It took half an hour of drinking before we were rudely interrupted by the sound of helicopters overhead. As loathe as I am to admit it, it appears that Crispian was right. There seemed to be some sort of massive inter-agency conspiracy to take us into custody and probably dissect us while we were at it. All I wanted to do was go around the world. It seemed that at every turn I was thwarted. It was almost as if Lord Tooty had done this to us.

I enquired to the bar staff if they had a rear exit, and tipped them with what was left of my money. Well Crispians money. It did not really matter, he owed me so much. I also found out the location of the train station which I guessed might be our best way out of town. Little did I know the hell that would approach us when we got to the Amtrak station.

I don’t know much about American trains. All I know I have learnt from silent movies: so I kind of expected those boxcar style things tramps ran the rails with. Free to travel on, easy jump on and great for buddy bonding sessions. Not that I had any intentions of bonding with Crispian, however he was with me., He was a cheap bulletproof vest if nothing else. The station presented a different alternative. Sleek, gleaming trains which you needed tickets for. And a shortage of viable destinations.

We had to travel West. We were still circumnavigating after all. But it was already late in the evening and there was just one train left. Two stops. Nashville and Clarksville. Now as much as I might want to burn all of Nashville down, the idea of spending more than five minutes in the home of country music repulsed me. So Calrkesville it was. I assaulted a busker and stole all of his ill gotten gains and bought us two tickets. Which is when the evil ticket officer let me know exactly what I had done. We were on the Last Train To Clarksville.

THE MONKEES – Last Train To Clarksville

Weren’t they wacky? The Monkees. Hey Hey, They Were The Monkees and people said they monkeyed around. Well, no. I say the were shit. Hey Hey, They Are Shit And I Say They Shat All Around. Before The Monkees it was relatively safe to put the television on and not have any music more offensive than the Mr Ed theme tune* trouble you. After the Monkees we had house bands and no end of pop star lunacy. If I see Mickey Dolenz riding around on that little bike one more fucking time…

But to the Last Train To Clarksville. Written by Boyce and Hart, though written seems an overly generous word. Because this is a simple little ditty with very little in it except getting the last train to a particular place. Therefore it being the only plot point you would think they might have laboured over it a wee bit to make it convincing. Instead it turns out that the LAST TRAIN to Clarksville gets there at 4:30. Which is not very late in my book. I even know pubs which are not open until 5pm. 4:30 is not very late. Unless you have to go to be at 4:45, which may well have been the case with Davy Jones, as he was so tiny. Indeed Davy Jones was so small he was made to attend school all the time he was in American. Which meant he had his own lunchbox, satchel and locker.

If only the Monkees had all ended up in his locker…

*Still troubling enough. A Horse is a Horse, of course, of course, and a lousy theme tune is a lousy theme tune, of course, of course.