The Case of the Spinning Wheel, aka Keeping up with Sherlock Holmes

It was evening on the first of October and I had organized a small celebration for Holmes and myself in the back room of our local brewpub, The Staggering Bullfrog. I often had stopped in for a pint after a particularly puzzling adventure with Sherlock, on my own of course as Holmes had many other commitments to attend to. I’d sit on a stool and scribble my notes onto napkins and matchbooks and check a few names of streets and neighborhood scoundrels with the tender of bar, Blind Alfred. Blind Alfred didn’t pour drinks well, but he’d pour you another one free if you told him you spilled it, so I found myself there many a night spilling several drinks.

Blind Alfred allowed me use of the back room, normally reserved for a late night card game and an occasional spitting contest, as long as I promised not to cause any ruckus or bloodshed, and I figured that was an easy promise to Alfred.

It had been a solid year since Holmes allowed me to observe him on cases, and I thought a celebration was in order. I spent the day going into the local shops and grabbing a few delicacies that Sherlock and I could snack on before being wrapped up in yet another case. I grabbed nothing for drink, as anything we desired could be easily pilfered from the bar, literally under Blind Alfred’s nose.

But as Sherlock Holmes stomped his way into The Staggering Bullfrog’s back room two hours after I’d invited him, I could tell he was not in the mood for such festivities. Sherlock Holmes slouched his way into a creaky chair, pulled his cloak closer round his neck rather than pulling it off, told me he’d walked the whole way, and asked me what I brought him here for.

I cannot be the foremost expert when it comes to those with temporary psychological conditions such as the bored depression one can find Sherlock slipping into, but I daresay this episode was brought upon after some incredible dealings of his with one Professor Moriarty, which I’ve either written about already or have a collection of notes for writing up in the future. Listen, I don’t have deadlines other than my own, these things take time.

Nevertheless, I shan’t be describing the Professor Moriarty story here, instead I shall speak of another adventure, one that will happen after this failed dinner, because apparently (or so Sherlock told me on this occasion) he didn’t want to come over for dinner, he didn’t want to “just hang” and I should “cool it” with calling him and bugging him a lot. He did not acquiesce this idea when I explained it was merely my way of acquiring his friendship.

As I moved the chocolate torte hastily into the bin, I found that underneath the torte had been a letter from some sort of criminal element, now decorated with tiny chocolate shavings and smudges.

Sherlock snatched the letter up and studied it intently, his attention piqued. Was it a correspondence from Moriarty or one of his henchmen? Was it someone else wanting to play a game with Sherlock? Was it someone writing him a letter to tell him he’d won several hundred pounds in some sort of contest he’d never entered in on? I didn’t know offhand, though I’m sure Holmes did. I was only able to read the letter after he’d tossed it in the bin after the torte.

The letter read:

Dear Sherlock,
If you’re sad and feeling poopy, come on out and see our Snoopy,
If you’re dying, please take a pill, but on our tracks you’ll have a thrill,
Um, trees aplenty not oaks or greeter, a place so fun named after cedar.

I was not sure what any of this letter was referring to, as it was only slightly organized madness. What was greeter? That was not sound medical advice for the dying. Why did the criminal write um? Or poopy for that matter? I couldn’t discern one bit from this chocolatey mess, so I was thankful that Sherlock Holmes could find some clues in the correspondence and allowed me to travel with him (by foot, his current preferred method) to a place named Cedar Park.

Unfortunately, just as our feet graced the short pathway over the grass of Cedar Park, a casually dressed security guard informed us that Cedar Park was closed and that we should go on ahead to the “other place”, saying it rather rudely like we should know what he was talking of. It was obvious this criminal was trying to confuse us, by leading us to a place that no longer was of interest—as if they themselves were far more interesting.

Sherlock examined the letter once more, as I’d pulled it from the rubbish bin and kept it on my person in case of want or need, and I felt it was fully within my position to jab my finger at the so-called security guard and tell him what I thought, and he had the audacity to tell me that what I was doing was rude and it wasn’t polite to be doing what I was doing.

It was then that Sherlock exclaimed that where we needed to be was another fifty miles from here, and we should walk from Cedar Park to Cedar Point. An exhaustive trek, indeed, but necessary if I wanted to maintain my working relationship and friendship to the magnificent Sherlock Holmes.

