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Monday, 9 May 2016

Citizen No.19 Or Is it No.56?


   Number 56 isn’t it? “Can’t you see that it is?” I only ask because just a moment ago, when you were behind the counter over there, serving a customer with maps of The Village, your number was 19. “Really?” How do you explain that? “I wouldn’t care to try sir.” You haven’t got a brother have you? “Not that I know of.” I see you sell allsorts here. “How many would you like, a quarter of a pound?” Of what? “Liquorice Allsorts.” No I don’t want a bag of sweets. Mops and brooms, carpet beaters, tinned ham amongst other tinned goods.  Eggs, vegetables, bread, potatoes, cheese, pies. Penny Plain, salt and pepper pots, or blue and white pottery. Clothes pegs, pots and pans, fresh cut flowers. Pineapples, salami sausage, eggs, tomatoes, oranges, home cured ham. Laundry baskets, garden trugs, aprons, rolling pins, cloth, coffee beans, I see you also grind your own coffee beans. “What is this, an inventory, or are you making up a shopping list?” You have a set of scales, but something is missing. “Missing, what could be missing?” A till! “That’s because money doesn’t actually change hands, everything is sold on credit!” You mean everyone in The Village buys goods from you “on tick.” “Well you could put it that way. But everyone pays later.” How can anyone pay later, when no-one in The Village earns any actual money? “Look I’m just a simple shopkeeper, if you want to buy something that’s fine. Otherwise I’ll have to ask you to leave!” Oh alright, I’ll have hmmmm let me see, I’ll have a quarter of a pound of acid drops. “Very good sir……..that will be one Work Unit if you please. Now madam what can I get you?” I’d like two pounds of Bedford Gem potatoes.” “I’m sorry madam I only sell King Edwards.” “Very well, I’ll have two pound of his then!” And a pound of runner beans I expect, but I’ll have to be quick to catch them!

Be seeing you

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