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Monday 28 September 2020

The Tally Ho

 Village Posters!

by our own reporter

   What’s all this about a Manor House in The Village? Just because it’s printed on a poster doesn’t necessarily mean its there! Be a bit disappointing though, for those wanting to attend the exhibition of mime and entertainment to be held in the grounds of the Manor House, if it doesn’t exist, don’t you think?
So if it’s an “out of The Village” experience you’re looking for, how about Living In Harmony stranger?! An American frontier town, somewhere in California, in the 1800’s?!

As a general rule, they do say that a murderer always returns to the scene of his crime. But I don’t know the ruling on a murderer returning to the scene before the crime has actually been committed! So it may be wondered what they would say in this particular instance. Yes an act of murder was committed in the Silver Dollar Saloon, the perpetrator was the Kid a psychotic gunslinger, the victim Cathy a saloon girl who was strangled to death. But the murder never physically took place, it wasn’t real, although to Cathy it might have seemed perfectly real at the time. Because some time later, Number 22 {Cathy} returned to the scene where she had been strangled to death by the Kid {Number 8} in the Silver Dollar Saloon. But Number 8 {the Kid} was already there waiting for her, such was his obsession with Cathy that he carried out the murder for real, and strangled Number 22 to death with his bare hands.

“Well stranger, fancy living In Harmony?” That’s a reference to the episode ‘Living In Harmony,’ but it’s what the committee, and the citizens wanted Number 6 to do in ‘A change of Mind.’ The citizens of The Village are sheep, and Number 6 a goat. When a goat comes amid sheep things generally happen, meaning there is always trouble. Number 6 was brought before the committee for seemingly to attack two citizens in the woods, but that was a set up. All Number 6 was doing was to mind his own business. And yet having his own private gymnasium in the woods, preferring that to the gym in the Recreation Hall, could itself be seen as anti-social. Number 6 doesn’t want to live in harmony, so he was posted as being unmutual, and the citizens will have nothing to do with him. Because they are socially conscious citizens and are provoked by the loathsome presence of an unmutual! The citizens are misguided, and manipulated sheep! As soon as they are fooled into thinking that Number 6 has undergone the operation known as Instants Social Conversion they welcome him back into the fold. Living in harmony that’s not for Number 6, he’s unconventional, an eccentric, and should probably be living in that cave just outside The Village, once called The Therapy Zone. He could have become the “Wiseman.” Citizens looking for help would go to him, and he would offer words of advice. And in exchange they would bring him food to sustain him. I can see him now, with long matted hair and a long beard, wearing his dirty, tatty threadbare piped blazer. Would Number 2 have allowed Number 6 to live the life of a hermit? Perhaps, had Number 6 told them what they wanted to know. But Number 6 is wiser than that, if he had told them what they wanted to know, he might not have been of any further importance, and thereby no longer the centre of attention!

When it comes to sheep, there’s nothing to choose between the citizens of The Village ruled over by a manipulative Number 2, and the townspeople of Harmony who are ruled over by a bad Judge! That’s because they are one and the same, and Harmony is sub-joined to The Village, if not physically attached!

I like the “Wanted Bills” for Tom Nixon. Jesse James. Sam and Belle Star seen on the walls in the Silver Dollar Saloon, together with framed photographs of “Buffalo” Bill Cody, Annie Oakley, and actress Lillie Langtry, the “Jersey lily,” who became an American citizen in 1897, who was a one time favourite of King Edward the 7th as well as Judge Roy Bean who was an eccentric U.S. saloon-keeper and Justice of the Peace in Val Verde County, Texas, who called himself “The Law West of the Pecos.”

Get Your Election Edition Now!

   I cannot help but wonder if No.113c blocked the street deliberately with that tractor and Tally Ho dispenser that day. After all, had it not been there, the road would have been clear for Number 6 to drive the Mini-Moke all the way down to the slipway, and onto the beach in an attempt to escape. In the way he had on the day of his arrival in The Village. But then again that would be a repetitive scene, and wouldn’t have been quite the thing.
So the road was blocked, and Number 6 was forced to abandon the taxi and run for it with Number 58 giving chase. Eventually Number 6 did make it to the slipway, but the tide was in, which would have been the same result had the street not been blocked. Number 6 would have been forded to abandon the Mini-Moke at the slip way and take  to the sea by jet boat.