Cedar Point was where the point of the crime was pointed out, by the ticket taker who Sherlock acknowledged with a sarcastic “Hello, good sir” and the ticket taker replied “Hello fine gentlemen”. Cedar Point was a rather dilapidated attraction in and of itself, the trees and grass were overgrown, parts were rusting, the shops in shacks were boarded up, and the place smelled like trash had been shoved into every spare corner and was rotting.

Sherlock Holmes walked to the center of Cedar Point and did a solitary spin. In that instant, he was aware of all that had taken place in this godforsaken location. Surely I could not see all that the brilliant detective could see from a quick look, but as I scour my notes, I attempt to piece together for you the scene of which Sherlock and I examined to find the crime that had taken place here.

I am sorry to say that my description here has no defining points to which locate said directions, but I maintain the validity of such directionless statements by saying that it is stated here exactly as it was at Cedar Point. End of unnecessary apology.

Two lines of dirt scrawled into pavement, rolling off that way. A queue that starts over there, it comes this direction, it ends here but just at sort of a platform that goes to nothing.

Could you tell what all that was about? I could not.

The ticket taker informed us that people haven’t lined up for forty years, and that we were the only two customers he had. Sherlock turned to me and told me it was a lot like that other park.

Paper tickets sprawled over the ground, bits of paper tickets. The fence was bent and broken as the lines trailed over it.

I cannot recall who stated it, though it must have been myself as the statement was incorrect, that statement was that someone had stolen a rollercoaster.

“If only,” the ticket taker said, “we have roller coasters aplenty.”

I paused and looked across the whole of Cedar Point. What I hadn’t noticed before was that every twenty feet or so, there was a gondola. Sherlock told me that it was a very peculiar crime scene, eliciting a reaction from the ticket taker on the presence of gondolas, and he quickly admitted that each one had been home to him at some point.

This I found very curious. That Holmes would question gondolas, something so familiar at a park such as Cedar Point for certain rides, but it was only to get the story out of the ticket taker as to his homelessness. Sherlock’s impressive wit had done better than my own sleuthing as usual.

Surely someone who had no home but Cedar Point would have witnessed the crime, or possibly taken part in it, but he assured us he was sleeping at the time of the crime, and Holmes is the best at detecting when a person is telling the truth without having to confirm weak alibis with others.

In my own investigation of a single gondola, that investigation being prompted from when I tripped and fell inside a gondola, I found a pair of binoculars. Holmes said they belonged to a Peeping Tom, and he could not have been more right, as they belonged to the ticket taker, whose name was Tom and he confessed to his minor habit of peeping, often going round and round in the gondolas, peeping the day away.

In my own attempt to distract myself from the odd conversation a Peeping Tom and an ever-curious Sherlock Holmes could have, something about things being like a car, I spotted in the distance an oddly-painted water tower which seemed to have the words “Save Bueller” scrawled over this.

When mentioning this to Sherlock, Sherlock dismissed it by telling me someone skipped school, and I think he meant me, as some sort of an insult, or he meant that I was bothering him without properly raising my hand, as one would in school.

I then saw that next to the water tower was a large sign with several boards being nailed together so there was room enough for the painted words “This might not be Paris,” and before I could ask why such a sign existed, Sherlock Holmes threw his cloak back, tossed his hands into the air and yelled, “Oh, a Ferris Wheel!”

Some of you may be doing the math on when the Ferris wheel was first invented, which would have been later than this case, but I would like to add that this Ferris wheel is not the kind most readers would be thinking of. In fact, it was the original Ferris wheel, which was still a large wheel propelled in circles by a series of pulleys, operated by hunchbacks or monkeys.

Peeping Tom said, “Someone stole a Ferris wheel indeed. My Ferris wheel, my home.”

When asked if anyone had been seen lurking around Cedar Point, Peeping Tom declared there was no one of importance, only a college dropout. Holmes began positing that college dropouts often live in their parents’ basements, loving their mommas very much, and moms hang out in shopping malls.

While hearing Sherlock Holmes speak this thought process out loud, one would think (as I did), that he would be headed off to the nearest shopping mall, but this was not so. Instead, he filed this information away, and used it a month and a half later, to buy my mother a Christmas present, and after that he told me he hadn’t shopped at a mall for it, as moms were likely to “hang there” and she would have caught on. It would have helped the matter had she seen him ahead of time, as my mother is awful with surprises, and surprise is what Sherlock Holmes does best.

Surprising me here with his line of question, Holmes turned on Peeping Tom and got him to admit that he didn’t peep on just any type of girl but a very particular kind. One girl in fact.

