Have you noticed how much easier it is to solve the problems of others rather than one’s own?
The people that have the best problem solving skills are not real, but they are my favorites. They are Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. I watch their movies and TV episodes, and read the books. I love them all. So, with homage to my high school English teachers: Here is my compare and contrast.
Sherlock and Hercule have much in common, both being fictional detectives. They solve mysteries by noticing details that others would overlook and are astute observers of human nature. Note that they are both very alone in the world. Neither has a wife, or children, or significant other, but occasionally mourns the loss of a past love. They both have sidekicks that are critically necessary at times, but still deemed peripheral. Neither considers anyone else as equals and both greatly value their privacy. Sherlock is famous for his pipe and Hercule prefers cigarettes, but they both smoke. They each have a serious personal problem whose solutions evade them.
In other ways, they are very different men.
Sherlock lives in some comfort amid fusty furniture in which he has no interest. He is attached to his violin, which he plays with intensity but little talent. Neither food nor clothing are of much interest. He is always willing to don an unflattering disguise and put himself in uncomfortable circumstances. While very British, he does not seem to consider this of high importance. He is, unfortunately, prone to drug addiction – a most modern problem.
Hercule lives in extremely well organized splendor. Every detail of his home and office is meticulous. His clothing is immaculate and carefully coordinated, and personal grooming is perfection. Uncomfortable circumstances are not in his venue. He is a gourmet of the highest order, demanding of proper table settings, and overweight. He is very proud of being Belgian and takes umbrage when mistaken for French. He is definitely a creature of habit. In today’s parlance, he might be considered obsessive compulsive.
Wait a minute, wait a minute! How could I forget Columbo? Oh well, that will have to wait for another time.