Friday, July 09, 2004

Orchids and Private Detectives.

When I was a kid, I read Nancy Drew stories. It isn't my fault, I didn't know any better, and anyway they are very entertaining and not nearly as awful as the Hardy Boys.

I knew about Sherlock Holmes but never read any of the books because Young Sherlock Holmes had terrified me as a child and I wasn't about to give him any second chances.

I did not know who Nero Wolfe was until I was around 23 years old.

I was living in Chicago and one evening my roommate was either out of the house or otherwise distracted, so I snagged the remote control. We paid for cable (the only time in my life I've done so) because our apartment didn't get reception for Buffy and Angel - and may I just say, it is a sad day when you need cable to watch a Network series. So I flipped around a bit. Usually back then if I was flipping channels I'd settle on Food Network (or Style if Nigella was on) or PBS (I'm not a snob, I just like looking at pretty stuff!), but that evening I stopped at A&E. A Nero Wolfe Mystery was just starting, and I remembered Will telling me it was a great series. Besides, Timothy Hutton. It could have been the Worst Show Ever and I might have been persuaded to give it a shot.

The Episode was The Doorbell Rang, which I italicize because each episode is like a movie. Fans will know that episode as the first, but I caught a repeat airing - it was in fact just prior to the start of season 2.

So I moved to Los Angeles where Will had, er, "borrowed" cable, and we watched most of season 2. Then the cable was shut off and the series was cancelled and that was that.

We've borrowed a lot of the Rex Stout novels from the library, and they are wonderful - and quick reads.

Well, both seasons are now available on DVD, and Will gave me season 1 (only $33 at in the morning on my birthday this past Tuesday. Being cable, it's a fairly short season, and I've watched every episode at least once already.

Around 5:00 on Tuesday a gentleman named Mike called to say he had an orchid to deliver for me. An orchid?! How appropriate! Nero Wolfe grows orchids - they are his passion. It's a Phalaenopsis and is just lovely. I took a picture just now - it is soaking up indirect light on our porch right now.

I'm afraid you can't quite see how truly lovely this orchid is - it's late afternoon and there was backlighting in pretty much every direction that didn't involve a necessity for me to stand on my head or similar.