Tom agreed, that the one girl was a beautiful creature, descended from an Olympic athlete and/or lawyer, he could see that just for her figure.

With that, Holmes escorted me by foot another fifty miles to see some rudimentary Olympic practices happening just outside this Point of Cedar. We interrupted a coach and athlete’s conversation about the Russian team’s athletes, he’d surmised that they lied about ages because they were so tiny.

Sherlock Holmes entered into the fray, telling them they both looked like fine athletes, then parlaying that comment into a vouch for his own walking skills, as he could tell they were runners, and he was an avid walker, they might need his help. I injected myself into the conversation as I was likely to be forgotten just then, and told them I walk as well, mostly to follow Sherlock around. (I was then told that sounded desperate, and my response was they shut their mouth.)

Instead of acting on this window of opportunity to gain two more members of their team, they talked about their own initiative to move. The athlete discussed how seeing a large behind got him moving, and the coach told us that their warm-up routine included listening to a musician known as Sir Mix-a-lot.

Sherlock Holmes casually moved the conversation toward the mysterious woman Tom had been peeping at, and the coach confirmed this, and the direction she was moving had been North West. Not as casually, more clumsily, I asked if they had seen a giant Ferris wheel moving.

The coach asked if that was the wheel with gondolas on it, and we all discussed whether we’d call them carts or gondolas, and the coach seemed bothered that not enough people were siding with him, so in this detailing of the case, you can see they are described as gondolas.

After that deliberation, they decided they had seen a metal wheel roll through, and it a child may have gotten killed, but it was only a Russian athlete. And as they thought about it, the wheel killed more people than they originally thought, but again, only Russians it seemed.

Holmes looked at the track that the Ferris wheel had taken, tested the ground in some unknown, unseen way to my eyes, and told me that we’d have to travel between three and four hundred miles Northwest.

Somehow, we ended up in Alaska. I couldn’t tell you exactly how, as I don’t remember, but only that it was on foot, and at some point I blacked out. It’s very possible that Holmes just conked me out and dragged me onto a boat, but that business is not in my memory banks.

Alaska was a dark, desolate, frozen wasteland that would be the end of us, so said a native Alaskan who went by the name of Daryl. The other brother native also went by Daryl, and he told Daryl that he’d be dreaming about the sun again, that they had to build an igloo.

Daryl told Daryl, “Soon all the bears will eat us alive, they’ll tear out our entrails and strangle us with our own insides.”

Holmes walked among the Daryls, telling them it was a bright, beautiful day in Alaska, goading them the way Sherlock does with most people. One Daryl told him it was dark constantly in Alaska, clearly not getting Sherlock’s humor.

The other Daryl said he’d let Holmes finish, but first he had to tell him something. Then he rambled on about their igloo, how they had to build it, that his igloo sounded nice, but their igloo was the best of all time. A lot of nonsense suddenly erupted from this man, and luckily it was interrupted by the entrance of a child.

The young Alaskan native boy called out, “Dad, dad, somebody broke the internet.”

Now, some readers may be doing the math here and are able to discern that the invention of this internet was far later than our adventures. As it was, this early internet concept was run by a series of pulleys operated by hunchbacked monkeys.

A Daryl said, “I think I cut the cords before when I thought somebody was trying to strangle me with razor wire. I cut it.”

The other Daryl said that was sad, he liked to spit through that wire.

Something about discussing this jogged Daryl and Daryl’s memory about living in this “godforsaken place”, and started in on Sherlock and myself on why we would come here. I recall the words, “six months of dark, six months of light”, “we did holes in the snow to keep ourselves alive, the fuck are you doing here?” and so on in this fashion.

Holmes merely had to point at the tracks of the Ferris wheel to enlighten them. As Daryl and Daryl started to understand why we had appeared, Holmes informed them it was more than likely the Ferris wheel had crushed and killed them.

A Daryl brushed it off, saying it was probably sparing them a life of pain.

When I looked at the carnage we had been following me, it greatly affected me. It reminded me of my days in Afghanistan in the war, of some horrible sights, of my travels and witnessing abject poverty, of great suffering and horrors, and here in Alaska this Daryl could just brush off the death of his own family, I forcefully directed my comment to him that they should just move.

It seems that those words of mine were enough for them to aim their troublesome attitudes at me, even though I was hardly a target for them, they managed to call me selfish. So selfish that I should write a book about how selfish I was, which I am unlikely to do, and that I should open a store for shit clothes for my shit friends, which I am very unlikely to do.

