Where Threads Come Loose
"Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Spooky Zombies"

The Recording Script

• Written and directed by Christopher Bahn. Copyright 1996.
• Episode 10 of the radiodrama series Where Threads Come Loose (Originally episode 16 of 1997 Edition)
• Originally broadcast on KUOM-AM, November 1994.

• Sherlock Holmes: Christopher Bahn
• Dr. John Watson: Dan Grothe
• Sheriff Middling: Griffin Lund
• Various zombies: Christopher Bahn, Larisa Wolters, Adam Pagel, Dan Grothe
• Professor Moriarty: Adam Pagel

Author's Notes:
• The reason for setting the main part of the action in Pennsylvania, of course, is because that's where "Night of the Living Dead" took place. Holmes and Watson later returned in the two-parter "Sherlock Holmes and the Very Incredible Case of the Visible Man."
Narrator: Our story today begins at 221B Baker Street in London, the home of that world-famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend and biographer Dr. John Watson. We won't be giving too much away to say that the case Holmes and Watson are about to unravel might be the strangest case of their long and illustrious careers. So with no further ado, we bring you "Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Spooky Zombies."

Art by Audry Wolters; background by Jason Sandberg
SCENE I: 221B Baker Street
Watson: Holmes! Holmes! Come here, old chap!

Sherlock: Yes, Watson, what is it? You sound as if you're in some difficulty.

Watson: Well, Holmes, I've got a small problem that may require your expertise.

Sherlock: I am all ears, my loyal compatriot. What's the trouble?

Watson: You see, I was sitting here by the window trying to read today's edition of the Times. But for some strange reason I find it next to impossible to see the pages!

Sherlock: I see. Let us begin, Watson, by reconstructing the scene of your recent troubles. Please describe what happened when you entered this room.

Watson: Jolly good, Holmes. I began by opening the door to the study, which is the room where we are now, by turning the handle of the door with my left hand. Then I walked across the room using my legs, careful to step with my right foot, then left foot, then right again, and so on.

Sherlock: Yes, I'm pleased you were finally able to discern how that particular form of locomotion is carried out, Watson. But perhaps we don't need quite that level of detail.

Watson: Righto, Holmes! I walked across the room, never mind how, and sat down in my favorite easy chair.

Sherlock: And why is it your favorite chair, Watson?

Watson: It's comfortable. It reclines. It's made of leather, which brings pleasant reminders of nights with Mrs. Watson—

Sherlock: Yes, yes, Watson. But why else?

Watson: It's right next to the window, so it allows the sunlight to fall across me as I read, warming me and giving me plenty of illumination for my reading.

Sherlock: I see two problems, Watson.

Watson: Two problems! I knew I could count on your razor-sharp mind in this, my time of need! What are they?

Holmes: First, Watson, in order for the sunlight to enter the room, you must have the drapes open.

Watson: Why, good heavens, you're right, Holmes! I'll open them now. (SFX: Drapes open) I don't understand. Why isn't there any light coming in?

Holmes: Here we come to the second tiny little complication, Watson. In order for sunlight to enter a room, even when the drapes are pulled wide open, as they are now, there must be sunlight outside first. It is now 2 o'clock in the morning, deep in the middle of the night, and the sun, Watson, has long since gone the way of noble Phaethon and set in the west.

Watson: Brilliant! An amazing deduction, Holmes!

Holmes: Elementary, my dear Watson. If you want to read a book at 2 o'clock in the morning, you must turn on the lightswitch, which is over here by the door. I shall turn it on for you, in case you've forgotten how. (SFX: Lightswitch on)

Watson: You have my deep gratitude, Holmes. Another case successfully solved!

Holmes: All in a day's work, Watson. All the same, perhaps you shouldn't write this one down in the memoirs, eh?

Watson: Whatever you say, Holmes! And thanks again!

Holmes: No problem, Watson. By the way, you're holding the newspaper upside down.

Watson: Oh yes! That's better.

(SFX: Telephone rings)

Holmes: Would you mind getting that, Watson? As the world's most famous detective, it wouldn't do for me to answer my own telephone.

Watson: Certainly, old chap! (SFX: Phone picks up, ringing stops) Sherlock Holmes' residence. Why, good gravy, old bean! Excellent! Oh, I'm tip-top. Righto.Righto. You don't say? You don't say? Excellent! We'll be right there. (SFX: Phone hangs up) Holmes, you'll never believe who that was!

