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How Appropriate – A Toast to Mycroft Holmes

How Appropriate – A Toast to Mycroft Holmes

Diogenes Club Lunch

I was fortunate to be able to attend the inaugural meeting and luncheon of the Diogenes Club of Washington, DC at the Hamilton Restaurant on September 20, 2014.  Full membership is only available to those who are current and past employees of any agency, department, or branch of government be it local, state, federal, or foreign, including members of the Armed Forces and diplomatic corps. Luckily, I spent 10 years working for the city of Baltimore, so I qualify for membership.  Any interested Sherlockians are able to attend the meetings of the Diogenes Club.

S. Brent MorrisThere are six traditional toasts at the beginning of the meeting, the second of which is to The Founder of the Diogenes Club – Mycroft Holmes. S. Brent Morris had the honor of presenting this toast. Brent is a member of my home scion of Watson’s Tin Box and kindly shared his toast with me for publication here.  I am fairly confident that there are not many canonical toasts with numismatic references.

How Appropriate

S. Brent Morris

 

I am honored to be called upon to propose a toast to Mycroft Holmes, the co-founder of our namesake, the Diogenes Club of London.

Perhaps the only thing inappropriate about our new scion is that the Diogenes Club of London “contains the most unsociable and unclubbable … in town.” In stark contrast, we gathered here today are surely some of the most sociable and clubbable in town.

Mycroft and his colleagues named their club after Diogenes of Sinope, a Greek cynic philosopher. How appropriate in Washington to have a club named after a cynic.

Diogenes’s father minted coins in Sinope, but Diogenes debased the coinage which led to his exile from Sinope. How appropriate in Washington to have a club named after someone who increased inflation and created financial chaos.

Diogenes moved to Athens, lived in a clay jar, and famously walked through the streets during the day with a lit lantern looking for an honest man. How appropriate in Washington to have a club named after someone looking for an honest man.

We don’t know much Mycroft Holmes, except that he is smarter and seven years older than Sherlock. We also know “he is the British Government.” How appropriate in Washington to honor someone who is the Government. Washington is a city where the following conversation is not only common but also entirely appropriate. Perhaps you’ve had or overheard such a conversation yourself:

“So tell me, where do you work?”

“I work for the government.”

That’s it. Conversation over. New topic.

But perhaps the most appropriate thing about honoring Mycroft Holmes is that “his specialism is omniscience.” Sherlockians are remarkable in their wide-ranging interests and knowledge. As for omniscience, we have present today experts, in some cases world-class experts in the following areas:

  • railroading
  • defense policy
  • cryptography
  • arsenic poisoning
  • deaf education
  • card shuffling
  • numismatics
  • geology
  • lace making
  • computer science
  • formal logic
  • music
  • mystery writing

This surely must be evidence of omniscience!

Please raise your glasses and join me in a toast to the co-founder of our namesake club, Mycroft Holmes.

I thought that Brent did an excellent job of crafting this toast and appreciate his sharing of it here.

I, as well as many other numismatists, have an interest in heraldry.  Take a closer look at the seal of the Diogenes Club, designed by its founder and Gasogene, Michael J. Quigley. Very well done, in my opinion.Diogenes Club Logo

 

 

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