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Thursday, 4 June 2015

What’s It All About?

    The Village, well it’s the Village that’s the name of the place. It’s small enough so that everyone knows everybody in The Village. Mind you the doctor-Number 14 in ‘A B and C’ didn’t seem to know who Number 6 was when she met him on the lawn of the Old People’s Home. Number 6 had to tell her. But of course she knew perfectly well who he was, but couldn’t admit it, seeing as she’s not supposed to know who Number 6 is. Then there was that time when Number 6 woke up in a strange apartment as someone else, that would be Number 12 {or two times six in another series}. When Number 6, oh sorry, Number 12, left ‘12 Private,’ he was greeted by a Sikh who used 12’s number. Then a young woman pushing an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair greeted Number 12 like an old friend. But how did she know he was Number 12? He wore no numbered badge on the lapel of his blazer. Ah, but Number 12 was what he was called the last time she saw him. But she didn’t see him, she had never seen him. The young woman was a plant, by calling him Number 12 she was helping cement the idea in Number 6’s head that he was in fact Number 12!
   “On the day of his arrival in the Village the Prisoner went to the café. There he asked the waitress where the place was. She asked him if he wanted breakfast. He asked her the name of the place. The Village, she told him, so that was a straightforward enough answer. The name of the village is The Village! Less straightforward is making a telephone call. There is no automatic exchange, a telephone operator system is used. The Operator asked the Prisoner for his number. The Prisoner said he wanted to make a call to……well he didn’t say where he wanted to make a telephone call because the operator interrupted him by again asking him for his number. The Prisoner looked at the telephone, there was no number on it, so he said he hadn’t got a number. So no number no call, the operator told him.

   At the time of ‘the Prisoner’ here in Britain, although much of the country was covered by automatic telephone exchanges, still in some areas you couldn’t make a telephone call except through an operator either from a call box or private phone, without giving the number of the telephone you were calling from. Because the operator had to know the number you were calling from in order to make a charge for the call. Either to be charged to your own private account, or to tell you how much money to put in the telephone box.
   The telephone operator in The Village was of course asking for the personal number of the citizen wanting to make the telephone call. However the Prisoner wasn’t aware he should have had, or had no idea that he would be issued with a personal number, that’s why he looked at the telephone for a number!” Of course there was no number.

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