Holmes: It was a fellow veteran from your old Army days by the name of Merton Middling. He's now the sheriff of a small town in Pennsylvania about two hours outside of Pittsburgh, and he wishes our help—well, let's be honest, my help—in solving a series of mysterious deaths which have occured over the last week.

Watson: Good heavens, Holmes, those amazing deductive powers of yours shine out once again.

Holmes: No, Watson, I simply was listening in on the kitchen extension. Now pack your medical kit and let's get going. And Watson, bring your sidearm. I fear there may be dangerous forces at work in this adventure.

Watson: Righto!

Holmes: Come, Watson! The game is afoot!

SCENE II: A small town about two hours outside of Pittsburgh. Where else would you expect?
(SFX: Car drives up, stops, doors open and close)

Watson: Well, this is the place, Holmes. A police station in a small town in Pennsylvania about two hours outside of Pittsburgh, just like Middling told us.

Holmes: Excellent, Watson. I can tell from the outside of the building that the police department is composed of a Sheriff—Middling, of course—and two deputies, one of whom walks with a slight limp and favors Hawaiian shirts when he's not on duty, and one whose hair is growing thin on top, but which he conceals by wearing toupees he's confiscated from people he arrests for speeding. In fact, this particular district enjoys the distinction of having the highest per-capita arrest rate of bald speeders anywhere in the United States.

Watson: Astounding, Holmes.

Holmes: It's nothing, Watson, one must merely have a trained eye. Once we meet him, you will find that Sheriff Middling has an accent from the South, perhaps Georgia or South Carolina, which is odd considering he has never visited either of those two states nor has any ancestry in the region. In fact, he picked it up from watching old episodes of "Mayberry, RFD."

Watson: Amazing, Holmes. Perhaps we should go meet the sheriff now.

Holmes: Be patient, Watson, I'm not finished. Observe the way these hedges here have been neatly trimmed with what professional gardeners refer to as a hedge trimmer. The distinct markings left behind lead one to the inescapable conclusion that the person who trimmed these hedges is responsible for the theft of four dollars and sixty-three cents from the convenience store we drove past on our way to the police station. We need only look for an overweight left-handed fourteen-year-old wearing a blue-striped shirt and our business here is finished. Come, Watson, back to the car.

Watson: Astounding deduction, Holmes, but that isn't the crime we came here to solve.

Holmes: Sorry, Watson, sometimes I get a bit ahead of myself.

Watson: Perhaps we should go and meet the sheriff and he can explain the mysteriousoccurrences.

Holmes: Lead the way, Watson!

Watson: Certainly, Holmes!

(SFX: Knock on door, door opens)

Middling: (southern accent) Sherlock Holmes! Land sakes, am I glad to see you!

Holmes: I came as soon as I could, Sheriff Middling. I am to understand that your district has of late been the site of several unexplained deaths. 

Middling: It's sure a kooky thing, Sherlock. I ain't seen nothin' like it in all my years as a peace officer, even when my cousin Bobby was caught with those chickens.

Holmes: Yes. From the gravy stain on your shirt sleeve I see you had to sentence him to the electric chair.

Middling: Well, it just weren't right what Bobby did to them chickens, tellin' 'em he loved 'em and then abandonin' them like he done. A man's gotta show some responsibility in his life sometime.

Watson: Uh... Perhaps we should stick to the business at hand, eh what?

Holmes: Indeed, Watson. Let us not waste time judging a man for a series of whirlwind affairs with barnyard animals, the possibility of which has surely crossed all our minds at one time or another. Middling, be so good as to describe these strange deaths.

Middling: Well, so far eight people have died. We ain't sure if it's murder or whatnot, but I got a hunch they's connected.

Holmes: Yes... Do go on.

Middling: The first time was last Wednesday. There was an explosion over at the Baker house, done blew the kitchen into kindling and killed Marge Baxter.

Watson: Goods heavens!

Holmes: Did you find any traces of an explosive? Dynamite, perhaps, or some form of combustible?

Middling: Yep. A pumpkin pie.

Holmes: There was a bomb in the pie?

Middling: Nope, it was the pie itself. We had Ernie from the bomb squad examine it after everything got cleaned up, and he said there was just something about the pie that made it very, very volatile.

Holmes: Interesting...

Middling: Ernie said it was a billion-to-one chance that something like that would happen, but as far as he could tell it was just a freak occurrence.

Holmes: Ironic, eh, Watson?

