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Don’t Call Me Shirley

The night before we went to see Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, I had a dream. In it, Robert Downey, Jr. was my boyfriend (!), we had a new baby girl, we were so happy, etc. But then I found myself sitting and waiting for him while he dicked around with his deadbeat roommates in the giant, crappy rental they all shared. (The toilet was horrible.) So when Jack (my real-life husband) showed up at the door, I was all, “Screw this,” and left with him. We were about to drive off when who comes scampering out of the house but Señor Downey, Jr., who just hops into the truck and sits happily right between me and Jack on the bench seat, ready to go like some sort of giant ADHD puppy.

Oh, Robert. When you had me you ignored me, but when I was with someone else you became interested again? What is this, high school?

Well, yes, sort of. I know that reading a stranger’s dream on the Internet is one step away from forwarded political spam from your mom, so thank you for coming this far with me because this dream gave me a major insight into my marriage. Something about being abandoned by my first love (who’s name was Robert) was coming between me and my husband. Years’ worth of emotional problems were suddenly revealing their source, manifested in the master of deduction. Do early betrayals colored a girl’s self-perception for years afterward? No shit, Sherlock.

We went to a matinee of Game of Shadows that afternoon, and there my revelations took a different turn.

I now have a crush on Dr. Watson. And his dog. And Sherlock’s older brother Mycroft, who curls his hair and walks around his house naked and calls his brother “Shirley.” And Mrs. Watson being thrown from a train, and gypsy hedgehog goulash. And oh, Professor Moriarty!

Some people complain that the two Guy Ritchie Sherlocks have very little to do with the original fictional man, apart from his ability to divine the truth from the simple things that others overlook, but what else would a Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes do other than get cut up and filthy and kill a dog and dress like a chair? If you want to watch a movie of someone sitting and quietly thinking for two hours, be my guest, but I don’t see the point in expecting a burly lad-movie director to suddenly become Ismail Merchant and/or James Ivory.

That being said, seeing Sherlock a couple of days after Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol, was kind of a mistake, in that MI4 made Sherlock look sort of clunky and polite. Really, all the buildings in Victorian London were so close to the ground! And the cars could only go ten miles per hour, lest your internal organs be damaged by the speed. And people at political summits were in severe danger of being hit by darts. I guess my internal action bar has been temporarily raised to the point where nothing short of global nuclear devastation is enough to keep me from nodding off in my nachos.

Fortunately, one antidote to action-film desensitization is to undergo a Total Spielberg Immersion. If that doesn’t work, I’m told that direct application of Tom Hanks to the affected area should do the trick.

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