Friday, December 29, 2023

Pub Night at the Dangling Prussian 2024

Ah, January! The invitations are out. Plans are being made.

The Baker Street Irregulars, and invited guests, will be dining at New York's Yale Club on that Friday closest to Sherlock Holmes's celebrated birthdate.* Friday, January 12th, 2024, is the appointed date.

The uninvited guests, those who choose to use electronic devices that evening, and other Sherlockians in New York City at the time have the opportunity to go to the revitalized Gaslight Gala on January 12th as well. Always a good time.

For the rest of us in an American evening friendly time zone, who for whatever reason cannot be in New York that night, there remains the Third Annual Pub Night at the Dangling Prussian on Zoom. Now that virtual gatherings are a part of Sherlockian culture, there has to be an online alternative, and our tradition continues. 

As in previous years, the five to six hour online event will be welcoming both drop-ins who pop in to say "hi," and die-hards who want to hang for the full five to six hours of socializing, fun, and the one meeting of the Montague Street Incorrigibles every year with its arcane membership ritual for all in attendance to earn their Presbury-thumb-printed certification as an MSI.

This year's event will feature a brand-new live Sherlock Holmes mystery, in which Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, and Inspectors Lestrade and Gregson will tackle a manor house murder investigation that will require your help to make Sherlock as brilliant as they need to be to solve the mystery. (Did you notice that Sherlock's pronoun there was "they?" Our great detective is probably not going to be a middle-aged male this time.)

Here's the current full schedule:

6:00 PM Eastern/5:00 PM Central -- Happy Hour, Welcomes, and Ice Breakers! 

You can come in silent and off camera, but if you come in with your camera on, we're going to introduce you around and ask you a question or two. (We'll be doing this later, too, but if there's some other program going on, we might miss your arrival.)

7:00 PM Eastern/6:00 PM Central -- The Official Annual Meeting of the Montague Street Incorrigibles!

Toasting, membership rituals, official monkey business. Getting it out of the way early!

8:00 PM Eastern/7:00 PM Central -- The Adventure of the Partie CarrĂ©e

A Sherlock Holmes mystery that starts with a client coming to 221B Baker Street in need of help, played out in a sort of Dungeons and Dragons style, where no one knows what might happen. Sherlock Holmes, however, will be brilliant!

10:00 PM Eastern/9:00 PM Central -- The Sherlockian Underground Reports!

As always, we will have our spies in New York City, some risking their very reputations for slipping us information via banned channels. We'll be finding out all the news we can as quickly as we can, and you'll hear it here first! Twitter isn't what it used to be, and we'll be using all our sources.

With the Gaslight Gala happily back in action, decreased Covid fears, etc., the need for online events has lessened somewhat, but the Zoom must go on!

Join us, if you can! Here's the registraton link again. Because ya just never know.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Pub Night at the Dangling Prussian 2023

Here we go again! Sherlock Holmes's birthday weekend is being celebrated in New York City by the Baker Street Irregulars, and that means the Friday night reopening of the virtual pub named by Sherlock Holmes in "His Last Bow." So, January 6th isn't that far off, and we're all starting to decide whether or not we can make New York City for the Sherlock Holmes birthday weekend. If you're one of the lucky ones, we're glad you get to do the thing. It's a good thing! But if you're stuck at home, or elsewhere with a Zoom link, we've got another thing you can do . . . the second annual Pub Night at the Dangling Prussian!

It's basically a six hour Zoom with some of the best Sherlockians you're going to meet on a Friday night Zoom the same night as the Baker Street Irregulars dinner. You can come at any time, leave at any time, but we do have a schedule of "sort of" events for your entertainment if you want to go for the whole six hour marathon with us. Here's what's currently on the agenda:

6:00 PM Eastern/5:00 PM Central -- Happy Hour, Welcomes, and Ice Breakers

7:00 PM Eastern/6:00 PM Central-- The Old-Timey Sherlockian Rememberin' Hour! Remember the '70s and '80s? This is the hour to tell your tales, if you can get your fellow oldsters to quit jabberin' about their own old-timey stories long enough to get yours in!