Watson: Oh, indeed, Holmes.

Middling: That weren't the most ironic thing. Just before the pie hit the sky, Marge made a point of telling her guests that her pie was just exploding with flavor.

Holmes: You don't say?

Middling: Yep. Her husband George, he said her exact words were "My pumpkin pie is literally exploding with flavor."

Holmes: Terrible grammar, but still quite ironic.

Watson: How so, Holmes?

Holmes: You see, Watson, the use of the word "literally" ideally indicates that one is using one's words very precisely, not speaking figuratively or metaphorically.

Watson: I don't follow you, Holmes.

Holmes: Well, the phrase "exploding with flavor" is just figurative, don't you see? A pie can have a wonderful taste to it, but that does not mean that it is literally exploding with flavor.

Middling: 'Cept this time it did.

Holmes: That's true... Tell me about the other deaths, Middling.

Middling: Well, five people died on Thursday night at the Filthy Pig Tavern down on Main Street. Billy Jim Perkins was there with some of his buddies, and he told 'em he had this great joke for 'em. Said it'd make 'em die laughing.

Holmes: And so he told it, and they did?

Middling: Yeah! How'd you know that?

Holmes: A lucky guess, Middling. Did Billy Jim, by any chance, say that his joke would literally make his companions die laughing?

Middling: Well, now that you mention it, yeah... Boy, that's sure strange.

Watson: How terribly ironic, Holmes!

Holmes: Indeed. I believe I may see a pattern forming here. Tell me about the next accident, my good sheriff.

Middling: I'm afraid it concerns my own deppitys, Mr. Holmes.

Holmes: What happened?

Middling: See, me and Elmer and Joe Bob was investimagatin' the deaths down at the Filthy Pig. I went in first, and it was a pretty gruesome sight.

Holmes: The bodies?

Middling: No, the TV was on, and they was showin' a televised debate between Oliver North and Charles Robb. I went back out and told Elmer and Joe Bob to watch out, 'cause if they caught sight of the debate they'd probably lose their lunches.

Holmes: And how did you phrase it exactly?

Middling: I said, "You sissyboys'll probably literally lose your lunches!"

Holmes: I see. 

Middling: All of a sudden, they couldn't find the brown-bag meals they'd packed and brung along with 'em.

Holmes: I thought you said they were mysteriously killed, Middling.

Middling: Well, it weren't their deaths what was mysterious. Elmer suspected that Joe Bob done et his lunch, and Joe Bob thought that Elmer et his. So they got to arguin', and done shot each other.

Watson: That's terrible, Middling!

Middling: I know. I lose more good deppitys that way.

Holmes: Well, that is neither here nor there. Gentlemen, I am prepared to declare this mystery solved! It is a bizarre case, to be sure, but not one beyond the capabilities of my near-infinite brain capacity.

Watson: Let's hear it, Holmes!

Holmes: Watson, you're aware of one of my favorite sayings: Once you have eliminated the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

Watson: Indeed, sir.

Holmes: From the evidence Middling has presented me, I must reach the conclusion that, improbable though it is, these deaths were most definitely not foul play.

Watson: Amazing!

Middling: Not murders? But I bet my wife five bucks that they was! How kin I face her now?

Holmes: I'm afraid that's your cross to bear, Middling. No, these seeming accidents are in point of fact actual accidents. It is simply the purely coincidental misuse of the word "literally" that makes them seem connected.

Watson: Astounding! So who's responsible for the dastardly deeds?

Holmes: Nobody is, Watson. That's why I called them accidents. 

Watson: Righto! Amazing deduction, Holmes.

Holmes: Watson, do you understand a word I'm saying?

Watson: Not one, Holmes! But whenever you do your explanation of how the crimes were committed, it's my job to chip in with exclamations of awe at your reasoning ability.

Holmes: Yessss... Well, carry on then, Watson.

Watson: Flabbergasting!

Middling: Now hold on just one cotton-pickin' minute there, you pipe-suckin' English fruitcake. How in the name of the Reverend Pat Robertson could it be possible to demolish the Baxter house just after Marge makes a slip of the tongue like she done?

Holmes: Your own bomb expert assured you that it was possible, Middling. It's just extremely improbable, that's all. And once you have eliminated the impossible—

Middling:—the most improbable thing that remains must be what happened!

Holmes: No, that's not quite it, sheriff, but it'll do in this case.

Middling: So who do I arrest? 

