The Potger Letter

Oh look! A letter has arrived in the post:

Dear Mr Key : I have long been an avid reader of your witterings, but this is the first time I have felt compelled to write to you. My name is Keith Potger. Last week, two days short of my eighty-first birthday, I learned that I share my name with one of The Seekers, the Antipodean folk/pop sensations of the 1960s, with whom you seem to be (over)familiar. I found it surprising that nobody had ever pointed this out to me before, but there you go, dimpus dempus, as they used to say, in Latin, or Dog Latin, or Pig Latin, or one of the Latins, if memory serves, and it may not, given my advancing years.

The reason I am writing to you is born of concern. As I said, I have been reading your stuff for a long time, and I have until now considered you perhaps the most sensible writer on the planet, if not in the known universe. Many is the time I have whacked my ancient mother on the head, to wake her from her stupor, just so I could recite to her, yelling as loudly as possible into her ear-trumpet, one of your matchless sentences, so full of wisdom and moral rigour.

But now, I am sad to say, I fear you may be teetering on the delusional. You seem to think that every civilised person knows the names of The Seekers. I pride myself on being an incomparably civilised man, in spite of recent unfortunate piddle-stains on my trousers, and until last week I did not know the names of any of them. It is only because of the far-fetched coincidence that I share Keith Potger’s name that I now know one. And yet I am quite well-informed about 1960s pop sensations in general, having committed to memory the Bernard Levin List. Indeed, when I am not shouting your sentences at my ancient mother, I am shouting that list at her, in short bursts, into her ear-trumpet, in an attempt to stimulate her catastrophically fading brain-integuments.

I am minded to observe, however, that should you persist with the absurd fancy that everybody knows The Seekers, my mother appears a mental colossus in comparison. This could be merely the top of a slippery slope for you, Mr Key. I note that you also seem to believe that everybody can reel off the names John, Paul, George, and Ringo (plus Yoko), barely without thinking. What in the name of heaven are you blathering on about? John Paul – without the comma in between – is the name of a pair of late twentieth-century pontiffs of the Holy Apostolic Roman Catholic Church. As for the other three names, in that context they are frankly incomprehensible, and you have obviously made two of them up. I screamed all five names repeatedly into my mother’s ear trumpet, and the dear woman showed not a flicker of recognition. This, for me, is the acid test.

Speaking of the ancient Mrs Potger, I must end this letter now to go and attend to her. The cup affixed under her chin to collect her drool is almost full, so I must empty it into the drool-vat in the pantry.

Please try to get a grip, Mr Key. It will be a tragedy if you lose your marbles.

Ever yours,

Keith Potger (not a Seeker)

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