8:00 PM Eastern/7:00 PM Central -- The Official Annual Meeting of the Montague Street Incorrigibles. New members will be inducted. (All you have to do is show up!) Random programming shall occur.

9:00 PM Eastern/8:00 PM Central -- Open Mike Spotlight Hour! Recitations, poetry, song, declamations, stand-up, commemorations, salutations, abbreviations, and anything else you care to hold forth on in three to five minutes.

10:00 PM Eastern/9:00 PM Central  -- The Sherlockian Underground Reports! Our spies risk it all to report things they might not be supposed to, and we're totally there for it!

Here's the registration link: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Eighteen Hours To Go . . .

 There are a lot of sides to this hobby of ours, and tomorrow night is one of the most time-honored and revered traditions of Sherlockiana. And then there's the other side of the coin, a virtual pub with a little fun and a whole lot of time just to hang out.

My friends who are in New York this weekend always come back to the one key part of that weekend -- getting to see their friends. Share a drink, share a dinner, share a . . . virus? Well, those of us settling for Zoom on Friday night are going to miss both the good and the potential bad. But the chance to just talk is still there. 

The breakout rooms are probably the most important part of the night -- with about sixty people currently signed up, we can't all be talking at once. And we do want to talk. It's been a long year.

So no more promoting parts and pieces, or the very silly program that just got made up for a table centerpiece. Tomorrow night is about seeing new friends and old, discovering a few things you didn't know before, hearing a tale of times past you hadn't heard before. Annnnd, not having to dress up or spend any money to do it.

Looking forward to seeing you all, even those who come with cameras turned off.  And remember -- it's hashtag #DanglingPrussian2022! Because unlike a certain other function, we're already gathering on the internet, so we might as well tweet about it! On to Friday night! 


One last shot at the registration link, if you have yet to sign up: 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Dangling Prussian World Premiere of a New Short Film!

 There might be a few more blog posts this week than normal, as I'm a bit wound up.

Why am I wound up?

I'm getting to see what you'll be seeing on Friday night, if you show up at the Dangling Prussian's Zoom Pub Night and hang out. The main problem is that I need to calm down and finish a few of my own duties for that night, but I still have to tell you about a few things.

It seems like I've always had a remarkable Sherlockian friend or two whom the rest of the Sherlockian world didn't know that much about. I'm sure this happens at most local Sherlockian societies or just being a lucky sort who's in the right place at the right time. So I'd like to introduce you to a local friend of mine named Mary O'Reilly.

After meeting Mary at the local Sherlockian study group, I soon learned she was a fellow podcaster, and her podcast, Academicasaurus, is a weird and happy romp through the lives of college professors at a very strange school. She was a part of the least-attended panel I ever sat on at 221B Con, though the attendance part was probably just my fault. And after a few years, I discovered she had another outlet of web talent, her "Haunted by Birds" YouTube channel, which starred not Mary, but . . . well, we'll get to that.

Our monthly Sherlock Holmes discussion group is, as any Sherlockian discussion can be, an idea-inspiring ramble. And when we hit "Priory School," I thought of a great scion society name: the Bovestrians of Ragged Shaw, named for the imagined galloping cows of that area. But after decades of starting and joining Sherlockian societies, I had pretty much given up on thinking the society could provide anything new. But Mary liked the name and kept the idea alive, first by coming up with trading cards after our meetings . . .

And then, when I asked her to do me a favor for the Dangling Prussian Pub Night . . . .

That, you see, is the title card of an eleven minute video whose world premiere will happen at the Dangling Prussian as a part of our main program. You will get to sit in on the very first meeting of the Bovestrians of Ragged Shaw, a Sherlockian society unlike any that I've ever experienced, and probably one you haven't either.

Why? One word: Puppets.

Friday night, my friends. Friday night!

Here again is the registration link, if you have yet to sign up: 

The Dangling Prussian house band!

 If you're doing a night out at the clubs, sometimes you just want to sit back with a drink and chill.

And with six hours of Zoom hangout planned for the Dangling Prussian Pub Night planned, we are lucky enough to have the musical talents of Josh Harvey providing some Sherlock Holmes based jazz that is very, very cool. 