Holmes: Nobody, Middling. These deaths weren't murders!

Middling: But you just said—

Holmes: It's very simple, sheriff. I explained it to you as best I could.

Middling: But somebody gotta be arrested! Otherwise I got nothin' to do on a Friday night!

Holmes: Middling, I couldn't make myself any clearer if I were to use hand puppets. Nobody has been murdered. There was a series of bizarre accidental deaths, wholly free of any Machiavellian human scheming and that's why they're called accidents! There is nobody to arrest because nobody murdered anybody! 

Middling: You said that. So who do I arrest?

Sherlock: Sheriff Middling, if you cannot understand what I'm saying, I shall be forced to explain it to you in needless detail, droning on and on for hours and hours, long past dinnertime, oblivious to your boredom and lack of comprehension—

Middling: No! No, I think I get it. What you're saying is, these crimes aren't actually crimes at all!

Holmes: (pleased and somewhat shocked) That's right, Sheriff!

Middling: They're really terribly ironic things happening by pure coincidence to people who misuse the word "literally."

Holmes: Precisely.

Watson: So when Marge Baxter said her pumpkin pie literally exploded with flavor...

Middling: They found pieces of her body and her cooking utensils halfway across the county.

Watson: That's pretty gruesome.

Middling: You should have tried the pie.

Holmes: Good, I'm pleased we have all this cleared up. Watson, another case closed. We should be going now. Good night to you, Middling.

Middling: Hold on, hold on.

Holmes: What?

Middling: You ain't told me who I'm supposed to arrest yet.

Watson: Yes, Holmes, who's the guilty party?

Holmes: For the last time, nobody is guilty of any crime! I have explained it to you four times now, and it hasn't penetrated your bulky, impenetrable skulls! 

Watson: I say, Holmes, that's rather unfair of you to blame this whole misunderstanding on us.

Holmes: Oh, really? Both of you, come here. I want to prove a point.

Watson: Ouch!

Middling: Hey, leggo of my hair!

(SFX: Cartoony "bonk")

Holmes: Now, did the two of you feel any pain as I smashed your heads together?

Watson: Not at all, old chap!

Middling: Actually, that felt kinda good.

Holmes: That's because your crania are so covered over with bone that I probably couldn't get through to you with a jackhammer. Here, I'll conk you together again!

(SFX: Cartoony "bonk")

Watson: Good heavens!

Middling: Waaaa-hoo! Do that again!

Holmes: You see! It's your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid! Gentlemen, I've seen greater brain-wave activity in the recently deceased. I'll do it just one more time, just because it makes me feel good.

(SFX: Cartoony "bonk")

Holmes: I'm sure this little demonstration is going right over your sloping brow, Sheriff Middling.

Middling: No! I think I get you. What you're saying is that stupid people seem like zombies to you! Literally like zombies!

Holmes: Yes, that's it exactly—what did you say?

Middling: Just paraphrasing you—I was saying that dumb people are literally zombies!

(Zombie groaning starts)

Holmes: Oh, you great fool, Middling. 

Middling: What'd I do?

Holmes: I'm not going to waste my time trying to explain it, Middling. Suffice it to say that this police station is now under siege by a cannibalistic army of the walking dead!

Middling: Jumpin' Jehoshaphat, not again!

Holmes: Middling, turn on the radio. Perhaps there's a news bulletin on what's happening outside.

(SFX: Radio turns on)

Radio Announcer: And now the farm report. Corn meal up sixteen cents... Wheat down five cents... and human brains up five hundred and twelve dollars. In the world of sport, tragedy struck the Brazilian national soccer team when for the second time in as many weeks, their brains were devoured by a horde of ravenous zombies. And now on to international affairs: Henry Kissinger is vehemently defending his risque cover photo in Details magazine—

Holmes: (resigned) Turn it off, Sheriff. Looks like we're going to have to deal with this situation ourselves.

(SFX: Radio turns off)

Watson: How do we fight them off, Holmes?

Holmes: I'm afraid that even with your pistol and the armaments Middling has around here—you do keep weapons in here, don't you Middling?

Middling: Not usually, but it's almost duck season. 

Holmes: Well, even with that arsenal, there's only the three of us against what I estimate to be thirty or forty zombies. No, we're not going to be able to shoot our way out of this.

Middling: What are we gonna do then? 

Holmes: We'll have to use the natural advantages of the living! Those zombies are slow-moving, so we can outrun them if we have to, but I think we can get out of this unscathed if we remain calm and use our minds to outwit them.

