. Maybe come back when you have a better attitude.” And then he just left.

“Fuck me,” I muttered, returning to my address book to find where I could possibly contact my darling wife.


The next morning having slept under my desk I heard another knock at the door and my assistant came in.

“People are wondering why you did this,” he said, throwing a magazine onto the table.

It was open to a piece under my name, called “The Adventure of the Man Who Saved Me From My Boring Wife”. The opening went:

Being a doctor who’s always asleep and constantly dreaming of crime I knew the only way to purge myself of this bent was by going on awesome adventures with some great detective. After ditching my wife and giving her a one-stop ticket to Goodbyesville I packed my bags and shacked up with Mr. Sherlock Holmes. “Locky,” I said over the margarita mixer. “We gotta fix this drainage in the outdoor swimming pool.”

“I deduce,” said the brilliant man who had fetched me from nothing, “that it’s time for a dip in the tub.”

I was so enraged that I just fainted.


Upon waking up I was lying on a couch in someone’s apartment.

“Ah, you’re awake!” said the man who had to be Sherlock Holmes as he popped out of the kitchen.

“Where the fuck am I?!”

“Listen, you’ve had a bad case of the blues. But I’m here to fix it.” He held up a beehive. “This is gonna cheer you up. Drink this.”

After the beestings I couldn’t really see and then the terrifying maniac who had ruined my life put a hand on my arm and said, “You know that fucking terrible novella by, I think it’s Harlan Ellison, where like this dead writer uses his last will and testament to force his friend-slash-rival to be his literary executor? It’s kinda like this.”

“Who is ‘Harlan Ellison’?? What are you talking about?? What is—”

“Oh right, I sometimes forget what time period I’m in. Listen, regardless of the era I inhabit one of you humans is going to write my canon, and it might as well be you. So get started champ.”

Giving me a t-shirt that said “I Got Hounded By The Baskervilles And All I Got Were These Lousy Bees”, he left and I, defeated, heartbroken, and alone, picked up the conveniently-placed quill and parchment, and with a sigh began to scrawl.


(From the papers of John H. Watson, former M.D.)

I love going on adventures with Sherlock Holmes. He does not call me the “Little Lock That Can’t” and laugh whenever the shaving cream I use has been switched for boiling water. He doesn’t warn me to watch my language before saying, “I can’t believe you’re talking like this in front of the kids!” and gesturing to two miserable 20-year-olds. He doesn’t thwart my every attempt to locate my long-lost wife and he definitely doesn’t play his viol in harmony with my weeps. He does not say, “Ah good work, Watson, now let’s try testing the ability of human touch” before shutting the lights off and activating “The Pit of Eels”. He is the greatest. He is Sherlock Holmes.

And I’m nothing.


Trash Clapton was born in California

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