Taking Tea in the Kasbah

Dear Tami,

First, I’m so glad to hear things are shaping up with your new novel. I’ve been meaning to ask if there are any Brits in this new novel because your previous novel seemed to have a serious lack of them. No judgement, just an observation. If you’re hesitant to include a British character because of dialect issues or local idioms tripping you up, I’d be happy to offer my assistance. Just say the word (pun intended) and I’m there.

Second, yes, it was disappointing that Sherlock didn’t win even one Emmy. And like you, I do not have the faintest clue what Kevin Costner was trying to say during his acceptance speech for Best Actor. Thank you for saying you thought I could have given a better speech if I had won the Emmy. (I’m paraphrasing here – I think you’d agree what you originally said wasn’t entirely PG-13.)

Benedict Cumberbatch

Third, I will happily abide by the sanctity of the writing cave and kasbah whenever Brainstorming sessions are taking place. I’m in total support of chalk drawings, not only of John Denver, but also of an entire montage of your favorite 70’s folk singers. I’d even get down on the pavement and help you draw it while singing 70’s folk songs and wearing a button that says “Happiness = Chalk Drawings of John Denver & Co.”. Because I’m just that kind of guy.

Fourth, I continue to be concerned about you spending long hours in the writing cave. The Year of Fire and Underwear? Really?

Fifth, isn’t today’s post a major milestone for the kasbah – the 99th post? What an honor to have my letter be featured on such a momentous occasion. Congratulations, friend. No, no, I couldn’t possibly take any of the credit. Well, I did write a small portion of these (21 letters from me to you, to be exact), but you did edit them (and scrupulously I might add).

We should celebrate your achievement and what better way to do that than have a party right there in the writing cave! I’ll take care of the music, food, and drinks. All you have to do is send out the invitations with explicit directions. Since I’m in the States working on a film now, you won’t have to pay extra for international postage on mine. Just sayin’.

So, in honor of your 99th blog post, I propose we start the party off with 99 Red Balloons:



Yes, I know the song is about war and lost dreams. Don’t worry, you won’t be able to focus on the meaning of the lyrics for long because you’ll be trying to find ways to get the song out of your head. Apologies for that. I hope that by posting your favorite German version, you’ll not only be able to forgive me, but you’ll also consider adding my name to the Bonus Points Board in the kasbah. No need to commit to a certain amount of points now. I’ll just check the Board when I arrive for the party.

Benedict Cumberbatch, photo by Ian Derry

Right after you send those directions to the cave.

Jubilantly yours,



*Editor’s note: The views, ideas, and opinions expressed in the Letters from Benedict series are works of fiction and obviously did not come from the actor himself. This series is just my way of expressing adoration for Mr. Cumberbatch and his work and is not intended to be seen or read as a true collaborative writing endeavor with him. 

16 thoughts on “Letters from Benedict: On Buttons, Milestones, and Red Balloons

  1. The song was in my head without clicking play, and still is! Fun post, Ben! You are so clever, and though I did not hear Kevin’s speech, I’m sure yours would have been brilliant!

    • I got the song in my head just from seeing the title. I wonder if that’s because I listened to it so much in the 80’s or if it’s just that catchy.

      And yes, he could have read a crumpled receipt from his pocket and it would have sounded better. 😉

  2. Oooh, a sly one that. Urging you to throw a party at the writing cave so you will send out detailed directions?!! As if! I guess we can’t blame a bloke for trying. 🙂

    • He is a persistent fella, that’s for sure. Good thing the writing cave has a super secret door disguised as a bookshelf. 😉

  3. Dear Benedict,
    I regretfully admit that I didn’t have a clue about you before reading Tami’s blog. Then, the other day on Twitter I see a user in my newsfeed named @Cumberbatchweb ‏. I clicked on the profile only to discover a fansite. You are very popular.


    • Dear Brinda,
      The only thing that matters now is that you stop by to hang out in the kasbah and read my letters. The Queen and I are most appreciative.

      Kind regards,

      Dear Brinda,
      While he’s not as well known here in the US (yet – when his movies come out next year, I’m sure that’ll change), he’s got quite a large and intensely devoted group of fans in Britain. It makes me happy to have been a part of introducing you to him and his many talents.


  4. Incredibly, I am most happy to come across 99 Red Balloons here in the kasbah, as it has most effectively moved into my head and thankfully gotten rid of Afternoon Delight, which I had the supreme misfortune to hear on the radio several long hours ago. All of which makes me even more grateful that you have reached post 99 (Wowsa! That’s impressive!) and solved my earlier unwanted song in the head issue.

    Although I am disgusted that Ben did not win an award, I will admit that I am equally distressed that I missed Keven Costner’s speech! The one year I decide to watch old sitcoms on Telly, I miss a train wreck. Sometimes life just isn’t fair…

    • Songs like that can be helpful or crazy-making. I’m glad the song was of use to you today.

      And Kevin Costner’s speech wasn’t entirely in the train wreck category, it just made no sense and he seemed to be intoxicated or half asleep or something. I’m not sure. I was a little biased when I watched it. I might have been yelling at the t.v. as well, so there’s that to consider in my assessment. 🙂

  5. Maybe you should have that party at your writing cave. I know I’d like to know where it is (Ben has made it seem so appealing) and maybe get some decorating ideas to make my own cave (which seconds (or firsts) as a piano room) more writerly. I’ll help with invitations, if you’d like. 🙂

    • I would love to have a party in the writing cave and invite all of my writerly friends. The problem with inviting a certain classy British actor is that I would have a very difficult time resuming my writing because all I’d want to do is chat and have adventures. I can’t very well have a party, that he suggested no less, and NOT invite him. *sigh* Oh, the dilemmas of writers…

  6. on ,
    marcia said:

    That Brit is certainly persistent! But why not!? A celebratory party sounds good….99 red balloons and 99 bottles of beer on the wall…. CONGRATULATIONS TAMI!

  7. on ,
    livrancourt said:

    Not clicking the video link…not clicking the video link…not…

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