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Holmes Under The Hammer: Legendary Detective Tragically Mistaken For Loose Nail

It’s not often that a short piece of absurdist literature manages to situate itself cushily in the centre of a triple-dimensioned Venn diagram,  whose constituent circles contain a pipe-smoking detective, a property-flogging zeitgeist of  British daytime television and a drunken episode of poorly executed D.I.Y carpentry. Yet, here we are. 

Old Jim Beam

The story starts with a man called Jim Beam; a retired carpenter with a debilitating whiskey addiction.. Sure, he sounds American-as-hell. But actually, he’s just another formerly self-employed British man claiming a state pension. He didn’t own a gun, and never inherited an unreasoned bias against “communism”; rather, he reasoned his way to one all by his sweet self after watching a totally unbiased documentary called Stalin: Definitely Worse Than Hitler . Jim Beam – or “Beamin’ Jimmeh” as his his Shropshirian friends used to call him before they all died of Cholera – was a successful enough man in his day. But when the Hammer Struck Holmes, he had been reduced to nothing more than a foolish, lonely old pisshead.

Sherlock’s final case

How does one detect which elusive piece of wood has been kidnapping nails undetected? After fifty-eight years, it turned out there was no “no shit Sherlock” answer to this question, so the famous Mr.Holmes was assigned to the case. The grand-slam detective decided that the only way of truly detecting what was going on was to undergo an undercover operation; posing as a scantily clad Box Nail and attempting to tempt suspect slabs of plywood all over the country with his irresistible figure. All it took was a tin of metallic paint and an anthropological re-moulding 3D printer, and Holmes was visually indistinguishable; just another pointy little silver thing.

Holmes as a nail

Homes Under the Hammer  

Having first-aired in 2003, this has been a long time stalwart of the pointless drivel poured out by the BBC in order to fill up empty airtime. The show, which is randomly co-hosted by former Premiership footballer Dion Dublin, centres around the fixing-up and selling-off of gaffs. Basically, it’s a glorification of middle-to-upper class people doing exactly what Trump did in New York City in the 70’s, but on a really minute scale. Well, it’s not really, but what the hell – it sounds like a witty analogy. The show has been pretty gosh-darn successful and regularly attracts millions of viewers. Since the death of all his mates, 10 o’clock in the morning every weekday had become a spiritual imperative for old Jimmy B; who would tune in religiously to watch Homes Under the Hammer, if, for nothing else, a bit of company.

Homes Under The Hammer presenter Dion Dublin

Jim Beam was building a kennel for already-dead his dog who was called Sherlock 

It was a project he’d started when Sherlock – the dog that didn’t shit – was still alive. Sherlock, similarly to all of Jim Beam’s mates, eventually died in a fate of twisted irony after “it all came out in one go” during a short and revolting battle with severe canine Diarrhea – known in domesticated-doggy circles as Collar-a. But if a man makes a promise to his dog – and even if that dog’s life has been wholly lost through it’s own arsehole – there’s always a chance that man will half-arsedly persevere with said promise. Persevere, if for no other reason but to reciprocate the narratively-championed loyalty no pet owner could apparently ever receive from a mere feline. In Jim Beam’s case though, building this kennel was the only thing left giving him purpose in life – so much so that half of him never really wanted to finish the job.

A perfect storm

A seemingly normal Tuesday morning was unraveling. Jim Beam was sitting in his living room, drinking bourbon whiskey and cack-handedly building Sherlock’s kennel. Homes Under the Hammer was on as always, showcasing some greedy entitled git who was using a dead relative’s inheritance to buy up a second property he didn’t need to live in, renovate it and continue to contribute basically nothing to society by living off the working class tenant’s hard-earned money. Detective Holmes was undercover, and in the midst of investigating a kidnapping case; that very day turning his attention to an old piece of plywood in a house in Birmingham; a house belonging to a Mr. James Beam. 

Do I really need to explain what happened next?… 

In sum 

So old Jim Beam was alone and hammered on Jim Beam in his home and holding a hammer whilst half-watching Homes Under The Hammer and half-hoping to finish Sherlock’s home. With Holmes situated unwittingly under his hammer it was not until after the event that the fact a hammered Jim Beam had hit Holmes with his hammer in his own home whilst home alone and  building a home for Sherlock, really hit home. Many will blame Holmes for immersing himself so deeply in his detective work that he felt it upon himself to shrink to miniscule size and disguise himself as a nail. Many will blame old Jim Beam for drinking too much Jim Beam and hammering a person called Holmes instead of a nail into a home, let alone the pointless pursuit of building a home for his dog Sherlock, who was already dead. Many will blame the BBC for airing Homes Under the Hammer in the first place, perhaps old Beamin’ Jimmeh might have been able to exercise a bit more concentration or restraint had such a poetically fitting programme not been so tantalisingly on the telly, even despite all the Jim Beam he’d consumed. It’s a shame really, we’ll probably never find out who to blame, because the finest detective of all time is now dead. An animate casualty who was never really alive in the first place died attempting to solve a crime with only inanimate victims, at the hands of a man building a kennel for an already-deceased dog. Such is life. 

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