Noticing the Obvious – Chap. 4, Act 2, Strip 4

Yeah, Mopey and Snuka were clearly overlooking the obvious, to which I can say: Well done! Because overlooking the obvious is exactly what a detective’s assistants are supposed to do, so that the detective, who always goes last, is free to notice it. What exactly qualifies as “obvious”, by the way, can be freely defined by the detective. It doesn’t need to be more obvious than his assistants’ suggestions by any objective scale, in fact it’ll only make the detective look better if it’s bizarrely obscure. Calling the obscure obvious is the hallmark of literature’s greatest detectives.

But Mopey and Snuka can perhaps take some solace in the fact that the lines they were given weren’t really ridiculous – this qualifies them as competent sidekicks, rather than comic relief sidekicks. It should make the humiliation slightly more bearable.*

And there’s another bit of solace to be found: in pointing out the obviousness of the dog as the solution, the Professor broke an important rule, to his own detriment. Yeah, you know the rule: Never be in the same scene with children or animals.

The dog, by the way, is exaggerating. He isn’t really a World War I flying “ace”.

He only has two confirmed Kills and two probables, actually.

*And they didn’t suggest Lupus. Everyone knows it’s never Lupus.

More on Thursday.

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