Watson: Jolly good, Holmes!

Middling: That's never going to work!

Holmes: You forget, my dear Middling, you are in the presence of one of the world's smartest men!

Middling: Land sakes, I'd forgotten! Watson, what's your plan?

Holmes: Not Watson, you fool, I'm talking about me.

Middling: You?

Holmes: Well, of course, me. I'm Sherlock Holmes! 

Middling: Oh, great, we all gonna die now.

Holmes: I appreciate the vote of confidence, Middling. 

Zombies: Braaaaaaaaains!

Watson: Holmes, they're coming in the front door!

Holmes: Stand back, both of you! I can take care of this!

Middling: We gonna die, we gonna die...

Holmes: Shut up, Middling. Now watch my dust!

Zombie: Brains! Must eat your brain! Uhhhhhh...

Holmes: I'm sorry, you zombies can't come in here. We're closed.

Zombie: Uhhhhh.... sorry...

Holmes: That's right, just keep backing up... right back out the door. 

(SFX: Door close and lock)

Watson: Brilliant, Holmes!

Holmes: Elementary, Watson.

Middling: They're coming through the side door!

Holmes: Right! Middling, be prepared to lock the door when I tell you.

Zombie: Braaaaaains!

Holmes: Say, your shoes are untied.

Zombie: Uhhhh? Uhhh! Shooooes! Laaaaaaces...

Holmes: Now, Middling!

(SFX: Door close and lock)

Middling: There's some more of them trying to come in the back, Holmes!

Holmes: I'll be there expeditiously, Middling! (SFX: running across room) Say, you zombies! Your shoes are untied! You'll trip if you're not careful!

Zombies: Uhhhhh.... Shooooooes... Laaaaaaaces... Uhhhh....

Watson: That seems to be holding them off, Holmes. Let me try it on that one trying to break in through the window.

Holmes: Not that one, Watson—

Watson: Harrumph! You there, zombie! Your shoes are— (SFX: Crash of glass) Aaaaaiigh!

Middling: It didn't work! He just pulled Watson right through the window.

Holmes: That's because that zombie was barefoot, Middling. Why do I have to work with idiots?

Middling: Oh, I know that one! Gimme a second...

Holmes: The question was rhetorical, Middling... Now come on, we've got to go save Watson. He's being dragged off into the woods.

Middling: We can't get past them walkin' corpses! They've got the building surrounded.

Holmes: You leave that up to me. And leave your rifle where it is. We won't be needing it. 

Middling: Have you gone nuts?

Holmes: I assure you, no. I believe this problem can simply be solved through the astute application of intelligence.

Middling: I been a law enforcement official for nigh on 30 years, and I never done met a problem couldn't be solved better by a pump shotgun than by brainpower.

Holmes: You must be an interesting opponent at Trivial Pursuit, Sherriff Middling, but now is not the time for that. Come on! Off to save Watson!

(SFX: Door bursts open.)

Zombies: Braaaaains! Brains! Brains! 

Holmes: Look over there! It's an unclaimed winning lottery ticket!

Zombies: Uhh.... Freeeeee monnnnnnnneyyyyy...

Holmes: Quick now, Middling, run!

Middling: Which way'd that zombie drag Watson?

Holmes: There he is, over by the hedges.

Watson: Holmes, help me! 

Middling: Holmes, do something!

Holmes: Have no fear, Sheriff Middling. 

Middling: Have you gone mad? He's about to be eaten by the living dead!

Holmes: Watson is in no serious danger.

Middling: Then what the Sam Hill you drag us out here for?

Holmes: To prove a theory.

Watson: A theory! Holmes, old bean, this is a fine time to be testing theories! I'm about to be eaten!

Holmes: Do hush now, Watson. Sheriff Middling, observe carefully what happens next.

Zombies: Braaaains! Braaaaaaaains!

Watson: Aaaaaaaagh!

Middling: Well, I hope you're happy now, Holmes.

Holmes: Just wait, Middling.

Zombies: No brains... no brains...

Watson: Holmes, they let me go!

Holmes: Indeed they did, Watson. Let's get back into the police station before those walking dead see through my little lottery ruse.

Watson: But why am I still alive?

Holmes: Elementary deductive reasoning. These zombies are animated by the urge to devour living human brain tissue. Since you have none, they were certain not to molest you.

