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Saturday, 1 August 2015

60 Second Interview With Number 20

    No.113 “Why am I lying on the floor?”
    No.20 “You’ve had a dizzy turn that’s all. Nothing to worry about, most people arrive in my office this way. Let me help you up into a chair.”
    “Very kind of you I’m sure.”
    “Well I could be a friend.”
    “Yes indeed. You know they are watching, I know they are watching, but it by no means proves that you or I are sympathetic.”
    “Sympathetic? No-ones ever shown me any sympathy!”
    “Well the community has to live, and so do you. Now what can I do for you?”
    “I, I don’t know!”
    “You don’t know.”
    “Where’s my colleague?”
    “Colleague, there’s only you. Perhaps you would like some tea, it might help clear your mind.”
    “I don’t want to be brainwashed!”
    “I don’t think I mentioned brainwashing did I?”
    “How many spoonfuls?”
    “Of sugar?”
    “Ah you have a sweet tooth. But I knew that anyway.”
    “Knew it anyway?”
    “From your records. We have everything about you. And it shows you’re not afraid.”
    “Not afraid?”
    “Of putting on weight, good, that is of use here. You are being honest, and honesty attracts confidences, which is the core of our business, you can see how honest I’m being with you. ”
    “Can I?”
    “Why did you come here today? No let me tell you.”
   {The Labour exchange manager takes the cup and saucer from 113, returning to his desk he presses a button on the control panel}
    “Aggggggggggggggh! What’s this, I’m tingling all over!”
    “There’s no need to be alarmed, it’s just a mild electrification that’s all. It won’t do you any harm. Now you came here today because you thought you would interview me for The Tally Ho. But that was a mistake. No don’t deny it, the evidence is plain enough.”
    “But this was a mistake wasn’t it…..Dear of dear, you’re not being honest with yourself. You thought that by gaining my confidence that I would confide in you in order that you would write lies about me in The Tally Ho!”
    {The circle and square merge together in 113’s mind, and he collapses. A few moments pass while Number 20 checks the man sat in the chair. He returns to his chair behind the desk and waits, as Number 113 begins to come round}
    “There, I bet that feels a lot better doesn’t it?”
    “Yes it does, that electrification therapy works wonders!”
    “And what are you going to write about in your column?”
    “I’m going to champion the electrification of The Village, and everyone in it!”
    “Good, a worthy cause indeed. And you might mention an ancestor of mine in your column, my great Uncle the Marquis of Shropshire. He fathered electrification. He once suggested that a farmer’s cows be electrified. He would ask people if they had had their kitchens electrified, and if not to get it done. So I took his lead and had that chair electrified!”
    “Does everyone who comes here get the same treatment?”
    “Of course.”
    “In that case, I’ll send my colleague in!”
    “Good. I’ll have some fresh tea made.”

Reporter Number 113
Photographer Number 113b

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