In the midst of all this clamor, I saw Sherlock grinning with glee. It was as if he’d orchestrated this one-sided argument my way, and was stepping back to watch the chaos boil over. After he’d enjoyed enough of this, Sherlock broke up the fight by telling some sort of perplexing riddle about a man named George Bush and some black fellows. I was unable to crack said riddle, and neither could either Daryl so we stayed in some silence until Sherlock decided it was time to go.

On our long trek out of Alaska, Holmes explained to me that he needed to interrogate someone closely connected with the case, and that this was the biggest music executive’s place, and that we should never use his name, for fear of some sort of monetary retaliation. So in my retelling of these events, he will just be labeled as the music executive.

There was no decent way to meet with the music executive, he was a rather busy man. In order to get into a room with him, we had to rely on Sherlock’s cunning ability, and his complex manners of deceit. He was able to get through all sorts of security without an appointment, by claiming that his friend (meaning me, thankfully, finally) had a good set of pipes on him.

All I did was agree to it, by saying “uh huh” in a slightly musical fashion.

The music executive was checking his mail on his computer, and he said it was taking longer than usual, but that he’d be right with us.

Something something math computer, pulley hunchy monkeys, you get it.

I will say that we heard tons of odd and confusing noises coming from his machine made it seem like a part or two was broken, but the music executive said that it was doing exactly what he wanted it to.

Our falsity of a meeting was interrupted by an assistant, who said that the sisters were there to meet with him, that they only wanted things that began with K, and that they required slender bottles because of their fresh lip injections.

As a medical man I cannot condone lip injections as a prescription for anything, and I am not sure what charlatan of a physician is approving such a procedure.

The music executive dismissed the assistant, telling her to give the sisters some coke as they couldn’t read and it sounded the close enough. Since he was a very busy man, he told us to get to the point. Sherlock moved the conversation to the only point that mattered, Cedar Point. Where was he when the Ferris Wheel was stolen?

And since I thought our cover still mattered, I asked when I could record my album.

The music executive claimed that at the time he was working with this computer machine of his, logging into his prodigy account, and that he didn’t steal the Ferris wheel but he did need the sound, and someone else acquired it for him.

The music executive went ahead and played the sound of the Ferris wheel for us to hear, and though I’m sure Holmes was able to deduce a great many clues from the recording, all I heard was the uncovering of a very strange message sent from a dead Russian. He claimed his name was Sokorfsky and he came—

For something, it would seem. The music executive said he died when the Ferris wheel crushed him, but it was okay because he was mildly retarded. Holmes bristled at the word mildly, because it was clearly more than double that.

As the music executive went on reading some email of his about some show he could be involved in, Holmes nearly walked over me in his attempt to leave, then claimed I was too close to him, but he left that bother alone as we had to start making our way back to Cedar Park, so we could get back to Cedar Point.

Peeping Tom was happy to see that people were coming to the park again. It wasn’t just Holmes and myself, we had managed to round up all of those we had interacted with along the way: the coach and the athlete, Daryl and Daryl and Daryl’s son, the music executive, Blind Alfred, several monkeys, and a few corpses just to fill out the crowd.

Holmes strode his way to the center, and admitted that at first he suspected the crime was done by a bad rapper, but then—

A Daryl interrupted with, “It was the candy?”

I shushed him, and he tried to excuse himself as being from Alaska.

Sherlock continued that it wasn’t the rapper, but his wife.

Sherlock said, “The person who did this is not only the most atrocious human being alive, not only the very thing that stares into our souls, the depth of how awful humanity can be. It was one Kim KKKK Kardashian in our midst.”

With that declaration floating out in the open, this Kim woman appeared, with these evil sisters in tow (I suspect, the same sisters we heard about at the music executive’s place). Holmes claimed that there were too many to arrest at once so they should torture them to death.

The Kardashian’s said that since there were more of them, they won by default and they should celebrate with champagne.

As Sherlock rummaged around for his antique collection of torturing tools, I told these Kardashian women they needed to return the Ferris wheel, but Kim defiantly yelled my direction that she was using it as a shoe rack.

In conclusion, there was a lot of champagne and not as much torturing as Holmes would have liked, and the Kardashians were soon released from the proper authorities because even the prisons did not want to deal with them, and as they walked away Holmes put his arm around my shoulder and told me that it was unfortunate the only crime Ms. Kardashian would ever be attributed with was having too much booty in the pants.

Because she has a large rear. I’m not sure if I mentioned it. A criminal Ass-termind.

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