the I'll-Be-A-Monkees'-Uncle affair
Mike and Micky wondered aloud where Peter was. Davy answered that he had gone to the dry-cleaners with his red shirt, since the two of them had made such a fuss about his having stained it. Micky looked guilty, but Mike remained unrepentant.
Davy pointed out, “You really made him feel bad, Mike.”
Mike retorted, “Hey, this is New York City! We’re in the big-time now! We wore our blue shirts last night; we can’t just wear them again to the same stage tonight!”
Peter had gone to Del Floria’s Tailor Shop, and accidentally ended up in U.N.C.L.E. headquarters.
While monitoring Peter from a separate room, Napoleon Solo, in an aside to Illya Kuryakin, teased, “Oh look, he wears his hair almost exactly like yours.” He received a dirty look in response.
Illya frostily retorted, “But I wear mine in a distinguished, elegant, charismatic manner, whereas he….”
At that exact moment, Peter tripped clumsily over a chair leg on his way to sit in the afore-mentioned chair.
“Precisely my point,” Illya finished succinctly.
The agents entered the interrogation room in order to directly question Peter.
“Are you from T.H.R.U.S.H.?”
“No, from the Monkees. The Thrushes opened at the same club last week.”
Solo glanced askance at Kuryakin, and said, “What does M.O.N.K.E.E.S. stand for?”
“Uh, well, we stand for peace and kindness and love and music and….”
“No,” said Illya less-than-patiently. “We mean the acronym.”
“Huh? I’ve never been to Akron, but I have an uncle who lives in Dayton.”
“U.N.C.L.E.?” Mark Slate’s eyes narrowed suspiciously.
“Yeah, my Uncle Alex.” Peter’s innocent eyes brightened as he spoke of the favorite relative. “Alexander, actually.”
April Dancer’s brows rose. “Waverly?”
Anticipating a snack of wafers, Peter said, “No thank you, but I could use a glass of water.”
“After we start getting some straight answers,” Kuryakin replied relentlessly. “Let’s get back to this ‘M.O.N.K.E.E.S.’ Now what can we expect from this organization?”
“Singing and playing and a little cutting-up.”
“You’re not ‘singing’ very well so far, and you’d better start,” warned Solo.
“And there’s entirely too much ‘playing’ going on here. You’re frivolously wasting our time,” agreed Dancer.
“‘Cutting-up?’” demanded Slate. “Cutting-up whom?”
“Well, I guess that Micky and Davy and I do most of the cutting-up. Mike’s more serious.”
Solo shook his head and tried a different tactic. “Is that some sort of uniform?”
Peter smiled proudly. “Yes. We all have these red shirts.”
Slate observed sardonically, “Red-shirts? A Star Trek reference?”
Peter’s eyes lit. “Sure! We all watch it whenever we can!”
Kuryakin demanded semi-rhetorically, “And whom do you root for, the humans or the Klingons?”
“Actually, I’m partial to the Vulcans.”
Dancer and Slate exchanged a shrug. Dancer guessed, “Neither extreme? Somewhere in between? Or just not taking sides?”
Solo insisted, “Let’s try again. What is M.O.N.K.E.E.S. short for?”
“No, Davy’s the only short one.”
“He means the abbreviation,” Kuryakin said tightly, clearly struggling not to lose his temper.
Peter was at a loss. “Um, can you give me a hint?”
Fatalistically, Slate relented slightly. “For example, T.H.R.U.S.H. stands for the Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity.”
Peter was awed. “Wow! That’s very good. Maybe our group should do something like that. Let’s see: M.O.N.K.E.E.S: the Men On New-York…uh something… Exceptionally Excellently Singing. But gee, that ‘K’ is a toughie. Anybody have an idea?”
In wry, near amusement, Dancer prompted, “Well, for instance, we’re U.N.C.L.E.: the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.”
“Well, catchy, I guess,” he replied, though he looked dubious. “But I still need help with the ‘K’.”
Solo suggested grimly, “Well, how about ‘K’ for Kuryakin, since he seems the most likely to slug you right about now.”
“No, that won’t work,” Peter said, sounding baffled and unruffled. He was thinking too hard about the troublesome “K,” and completely missed the implied threat. “Let me think: there’s a ‘K’ in Mike; there’s a ‘K’ in Micky; there’s a ‘K’ in Tork…. But there’s none in Davy Jones!”
Solo leaned closer intently. “As in ‘locker’?”
“No, we haven’t been in the city nearly long enough to rent a locker anywhere.” But then he perked up, and offered, “But we do have ‘P.O. Box 9847.’”
Kuryakin pressed a button and murmured urgently to someone unseen, “Check that out, Randy!”
“I mean have you drowned someone??” insisted Solo.
Peter just stared in affront and perplexity.
Meanwhile, with Peter now seriously overdue, the other three Monkees were out in search of him. Luckily, he’d left the Yellow Pages open to Del Floria’s ad, so they knew where to start.
Alarms made the four frustrated agents aware of still more intruders in Del Floria’s-U.N.C.L.E.’s combined vestibule, and they switched on the appropriate monitor to observe.
“Dressed somewhat like you,” Napoleon remarked unnecessarily to Peter.
“More M.O.N.K.E.E.S.?” Illya demanded.
“All of the rest of us,” Peter corrected.
“Oh look!” April told Mark in reference to Mike Nesmith. “The tall one is wearing a wool cap similar to yours.” Just then, Davy Jones was heard speaking, and she added, “And that one has your same refined British accent, Luv.”
Slate preened. “Well then, they certainly can’t be all bad.”
In rapid order, guards escorted the other three Monkees into the interrogation room.
Mike instantly realized that this was no minor situation. “Peter, how did you get yourself into a place like this?”
“I don’t really know, Mike. All I did was take off my red shirt in the dressing room of the tailor shop, and hang it on a hook, and then…wow.”
“Yeah, I’ll say wow,” Micky seconded, looking around in sheer amazement.
Napoleon Solo pointed out shrewdly, “Okay, so where are your red shirts? Tork, here, said that you all have them.”
Illya Kuryakin joined in, “And now here you three are wearing blue shirts instead. Interestingly, though, the shirt-design is identical to his red one.”
“Yeah, why, Mike?” chimed in Peter. “You said we couldn’t wear the blue ones tonight.”
Mike looked repentant. “Yeah, buddy, I know I did. But I got to feeling bad about giving you such a hard time. Plus, when you went missing for such a long while, I had a hunch that maybe your red shirt wasn’t getting cleaned after all, so here, we brought your blue one along.”
Davy instantly produced it.
“Gee, thanks, babe; that was really swell of you guys.”
Temper completely lost, Kuryakin loudly demanded, “Just what sort of organization are you??”
Mike stared at him. “We’re a rock group.”
Now Solo stared. “As in…rock ‘n’ roll? As in music??”
“Sure, what did you think?” Peter wondered.
The four U.N.C.L.E. agents didn’t know whether to be relieved, or to throttle him.
The Monkees made it up to them, though. The four agents all received free VIP front-row tickets, and spent a delightful rollicking evening as special guests at the concert. Though they did wince slightly in remembrance when the group performed its song, “P.O. Box 9847.”
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