(SFX: Door closes, zombie groaning grows quieter)

Middling: No brains? That's a terrible thing to say about your closest companion, Holmes.

Holmes: If you had worked with Watson as many years as I have, you'd know how accurate my statement was. No, there's only one person here with the requisite cranial capacity to attract those zombies, and it certainly isn't Watson.

Watson: My god! They're after Sheriff Middling!

Middling: Lord'a'me!

Holmes: No. Not Middling. They are after me.

Middling: Whew! Everything's OK then.

Holmes: I'll ignore that, Middling. You know, it's strange. Consider how these zombies were created. The strange effects we have associated with misuse of the word "literally" should mean that these zombies are a blunt,heavy-handed caricature of the lowest common denominator, correct? 

Middling: Yessir.

Holmes: Well, they're not behaving like stupid people. They're behaving, in fact, like actual zombies! Real stupid people wouldn't shout out "brains, brains." They'd prattle on endlessly about voting Republican and arguing about what was the best show on the Fox network.

Middling: I always like that Melrose Place, Mr. Holmes.

Watson: Pish-tosh! Models, Inc!

Middling: Damn your eyes! 

Holmes: Quiet, Middling.

Middling: Sorry, Holmes. 

Holmes: Now, why do you suppose these zombies are behaving like real zombies when they aren't supposed to?

Watson: (slightly panicky) Holmes, they're not real zombies! Are you, zombies? 

Zombie: Braaaaaaaaains...

Watson: Oh, come on, prove to him you're not real zombies!

(Music: The refrain from the Zombies "Time Of The Season.")

Watson: No, no, not those Zombies either! Show Holmes that you're stupid!

Holmes: Give it up, it's no use, I'm onto you. You're not stupid, you're undead.

Watson: Uh.... braaaains...

Holmes: Now Watson, perhaps you'd be so good as to tell me why you're trying—and abjectly failing—to fool me into thinking that these carnivorous zombies are not the genuine article?

Watson: (sobs) Alright! I admit it, Holmes! They really are flesh-eating zombies!

Holmes: I know that, Watson. I'm asking how it is that you know that.

Watson: It's my fault, old bean. It's all my fault.

Holmes: Somehow I don't find that surprising. Tell me how.

Middling: I just wanted to do something nice for you, Holmes. Your birthday was coming up, and I wanted to get you a nice surprise.

Holmes: Watson, let me back up and make sure I understand you properly. You're saying that you went out and got an infestation offlesh-eating zombies.

Watson: Righto!

Holmes: As a present.

Watson: Righto!

Holmes: For my birthday.

Watson: Well, I have to admit I can't quite see the sense in it now... I was just thinking, well, you know what they say... What do you get for the man who has everything?

Holmes: That is possibly the most bizarre thing I've ever encountered.

Watson: Don't you like it?

Holmes: As a rule, my dear Watson, I love presents. And I must say that you've certainly managed to give me something I wasn't expecting. However, I don't really think this one quite suits me, and I think I'd like to return it.

Watson: Yes, Holmes.

Holmes: And Watson...

Watson: Yes?

Holmes: My birthday was three months ago.

Watson: Good heavens.

Holmes: Middling, might I use your telephone? I have a plan.

Middling: Sure, it's on the desk over there. Gonna call in the Army?

Holmes: (SFX: Dialing, ringing over Sherlock's line) No, nothing quite so drastic, although I must admit it will give me no small amount of pleasure. (SFX: ringing stops)

Moriarty: (tinny on-the-phone quality to his voice.) Yes?

Holmes: Ah, yes, do I have the honor of speaking with Professor Moriarty, the famous arch-criminal?

Moriarty: Sherlock Holmes, is that you?

Holmes: Indeed, sir, it is I.

Moriarty: What the devil do you want? You're the last person I expected to get a call from.

Holmes: I wish to, as the Americans say, bury the hatchet over our lifelong struggle of good versus evil.

Moriarty: At two o'clock in the morning? Can't it wait until after breakfast?

Holmes: No, sir, it cannot. I have spent a sleepless night tossing and turning, and I finally had to admit to myself that you, Moriarty, are the superior mind. Try as I might, I cannot hope to defeat you.

Moriarty: Well, it's good to see you've finally come to your senses, Holmes. 

Holmes: Indeed. I don't know why I didn't think of this before.

