Dear Mr. Dylan

Re: Knocking On Heaven’s Door

I hope that this letter finds you in good health, despite the metaphorical reference to an extremely poor constitution alluded to in the title of your above-mentioned 'busker favourite’.

Whether or not you are indeed close to expiry, I must urge you to reconsider the errand allocated to your mother within the work. If you will pardon the pun, I have ‘grave’ concerns with reference to your instruction that she put your guns in the ground (owing to the rather perplexing fact that you ”can’t shoot them anymore”).

Firstly, although I am all for ‘women’s lib’, I would ask you to ruminate that the proposed firearm burial is more suited to a burly gentleman (such as, perhaps one of your ‘road crew’), as opposed to an excavating parent of the fairer sex; said weaponry, in conjunction with all manner of digging paraphernalia such as a spade or a shovel, is likely to burden its courier with a not insubstantial weight, and its transportation to a suitable plot of land for internment may well cause spinal and/or muscular pain to one of a slighter frame, to say nothing of the further tribulation of being saturated by rainfall courtesy of the already descending cold black cloud also referred to within your maudlin refrain.

Secondly, and irrespective of the afore-mentioned labourer discomforts, I am rather apprehensive with regard to the longer term implications of such an armament inhumation. Assuming that you are the legal owner or tenant of the property in whose grounds the embedding is to occur, it is not unfeasible to postulate that you may at some point in the future choose to sell or vacate it, whereupon any succeeding occupier(s), or, heaven forbid, a minor or domestic pet belonging to same, may well incur either serious injury or worse in the act of a future, probably accidental, unearthing of the deadly stash, assuming that you have not performed your own excavation prior to your departure. Potentially more disquieting still, the spying of said rifles and/or pistols by inquisitive neighbours could lead to serious and entirely undeserved legal ramifications for and perhaps a tentative murder enquiry into the hapless new inhabitants. If however the underground arsenal is situated within a tract other than your own and you have not been granted express permission from its proprietor to locate it there then I make no apologies for stating that you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

Lastly, it must be noted that archeological digs of the area in centuries to come could result in Tony ‘Time Team’ Robinson’s descendents arriving at grossly inaccurate chronological conclusions with regard to the historical advancement of military technology around the turn of the third millennium, thus vastly distorting our future generation’s perception of the present day.

As an aside, I am curious as to why you feel yourself to be inadept in the discharge of, to use a parlance of the rap singers of today, ‘a piece’. Listed below are plausible hypotheses complimented by practical solutions as a more constructive and less messy alternative to planting

a) A Matter of Conscience

Should your inability stem from a matter of conscience, Robert, then you are to be commended.

b) Faulty or Broken Weapons

In the first instance a telephone or email enquiry to a reputable gunsmith detailing the weapons’ shortcomings should be instigated. Should the trader’s response indicate that said impairments, such as for example a defective firing mechanism or faulty trigger action, can be easily repaired, I would recommend taking the flawed firearms in person to his or her outlet in order that they may be restored to full working order. (Under no circumstances should the postal system be employed in their transit.)

Should scenario 'a' apply, or the hardware be unfixable, its decommissioning and mounting above a fireplace or in a hallway above the telephone table where it may serve as a decorative ornament and excellent anecdote source at dinner parties should not be disregarded.

c) Visual Difficulties Whilst Aiming

It is apparent from your ‘song lyrics’ that you may be attempting to focus upon targets within environs of restricted visibility. If it is indeed "getting dark, too dark to see" as you take aim, I would suggest that you set your sights during daylight hours under a clear sky devoid of the stormy outlook previously mentioned. Should it be your preference however to zero in after sunset then you may be well served by a pair of night vision goggles such as those advertised in Silence Of The Lambs and favoured by Derek Acorah, or an excursion to The LAX Firing Range on Manchester Boulevard, Inglewood, which I understand to be in relatively close proximity to your current Malibu residence and, crucially, is operative from 11am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday. (Please do not admonish me if I have failed to locate a more suitable or local gallery; I am not your Personal Assistant.)

d) Health Issues

Despite your nasally intoned claim to be on the brink of demise I must say that my friend Graham Gilliard ‘caught’ your performance in a farmer’s field near Ashford some days ago and reliably informs me that you looked quite chipper. It is however possible that strumming your acoustic guitar as part of your Never Ending Tour (which despite its longevity and globally demographic coverage is disappointingly yet to reach Southbourne) whilst blowing into your mouth organ has taken its toll, and that you now suffer from Repetitive Strain Injury as a consequence, which renders you incapable of applying intermittent pressure to the trigger of a an antiquated and out of fashion musket or Colt 45, in which case an upgrade to a gas operated fully automatic Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle will bypass your malady, given that it is designed to continue firing via fresh rounds being fed into the chamber until the magazine is spent, without the need to depress the trigger.

Yours faithfully

Derek Philpott

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