Josh, a music director and instructor of musical theater at Southeast Missouri State in his non-Holmes life, has some great Sherlockian credits. He's presented at 221B Con, is the archivist for the Patrick Gowers scores for Granada Holmes, and is very close to putting out a website on "the side door of music," which will deal with Canonical and adaptation Holmesian musics. He's definitely a Sherlockian to watch, and I am very excited that we'll be seeing him play at the Dangling Prussian.

Can a pub's "house band" be a solo performer? Well, you're going to see that it's very possible, as he mellows out the night with such riffs as "Only Adlers in this Building," "Sweet Elsie Patrick," and a personal favorite of mine, "Ronaldo's Hideaway." ("Ronaldo" as in "Ronald-o Howard," since you'll find this jazz ties to some very familiar melodies.)  And as the night gets darker and later, you might even find a musical Moriarty tribute in the mix which might make you want to take the professor home with you at closing time. (There really is a Moriarty out there for everyone. Be careful!)

It's this Friday night (January 14) six to midnight Eastern, and that's just part of what's in store.


Here again is the registration link, if you have yet to sign up: 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

The Dangling Prussian Pub Night FAQ

 Got questions about the first great potential Zoom debacle of the year? We have answers!


Question: When is it and how do I sign up?

Answer: My, aren't you the eager one! Not even going to read the rest of this, I bet. Well, it's January 14th from 6:00 PM Eastern Standard U.S. Time until Midnight of that same time zone. Here is the advance registration link: 

Question: So, I didn't sign up yet. Why should I?

Answer: This is the first time that the Dangling Prussian, a hypothetical pub from the Sherlockian Canon, has opened its doors in this century. And like all first times, it could be a wonderful new discovery or the sort of amazing crash-and-burn that you'll enjoy your less adventurous friends about. It's also the first time the Montague Street Incorrigibles has inducted new members in decades. And there will definitely be some things no Sherlockian has seen before. No, it's not [CENSORED REFERENCE TO SHERLOCKIAN OF NOTE], we've all seen that.

Question: But I really, really don't want to come. Can I just watch a video later?

Answer: No. It's not being recorded and any trials resulting will have to depend upon sketches and eyewitness statements. We're really hoping wanted Canonical criminals will attend. We're giving some of them medals!

Question: Do you actually expect to entertain Sherlockians for a full six hours?

Answer: Heck no! Happy hour runs from 6 to 8 PM EST, a time for gathering, chat, and smatters of trivia, maybe some puzzles to occupy yourself with if you're not feeling chatty. Then at 8:00, something similar to a program, segueing into some pub-ish entertainments, and eventually an actual Zoom open myke. Then back to late night chat, gossip, and the hopes of a report from some friend or two in a certain big city.

Question: I signed up back after the first question. Can I un-sign up now?

Answer:  Sure. But have you heard the acronym "FOMO?" It's not "Fans Of Mycroft's Occipital," or "Funky Old Mister Oldacre," or even "Feed Our Mastiff Opium." I mean, what are you even thinking, suggesting such things! Perhaps we've decided we don't want you to sign up!

Question: Now I'm signing back up just to spite you! What do you say to that, Mister Incorrigible?

Answer: Mercy! You have beaten me with your cleverness and sudden riposte! And "Mister Incorrigible" was my father, you can call me by the university that I graduated from to become a professional FAQ writer.

Question: FAQ U?

Answer: The same to you, sir! Good day! I said, "Good day!"


Well that certainly could have gone better. Stop by the Dangling Prussian on the eve of January 14th and hope for better, and much more Sherlockian, if not more-dignified, ways to spend an evening. 

Monday, January 3, 2022

Clack . . . Clack . . . Clack

 As we approach Sherlock Holmes's birthday celebrations, I know the travelers headed to New York are starting to feel the "clack . . . clack . . . clack" of the roller coaster starting its climb to its highest point. And even though I'm not going to be boarding a flight, not as worried about covid or weather shutdowns, the run-up to the Dangling Prussian pub night has me feeling that excitement and anxiety as well.

