WATSON: I say, Holmes.
HOLMES: Yes, Watson?
WATSON: Is it still raining?
HOLMES: Veritable cats and dogs.
WATSON: Oh, dear. So it's not the smog.
HOLMES: Alas, no, old chum. I blame the gherkins. Repeats on me every time.
WATSON: I'm worried about the roof what what what. What if it leaks again?
HOLMES: It's all right, old bean. We've got a big bucket up there. It'll have to rain for 40 days and 40 nights to fill that blighter up.
WATSON: Why, Holmes, you almost sound biblical.
HOLMES: Why 40, I ask myself? There really is no logic to it.
WATSON: Do you think this sort of thing's going to get worse? I mean as the earth warms up. More floods and storms and heatwaves?
HOLMES: Hard to tell, old fruit. Our pal Charlie, he of the Darwinian fame, predicts that we're all going to hell on an asteroid when the King abdicates.
WATSON: It would appear that everything we hold most dear is illusory, fragmentary and inherently self-implosive. It's a brave new world out there, Holmes.
HOLMES: It's as they say in cricket, 22 players and a catch. Or the animal farmyard. Nineteen hundred and eight, or is it four?
WATSON: What's that, Holmes? You lost me past the tram stop.
HOLMES: Ways of looking at our predicament.
WATSON: You mean theories of what awaits our civilisation?
HOLMES: Precisely, old wacky quacky. Let's say, oh, I don't know, to make it snappier, instead of cricket and suchlike, Catch 22.
WATSON: Very CATCHY. A-ho-ho.
HOLMES: And instead of the farmyard thingie, maybe Animal Farm.
WATSON: Oh, OINK-cellent! A-tee-hee-hee.
HOLMES: And instead of nineteen hundred and eight or four, possibly, um, well, 1984!
WATSON: Good Lord! I'm in AWE...well... You know, Holmes, if you ever tire of sleuthing you could do a lot worse than become a novelist.
HOLMES: Oh, don't be so silly, you old pooper. Who would possibly want to read a book called Catch 22, Animal Farm or 1984? Now you're dancing with the fairies and tickling La-La.
WATSON: Incredible. In just one morning of sustained rain and crushing dankness you've laid the foundations for the next 100 years of literature. People shall look back on this day and wonder what might have been had it not been for these confounded downpours.
HOLMES: Oh, I don't know. I've had a few thoughts about where Mozart's been going wrong too. You see, it's my belief that the beat is all wrong, and there needs to be a more prominent role for the bass, and these two are, after all, the foundations on which everything else is built.
WATSON: You mean the drum and bass. How extraordinary. Let me write this down.
HOLMES: The rain, it's stopped.
WATSON: Good Lord! Toby, walkies!
HOLMES: About time too! Now what was it we were talking about?
WATSON: Talking, Holmes? We weren't talking about anything. We were sitting here in splendid, oppressive silence, wishing we could be elsewhere.
HOLMES: That's strange. I could have sworn we were talking about something.
WATSON: Well, whatever it was, it couldn't have been of any great import, or we'd remember it.
HOLMES: I suppose so.
WATSON: Walkies at eleven?
HOLMES: Not half! And yet totalitarian rule is not so utterly unthinkable, is it?