Moriarty: Now that you've acknowledged me as the true master of crime, perhaps you and I could collaborate on a little venture I've got cooked up. Very lucrative, crime is, when you don't have busybodies in deerstalker hats stepping on your feet all the time—meaning no offense, of course.

Holmes: None taken! I tell you what, why don't you pop around right now for a drink and we can discuss the matter.

Moriarty: Certainly, Holmes! You're still living at 221B Baker Street?

Holmes: Yes, but tonight I'm staying in a police station in a small town about two hours outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Moriarty: Excellent! I'll be right there! Ta-ta, Holmes.

Holmes: Goodbye, professor. (SFX: Phone hangs up) Now we wait. He won't be long. 

(SFX: Knock on door)

Watson: There he is now, Holmes! 

(SFX: Door opens)

Moriarty: I came as soon as I could, Holmes! Now where's that drink you promised me?

Holmes: I'm forced to tell you the truth, Moriarty —I was lying to you.

Moriarty: What?!

Holmes: Yes! Not only am I not about to embark on a life of crime, but I have once again beaten you in a to-the-death contest of wills!

Moriarty: But I thought we were just going to have a pleasant nightcap!

Holmes: That should have been your first clue—you must remember, Moriarty, I do not drink alcohol.

Watson: That's true! Holmes is a teetotaler—he just shoots up with morphine! And what's wrong with that?

Middling: (aghast) You're a morphine addict! I was gonna ask you to help out just-the-say-no-to-drugs campaign!

Holmes: Thank you, Watson, stop helping. Middling, kindly train your rifle on Professor Moriarty.

Middling: I told you this thing'd end up solving the problem.

Holmes: It does nothing of the sort. It's merely to prevent Moriarty from running away while I handcuff him to this desk.

Moriarty: Holmes, what are you doing? I won't be able to move!

Holmes: That is the plan, professor. Watson, open the door, please.

Watson: But you said to stop helping!

Holmes: Watson...

Watson: Alright, alright. (SFX: Door opens. Zombie groaning can be heard again)

Holmes: Hey you zombies! I've got a live one in here! A PhD!

Zombies: Uhhh.... Braaaaains... PhDs....

Moriarty: Holmes, what are you up to?

Holmes: You'll see, Moriarty. You'll see. Now if you'll excuse me I've got to get back to London. Come, Watson.

Zombies: Braaaaains...

Moriarty: Get back, you! Holmes, what are these things?

Holmes: Just animate corpses. Nothing particularly interesting.

Watson: I say, we're not just going to leave him here, are we?

Holmes: Good heavens, Watson, of course we are. See if you can follow my train of logic. Those zombies are attracted by brains, correct?

Watson: Yes.

Holmes: And I am the smartest detective on earth, correct?

Watson: True...

Holmes: So those living dead will keep following me, attracted by my lightning wit, no matter where I run, unless I can provide a distraction. Ergo, I place a call to the world's smartest criminal—my own arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty.

Watson: Brilliant!

Moriarty: Holmes, you bastard!

Holmes: Consider this payback for that little incident at Reichenbach Falls, professor. 

Zombies: Braaaaaaaains!

Moriarty: Aaaaaaaaagh!

Holmes: Middling, Watson, quickly now. Close the door behind you.

(SFX: Door closes, zombie groaning and Moriarty screaming stops)

Middling: Sherlock, that weren't a very heroic thing you just done.

Holmes: Breathe a word of this to anyone, Middling, and I'll let your wife know about that little incident with Edna Mae Hollister.

Middling: (aghast) How did you know about that?

Holmes: The type of shoelaces you wear clearly indicate a man guilty of adultery. And I won't even get into what the telltale way you part your hair says about your embezzlement from the local donut shop. I've got you right where I want you.

Middling: Damn you, Holmes! I just couldn't resist them chocolate eclairs!

Holmes: Sorry, sheriff. Must dash on back to Baker Street. Watson, I think this adventure is another one you should keep out of the magazines.

Watson: Righto, Holmes! Cheerio, Middling. Good to run into you again after all these years.

Middling: Jes' git outta my town, Watson. An' don't come back.

Holmes: Oh, don't be like that, sheriff. A bit of murder, a bit of blackmail, some cannibal corpses—one mustn't allow that to ruin one's outlook on life. Keep thinking positive!

Middling: Hey—you're right! Tomorrow is another day!

Holmes: Indeed. Farewell, sir. (SFX: Car doors open & close, car drives away)

Middling: Goodbye, Mr. Holmes! And thanks again for everything!