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Friday 10 July 2015

What’s Your Number?

   During ‘Once Upon A Time,’ after Number 2 has asked him why he cares, Number 6 leaves his cottage and goes out into The Village. In the Piazza he encounters a fellow citizen. He stops the man who looks nervous, as though afraid to be spoken to.
    “Don’t do that!”
    “What’s your number?”
    “Your number, what is it?”
    “Be careful” the man says glancing about him.
    “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen……”

    But then why should we not enquire, does not ‘the Prisoner’ encourage the enquiring mind? However in The Village it doesn’t do to ask questions. But where is the harm in this citizen simply telling Number 6 his number? We all want to know the man’s number, but unfortunately his badge is covered by his hands and the shaft of his umbrella. What is he afraid of? Perhaps he’s afraid of those who may be watching, listening, afraid of the Observers. Why, in case he might say something wrong? Again, where is the harm in telling one citizen his number? Perhaps he thinks that Number 6 is a plant, maybe assistant to Number 2 even. That if he answers one simple question the rest will follow. Well that’s an old trick, and one played many times. But this citizen is aware. He’s not talking, although he does appear to be in a somewhat nervous state. Why should he be like that? Surely he knows that the Observers are always watching, listening, that cameras and microphones are everywhere. So what’s to be nervous about? What is it that makes this man so nervous? Perhaps he’s someone special. He doesn’t look very special, quite ordinary as a matter of fact. Perhaps he’s a spy, had been a spy, aren’t spies supposed to look ordinary, so that they blend in? Perhaps this man’s nerve had broken, his cover blown. It may be wondered what information this man knows, and how much of it he has. And of course that is possibly why he was brought to The Village in the first place, to have that information extracted, or protected! But as onlookers we shall never know which it is, or what happens to this man. But if it is to have that knowledge extracted, then all anyone can imagine is, that it would not go well for this man.

Be seeing you

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