The Problem With Hyde

One of the greatest reads in my entire life was Robert Louis Stevenson’s 19th century novella “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde“.  In this, Stevenson tells the story of an attorney who is investigating the evil acts of a man who calls himself Edward Hyde.  The investigation leads him to find that Hyde is actually an alternate personality of his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll.  Since the publishing of this story, the Jekyll/Hyde concept is one of the most celebrated and imitated in all of literature.  This is because it is, in my opinion, the most relevant piece of fiction in all of sociology, psychology and criminology.  Ever. Without exception.

Since 1995, I’ve been working as an undercover operative.  My undercover identity, Ray, is so much a part of me that, at times, it is difficult to separate him fully from my front-facing personality. Ray is a charismatic creep with a silver tongue and charm you would not believe.  On my first date with a girl in my early 20’s, she said to me that “If there was a Devil, he would look just like you.” She explained that the Devil, in her interpretation, would be boyishly handsome, charming and welcoming, but with a darkness in his eyes. Since Ray was already bubbling under the surface, I took this as a compliment and I eventually married her. After Ray fully came to being in the late-90’s (my late-20’s) we made a bargain.  We shared this body as long as most of what happens benefits the mission.  The mission being successfully catching crooks while occasionally letting Ray have his fun.  For almost two decades, Ray has been doing his thing while Rob Holmes has solved almost 20,000 cases.  Even though everything he does is legal, Ray is one of the most tasteless creeps you’ll ever come in contact with if you have the good fortune.  Ray will infiltrate the deepest corners of whatever evil crime ring he decides to waltz into.  Ray complies with the law and keeps Rob’s wife free and clear of the person who does the dirty work.  If dealt with properly, overtly bargaining with Hyde can work out quite well! Ray, obviously my Hyde, is such a cool guy that Rob loves him and sometimes even wants to be him.  I implore you, ladies and gentlemen, if you are fortunate enough to have a Hyde, work with him/her.  You both have skills and needs and can benefit one another.

The best example in modern fiction of this dynamic working successfully is a BBC show called “Murphy’s Law” that starred the great James Nesbitt. Shortly thereafter, Nesbitt starred in the BBC show Jekyll where he made Hannibal Lecter look like a baby koala. In contrast, one of the best films of the 90’s was “Fight Club” starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.  In this film the main character, Jack, was plagued by a bad influence friend, Tyler Durden, who turns out to be his Hyde which is only revealed in the film’s final scene. Filmmaking at its best, “Fight Club” illustrates chaos and confusion that a conflicted man experiences when fighting his Hyde. In this article, I urge you not to fight him/her.  Make a bargain with Hyde.  At 47 years old, I have spent more than half of my life with Ray and I am living the full and abundant life that I was meant to live. Understand your Hyde is not the Devil.  He/she embodies your primal desires.  If you strike a deal with Hyde, you are coming to terms with a life balance that could change your life for the best.  Live it to the fullest and win, baby!

Look! On the Netbook! Is it a Plumber? Is it a Dutch Boy? No! It’s a Private Eye!


Image by Dave-F via Flickr

A story out of folklore of the lower countries, attributed in modern fiction to Hans Brinker, depicts a little boy who walks by a dyke and observes a leak.  Anticipating disaster, he pokes his finger in the hole to plug the leak.  Eventually, he is assisted by others who keep the entire dyke from collapsing, ultimately averting a terrible outcome.  This story is often told to illustrate the effect of foresight and teamwork.

In modern times, the plumber is normally called for a job like this.  A leaky homeowner with foresight may call the local rooter-man when he first sees a drip.  I agree this event is both anticlimactic and costs a few bucks.  Steve could be accused of being a boring Monday evening date and missing the night’s episode of How I Met Your Mother.  But he likely avoided a costly disaster which could have resulted in damaged furniture, carpet and, even worse, utter obliteration of his classic 1970s LP collection.

Both of the above tales can easily be used to describe the relationship between the caretaker of a valuable public brand and their private eye.  In most entertainment the public’s excitement is equally as important as the content itself.  Humans like to be teased, surprised and entertained.  In that order.  The numerous folks involved in any given entertainment project work hard to keep these surprises under wraps so that the reveal is as dramatic and effective as it can be.  Not only is this a service to the fan, this also best insures a good financial turnout for those whose dinner table contents and mortgage payment rely on the gross receipts of the aforementioned project.

Given the above, it is no surprise that the smart folks whose job it is to insure these projects’ success have their Private Eye on speed dial.  The days of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe are not behind us.  Next time you observe a publicity leak, call your trusty P.I.  Most of the time, the leak is the result of a misguided ne’er-do-well in search of peer recognition.  Once the veil of anonymity is removed, and the subject is addressed properly, you can often retain value for the brand and look like a superhero.

Now I’m going to finish my coffee.

Living by Accident

Sometimes Risk is the Reward

Hi-Tech P.I.

Helping people see the forest for the trees, online.

Holmes, P.I.™

The Many Ramblings of a Not-So-Mad Man

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