The Problem of the Overtired Undergrad

by Ari Scott-Zechlin

[Read our interview with Ari...]

I wake at 7:23 am to my flatmates yelling at each other through the bathroom door.

“John!  JOHN!”

I groan and wriggle further underneath the covers, pressing the duvet over my ears in hopes it will muffle the insistent pounding of Sherlock’s fist against the door.  Having gone to bed only three hours ago after finishing a paper on the portrayal of hired help in Victorian fiction, I am hardly amused by my fellow students’ morning ritual—although, of course, I never am.

“Sherlock, I’m trying to shower!” I hear John shout back.

“We’ve got a case, you can’t shower!”

“Yes, I bloody well can!”

“John, stop being stupid and hurry up!  John!  JOHN!”

Not for the first time, I contemplate going out and shoving Sherlock “Majoring in Criminology and Insufferability” Holmes’ face into the wall, but that would require dragging myself out of bed and losing all hope of getting back to sleep.  Sometimes I think John—good-looking and reasonable—will put a stop to it, but I’m starting to give up on that idea— especially when Sherlock’s pounding and yelling of the past three minutes is interrupted not with a lesson in consideration for the sleep-deprived state of others, but rather with John Watson finally opening the door to yell—

“Fine, I’m coming!”

For a pre-med student, you’d think John would’ve heard of Pavlov’s dog and learned a thing or two about classical conditioning.

I like to explain Sherlock and John to my friends back home by saying they’re basically a married couple, except one of them’s got a girlfriend and neither of them knows how to wash dishes.  I’ve no idea what I did to get thrown in a university flat with these two, but it must’ve been something on a par with stealing from homeless people or drowning kittens.  Our kitchen table is covered in test tubes and beakers, there are always hysterical people in our living room, and I can’t watch a mystery programme without Sherlock shouting the answer five minutes in.  Of course, Res Life doesn’t care, especially now that John’s blog is getting the Uni so much attention.

The blog is nice, though.  I especially appreciate the bit of the description that reads, “All our thanks to Martha H, who does our dishes and only rarely threatens to kill us.  She is clearly a saint.”

It is, I think, their best deduction yet.

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Crimeculture was created Summer 2002 by mother and daughter editing team, Lee Horsley and Kate Horsley. We feature reviews of film and fiction and interviews with writers as well as essays on crime fiction, crime films and representations of criminality. Our current series, 'Pulp Nostalgia' delves into the childhood memories, favourite books, films and bad girls of current crime writers, editors and reviewers.

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