The entertainments are firming up. The parts and pieces are coming together. Dangling Prussian Soup Plate Medal award-winners are being selected. (Want to get in on that process? Volunteer to accept an award for a Canonical character who can't attend. Your voice will be heard.) And I want to say a lot more than I'm saying here.

But for tonight, it's just clack . . . clack . . . clack.


Here again is the registration link, if you have yet to sign up: 

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Why the Montague Street Incorrigibles?

 Since 1985 on our calendars (and 1895 on Canonical calendars) there has been that small number of Sherlockians who found themselves members of a group called "the Montague Street Incorrigibles." But few outside of that number, and even many within, were ever sure just what that membership meant. As attendees of the Dangling Prussian pub night on January 14th will be offered the chance to undergo mysterious and previously unseen induction ritual to become members of that group, it is perhaps a good thing to explain just what the Incorrigibles are about.

As you might have noticed "Montague Street Incorrigibles" looks a lot like a parody, pastiche, or just plain dollar-store-knock-off of the hallowed "Baker Street Irregulars." Montague Street being the address that Sherlock Holmes lived before Baker Street, with a different "I" word attached as the third word? It's surely a ridiculous effort by some novice to the community! Maybe so, but now it has the gravitas of existing for thirty-five years (or a hundred and twenty-five on Canonical calendars), so let's dig a little deeper.

While the Irregulars were the trusted hirelings of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the one Incorrigible in the Canon is on the payroll of Dr. Watson, a supposedly inept servant girl, whom his un-named wife was trying to remove from their household. But here's the thing -- that Incorrigible, like Wiggins, had a name. 

"As to Mary Jane, she is incorrigible," Watson told Sherlock Holmes, "and my wife has given her notice."

The definition of "incorrigible" is "not able to be corrected, improved, or reformed." It isn't to say that the person being spoken of is wrong in their obstinacy. And having no room for improvement is sometimes a measure of excellence. Some older, more puritanical definitions of "incorrigible" define it with "incurably depraved." Doctor Watson finding Mary Jane "incorrigible" has always sounded to me like he might have fancied her a bit -- one more reason for Mrs. No-First-Name Watson to want to give her notice.

So what is a "Montague Street Incorrigible?" 

Well, Sherlock Holmes surely had an early version of his "Baker Street irregulars" while on Montague Street? Was the incorrigible Mary Jane among them, an agent so trusted that Holmes would later plant her in the Watson household to keep a close eye on his friend, now living with a wife "not entirely to be trusted?" It might have been. The Montague Street incorrigibles are a hazy unknown,  Canonical cryptids, beings that lurk among the known quantities of the Canon working their unknown ways for unknown purposes.

And that is the society that is holding a rare semi-public induction ceremony on the evening January 14th, at the Dangling Prussian pub night. Dare you raise your hand and become one of them?


Here again is the registration link, if you have yet to sign up: 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Setting the tables for the Dangling Prussian Pub Night

 If you're anything like me, you like to walk into a party with some foreknowledge of what will be there when you arrive. As our January 14th pub night at the Dangling Prussian is going to be a very eclectic and, at times, random affair, it seemed like a good time to explain what you can expect upon entering the place.

Coming into the Zoom from the waiting room, you'll be greeted by myself, a co-host, or some other Prussian staff who might have even been drafted at some last minute. 

You'll be asked, "Will you will be joining the Montague Street Incorrigibles at their induction ceremony this evening?" If your answer is in the affirmative, your name will be entered on Arminius Detweiller's list. (The innkeeper originally was wanting you to sign his big book, but some Sherlockians expressed dismay at writing in any book, so that requirement has been waved.)

At that point, you can choose to go to one of our five tables as listed below (sometimes called "breakout rooms" in Zoom parlance), or just stay and hang out by the door to see who comes in. Since the entry area's primary function is greeting new arrivals, any conversations that become too involved will be asked to be taken to a table. And you can always just hang at the door until any friends you are meeting at the pub show up, and then go to a table. 

