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Dear Tami,

I appreciate you sharing the disguises that didn’t pass muster with you. Thanks for giving me that slight advantage. But just so you know, coming out of the writing cave now and then to have an adventure with me would have sufficed. No purchase necessary. Just a map with directions is all you would need to send. I would even take a hand-drawn map like this one:

This has come in handy more times than I care to admit. Feel free to use it next time you’re in London.

Finding just the right disguise seems to be consuming a great deal of your time. I’m worried it is distracting you from your writing. Because that is your passion and I want to be as helpful as possible, I did a little research so I can offer up a couple of options for you to consider.

This one has some appeal because it is concealing and allows for freedom of movement. All good things, right? Don’t let the fact that the bright colour can be seen by aeroplanes deter you from trying this one. I would even pretend to not notice if you were to use this disguise. In fact, if I were to see you in it, I would make this face and then go on about my business*:

Alien? What alien? I don’t see any aliens around here. Nope. None at all. Source: tumblr.com via Nieves on Pinterest

Now that news of me voicing a character in a Simpson’s episode is out, I was reminded of the Marge Simpson costume you wore one Halloween and thought you could resurrect that as a potential disguise. Sure, Marge’s hair is a bit of an eye-catching feature, but I would never know it was you under all that blue hair. Honest. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to procure a photo of you dressed up as Marge so I can only imagine how you creatively pulled that off.

What I do have is a couple of other photographs of you to share. How did I get my hands on these gems? I have people, people who do things for me. As you like to say, let’s leave it at that. Is it a bit creepy? Sure. But rest assured no laws were broken. At least none that I’m aware of.

So, in honour of your latest trip around the sun, I thought we all could celebrate with you by seeing how you celebrated at your very first birthday party.

Utensils are so overrated

Seeing these explains a lot.

Just sayin’.

Birthdays and gifts go hand in hand and I think we both agree that the greatest gift one can give is to do something that makes the world just a little bit better. I know you are all for that sort of thing so in honour of your birthday I want to challenge each of your readers to do one thing that contributes to making the world a better place. It doesn’t have to be Earth-shattering, costly or even deeply profound. The point is for each of them to do one thing, however small, that can make a difference in someone’s life. And I promise you that I will continue to use my fame for good and pay it forward in every way I can. I will ask my people to do the same.

And yes, I have also asked my people to help me locate your writing cave. I mean, what good is having people if you can’t ask them to help you do the important things now and then?

Happy Birthday, friend.

Cheerfully yours,

Ben

*Actually, I wouldn’t be able to just go about my business. I would first be wondering what devious things you were up to and then… I would be kicking myself for suggesting that disguise because I wouldn’t be able to properly assess eye movements or body language cues. You know, on second thought, that disguise won’t work at all. As an early birthday gift to me, you can just disregard that one.

~*~

*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 taken at face value or seen as a true collaborative writing endeavor with him.

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