Dear The Monkees

Re: Take The Last Train To Clarksville

Forgive me for being the bearer of bad news, my Beatles ‘aping’ chums, but I am afraid that I have no option but to politely disregard your invitation. Whilst I am most appreciative of the efforts that you have obviously gone to in making my reservation, I regret to inform you that I reside in Bournemouth, which presents significant obstacles to alighting in Tennessee in so far as that, as commendable and extensive as the South West Trains network is (going so far as to accommodate ‘customers’ to such far flung territories as Weymouth, Earley, Boxhill & Westhumble and Exeter St. David (by way of changing at Bookham or Ewell West and Pinhoe respectively), and the Isle of Wight via stops at Southampton Central, Lymington Pier and Portsmouth Harbour (just adjacent to Southsea Hoverport), the operator does not at present offer an ongoing transatlantic connection. Said limitations, and indeed the need to cross the English Channel, sadly compromise your central instruction, and are highly likely to result in my failure to meet you at the station within the deadline parameters specified. In order to successfully liaise at the designated vantage point I would need to use several modes of transport which would require the need for your ‘jangly feelgood hit’ to be retitled “Drive, Take A Sensibly Timed Train Or Indeed Coach Or Taxi To An Airport or Ferry Terminal, Then, Upon Landing on American Soil, Take The Last Train To Clarksville”

I must also point out that I am slightly concerned with regard to the resources of your rail operator. If, as you state, the last train sets out in time for us to converge on the platform at 4.30pm this does imply a rather limited timetable which could considerably hinder the logistics of any long-distance excursion. Furthermore, if the instruction is to be taken literally and the locomotive referred to is the final ever service to your Montgomery County whereabouts, perhaps due to imminent station closure or budget cuts, then I hope you will agree that my return journey will be problematic, hence rendering the entire excursion to be of an extremely foolhardy nature.

Finally, if you will forgive my bluntness, I must question what was to have been the purpose of our aborted rendezvous. To the best of my knowledge we have never met, let alone been formally introduced, hence your impassioned assertion that you must see me again, clearly inferring familiarity or at the very least one previous encounter, is most confusing. If your allusions to former contact are merely overzealous exaggerations aimed at ‘just trying to be friendly’, allow me to set your mind at rest by informing you that you are by far my wife Jean and I’s favourite primate ‘typo’ monickered outfit. We are not quite so taken with Gorillaz, whose ‘tunes’ we do not consider to be anywhere near as catchy, and who, like their predecessors The Archies are animated drawings. We also find it quite bewildering that this ‘virtual combo’, who are perfectly capable of being sketched to resemble the endangered herbivores from whom they take their ‘handle’, opt instead to be portrayed as slovenly youths donning questionable military headgear.

I sincerely hope that my declinature does not cause any offense and that the price of my ticket can be recovered by way of placing a stop on your cheque or invalidating your debit or credit card transaction. Upon recovery of the fare you could well be forgiven for celebrating by slightly adjusting one of your other hits to ‘I’m A Retriever’! If however the transaction was of a cash nature, I am sorry for your loss.


Derek Philpott

P.S. Re: Daydream Believer, I was sorry to hear of the discomfort that you have experienced whilst shaving. I myself suffered similar stinging some years ago which was totally eradicated following a consultation with the chief dispenser at Jolon’s Pharmacy, Tuckton Road. Mr. Devereaux, whom I found to be a most amiable fellow, suggested an ‘upgrade’ to a more sensitive foam coupled with avoidance of disposable razors. I followed his advice to the letter and the agitation ceased almost immediately. Although I hope that this information is of assistance I also note that this may not be the case given that my revised stubble stunting regime involved a slight increase in expenditure, whereas you state in your ‘karaoke staple’ that you are without dollar one to spend.

P.P.S. Forgive my insolence in suggesting that your frugality may be open to debate, given that Mr. Nesmith’s mother invented Tippex. Whilst fully conceding that a marked rise in the use of personal computers to write letters negates the requirement of a brush-applied globule of liquid paper to rectify a mis-spelling, one must conclude that the fortune amassed prior to this trend must have been considerable, naturally assuming that the young man in question was a prime beneficiary to her estate.

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