The tables are:

  • The Brett party’s table (perhaps to discuss television)
  • The Rathbone party's table (perhaps to discuss movies)
  • The Starrett party's table (perhaps to discuss pastiche)
  • The Watson party's table (perhaps to discuss the Canon)
  • The Morley party's table (perhaps to discuss the Sherlockiana)

You aren't committed to stay at any table, though pub trivia points will be accumulated by each table, so if you really want one to win pub trivia and you are a great trivia brain, well, you have choices to make.

The topics suggested for each table are merely guidelines and will not be strictly enforced. If things go so far off topic that a table's name needs to be changed and all at that table are in agreement, that change can occur as well. The unpredictable nature of the Dangle Prussian has been a tradition since the eighties, and we're not changing that now.

Tables will remain open during the main program mid-evening, as we don't want to spoil anyone's good time if they are on a roll. 

As the old saying goes, "No plan survives first contact with the enemy," so we'll see what actually happens come party time, but you've just seen the intention. If you're not doing anything else that night, you have to come just to have a story to tell later -- of great fun or memorable disaster!


Here again is the registration link, if you have yet to sign up: 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

A Pub Night's Boredom Insurance Package!

Okay, here's the thing: A six hour Sherlockian Zoom without a six hour line-up of speakers and programming? Is that a party or an endurance trial? What if you get bored? What if you just want to go offline for a bit and still be a part of the festivities?

In our ongoing attempt to cover all the bases for Friday night January 14, we going to go back to the 1990s and resurrect an old thing in a new form.

From 1991 to 1998, the Dangling Prussian Amateur Press Association collected the individual pages of its members every other month between covers and mailed the resulting compendium back to those who contributed. Over the years the content included and incredible variety of contributions from its members. There were stories and articles, of course. but also cartoons, quizzes, puzzles, parody, poetry, a needlework pattern, a script, greeting cards, and whatever else the members deemed worth sending in for the next issue.

So with that eclectic idea in mind, we're resurrecting the Dangling Prussian Amateur Press Association in PDF form with the DPAPA 2022 Party Fun Book, to be handed out in the chat at the Dangling Prussian Pub Night Zoom for attendees to download. What's it going to contain?

The theme, in keeping with the Dangling Prussian itself, will be Canonical characters and especially those who might not be as upstanding examples of the British ideal as proper society might like. You know, the fun ones. But, really, we're about to accept any contributions for the DPAPA 2022 Party Fun Book that seems like it might be fun. Puzzles, coloring pages, short short stories, connect-the-dots, pub room reminiscences, anything that you think might be good included in a 8.5 x 11 inch printable PDF.

The deadline is January 12th, and you can send anything you'd like to share with your fellow Dangling Prussian Pub Nite attendees to,

At the Dangling Prussian, we'll throw anything at the wall to see if it sticks!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The 1895 Dangling Prussian Soup Plate Medal

The Dangling Prussian is once again honored to host the 1895 Soup Plate Medal Awards this January 14th, as a part of the program of the Sherlock Holmes Birthday Pub Nite. An ongoing tradition awarded every year, even though that year is always 1895 at the Dangling Prussian, the Soup Plate Medal Award is given to award otherwise uncelebrated achievement by those often considered less than upright by the proper citizens of the Empire.

The Dangling Prussian Soup Plate Medal was first conceived and awarded in honor of Morecroft "Killer" Evans, who saved the British economy from ruin at the Dangling Prussian in 1895 by stopping the villainous Prescott with a single shot. Winners since then have been too numerous and anonymous to name, but, trust me, there have been some. And since it is again, as always, 1895, this January 14th we shall again call the roll of honored participants in the life and England-saving career of Mr. Sherlock Holmes. 

 Since everyone honored has been made famous by the author John H. Watson long ago, many have gone into hiding or have been unreasonably incarcerated and cannot always attend the ceremonies to receive this honour. It is the Dangling Prussian's tradition, therefore, to have a ready supply of able attendees to be able to accept the award in their stead.

