Don’t Interrupt the Tangoing Bear

Having tried so hard to bring her old friend out of retirement, mystery author Ariadne Oliver is starting to regret her decision: Hercule Poirot may be a brilliant detective, but he is also insufferable. Did Oliver manage to drag him to a Halloween Party and a seance? Yes. But now that a real murder has occurred at the latter, the old Poirot is back in full swing, and as a result, the eye-roll moments start piling up fast.

First, he dared put her on the suspects list, if only momentarily. Next, he locked a group of strangers in the perhaps haunted mansion where the murder occurred and started bossing them around. And now, worst of all, he did the thing he always does: He pretended to know more than everyone else in the world.

“I, as yet, know nothing,” Poirot claims with a smirk that says he has intuited a lot more than that so far. But when Oliver gives him her best “Really? This again?” look, all he has to offer is one of his many not-so-famous sayings: “You woke the bear from his sleep. You cannot cry when he tangos.”

After she reminds him that “that’s not an expression in any language,” Oliver can’t help but admit: Poirot is right yet again. The relentless willingness to entertain every possibility, the refusal to let anyone out of his sight until the truth has come to light, and, yes, even the made-up expressions — she knew what she was getting into when she interrupted his breakfast, and Poirot’s idiosyncrasies might just be what makes him so brilliant.

If your high school clique is an impossible group to have a serious conversation with, perhaps serious conversations aren’t what you should hang out with them for. Maybe it’s exactly the lack of seriousness that has kept you glued together all these years — so enjoy it for what it is! You’ve awoken the bear, so now let him tango if he wants to.

Similarly, you, too, have a right to bring your quirks and oddities wherever you go, and whoever wants you to denounce them is setting themselves up for failure, not you. Be a tangoing bear, proud intellectual, or catchphrase-inventing detective — and remember that our uniqueness is better celebrated than celibated.