If you would like the chance to accept a Dangling Prussian Soup Plate Medal on Zoom during the program on the night of January 14, 2021, you can drag the above design to your desktop, print it on whatever medium you have handy, adorn it in whatever creative fashion you think appropriate and attach it (or not) to ribbons, chains (even paper), or anything else for the acceptance of the award when you are called upon during the ceremony.  Also, drop your name in the comments below, so you can be forewarned of the person you might be accepting for (if possible) so you can have appropriate comments ready, whether you have contacted that Canonical character or not.

The awarding of the Dangling Prussian Soup Plate Medal is both a dignified and illustrious part of a Dangling Prussian Pub Night, and we are delighted to be hosting in on our Zoom event this year!

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Co-sponsors of the Dangling Prussian Pub NIght

Have you heard of the Legion of Zoom?

If you're touring the internet Sherlockian pathways these days to look in on different societies celebrating Sherlock Holmes, you probably have. To commemorate those who have managed to sit in on the meetings of seventeen different groups, membership is awarded in the Legion of Zoom. All you have to do is tell them which seventeen groups you've attended meetings of. They're good folks and trust your honesty. And today, we learned of a generous interpretation of that rule by the Legion: If you attend an even co-sponsored by several groups, you can count those groups on your list of seventeen.

So let's talk about who is sponsoring Pub Night at the Dangling Prussian, January 14th?

The Montague Street Incorrigibles, to be sure.

And Peoria's own Hansoms of John Clayton is happy to co-sponsor the event as well.

And the leadership of the Reichenbachian Cliff-divers has been in touch, and agreed to get in on the action.

The Dark Lantern League, the internet role-playing group of the early 2000s has revived to join the cause.

Will the Midwest Scion of the Four add themselves to that list? Going to have to get quorum on that one.

Who else, who else . . . hmmm.

The Dangling Prussian Amateur Press Association has never actually had a non-print meeting, much like the John H. Watson Society before Zoom. And this is a Dangling Prussian pub night.

The Sherlockian Chronologist Guild seems like a candidate for co-sponsorship.

But then again, if we were to seek out a few more sponsoring societies, it might be possible to  . . . . technically . . . make an event that would qualify a person for the Legion of Zoom in one night?

Then, again Pub Night at the Dangling Prussian is going to be a six-hour-long hang-out. And I don't think the Legion of Zoom has said how much of a meeting you have to attend. And they've already spoken of banning me from the society for bringing up this possibility. But that's the thing about laws, by-laws, and even buy-laws -- they have to be tested don't they?

Four short weeks and the fun has already started. Stay tuned!

Oh, and that registration link to register in advance, as advised: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Open Mic at the Dangling Prussian

Well, my search for the Sherlockian stand-up comic of my dreams is not going so well. But I have another trick up my sleeve, and you might want in on this.

Back in the 1990s, a bunch of nearby scions got together for a few conferences in St. Louis. Speakers, a dinner, all the usual things -- we did a couple with over-arching mystery themes like "Weekend at Baskerville Hall," which meant we got to play a bit. And, as with any Sherlockian weekend, one doesn't want it too end too soon, so for our Sunday morning session, we gathered in a nearby pub space, and, lacking any real programming for that time did this:

Sherlockian Open Mic.

An audience, a microphone, and 3 or 4 minutes to say, perform, or present whatever you wanted. We had songs, we had poetry, we had little speeches of appreciation. It was a beautiful way to end a weekend.

So here's what I'm thinking we add to the agenda for the Dangling Prussian Pub Night on January 14. There will be the set program, of course, and I've got a couple of promising entertainments for that lined up, with more to come. But when that's over, you can retire to one of the breakout rooms, of course. (It's a pub night -- chatting with your friends might just be your preferred past-time.) But in the main area of the pub, we'll be muting all the microphones but one, and work our way through anyone who would like three to four minutes to hold center stage and Zoom in front of an audience without interruption.

It's going to be a long evening at the Dangling Prussian, and we'd like to fill the night with as many possibilities and surprises as we can. Do you have a few minutes worth of talent, thoughts, or splendor that you'd like to share with your fellow Sherlockian incorrigibles? The time will be available.

We're having a Zoom party, y'all. And you just never know what is going to happen there.

Because that's the way we like our pub nights.