Although in ‘Free For All’ Number 6 attempts to escape by sea, taking on the two motor mechanics aboard the boat. There is a
parallel between it, and the scene in ‘Arrival,’ when Number 6 takes on two Guardians, climbing aboard the Mini-Moke, and attempting to escape by driving out along the beach. The parallel is completed when in both scenes Number 6 has to abandon the Mini-Moke and boat because of an imminent by the white membranic Guardian.
I suppose one could argue that that place, in the street, is Number 113c’s pitch, where he stands every day to sell copies of The Tally Ho. If it is, then he daily blocks the thoroughfare………….Just a minute, it was only a few moments ago that Number 6 was in his cottage with Number 58 who had just brought him his breakfast. So as we see the episode, this is on the morning of the second day of ‘Free For All.’ So how come Number 113c is still selling copies of yesterdays Tally Ho?

Badge Of Authority

   The badge worn by the majority of village citizens has been described as being a constant reminder of authority, its number a means of identifying citizens. Well what works one way, works another. Because in the village, having been stripped of your own name and identity, at least a numbered badge gives you some kind of identity to cling on to. Look how Number 6 reacted when he had his number 6 taken away from him in ‘The Schizoid Man.’ He fought tooth and nail to establish that he was No.6!    And yet there are a number of other people who do not wear their badges. Amongst them, the butler, the doctor in ‘Arrival,’ as well as the medical orderly, the photographer for The Tally Ho, and his twin who operates the Tally Ho dispenser in ‘Free For All.’ And then there’s the Professor and Madam Professor in ‘The General,’ although they hardly need wear a numbered badge, being confined to their house the way they are. But they all have one thing in common, they are quite happy to serve, with the possible exception of the Professor and his wife.   No.93 who is unmutual and disharmonious wears a badge. Also No.53, the Rook, who demonstrated his rebellious nature by making a move of his own while on the chessboard, and yet he never refused to wear his badge. And the same can be said of No.14 the chess champion. He might be too old for escape, but he could still show resistance by refusing to wear his badge! A more active dissident was No.51, the watchmaker, who was at the heart of an assassination attempt against Number 2. He was far from happy with his existence in the village. He was not afraid to speak out, because he had met no-one in the village who had committed a crime. Yet he still wore his numbered badge! So it might be the case that only citizens loyal to the village are permitted not to wear their number, but the majority of people do. Otherwise no-one would know who anyone was. Because in ‘A B and C’ when No. 6 sat down at a table with No.14 on the lawn of the Old people’s Home, he had to tell No.14 who he was, because he wasn’t wearing a badge!

I’ll be seeing you.

Friday 25 September 2020

Pictorial Prisoner

  In ‘Free For All’ it’s election time in the village and No.2 addresses the electorate using a unique 1950’s Tannoy 'Hey-Loh' Mark 2 electronic loud hailer, complete with a volume control.

Be seeing you

The Phantom Light

     Sam Higgins is a Chief Lightkeeper travelling on a train in Wales, he is going to take up his post on the North Stack Lighthouse, which has an unhappy notoriety, some say its haunted………. situated on a lonely stretch of the Welsh coast. Arriving at TAN – Y – BWLCH railway station he asks an old woman…………

    “‘ere misses…… where can I get a car to the village?”
    Ordinarily this would be an innocent enough question, and one not usually to be given a second thought. However Higgins is in Wales, on the Ffestiniog line, and therefore every time I watch this 1935 film the question invokes for me an idea or feeling of an Italianate village on a certain estuary.

Be seeing you


Tuesday 22 September 2020

More Tales From The Village

    Once upon a time is the traditional way to begin a fairytale and this one is no different. The terrible truth of the village is protected by a terrible Guardian. Then one day in the woods a gardener had the sudden idea that he could kill, destroy, rid the village of this terrible thing. There was a tree, it stood tall and proud, and one day the gardener climbed its limbs and taking a saw he cut a limb off. He stripped the sturdy length of tree branch of it bark, he hewed it to a point then rubbed it so smooth that it was like a lance, a spear, a javelin the balance of which was so perfect. And in a clearing in the woods he practiced his throwing skills with the spear. Then one day when he was working in one of the lower borders there came the blood curdling roar of the approaching Guardian. Hidden in the trailer of the garden tractor by some sacking was the spear, which he snatched up and made himself ready. Everyone was afraid of the Guardian as it bounded passed, but not the gardener, he knew no fear, he stood large and bold, spear in hand before the approaching Guardian. He took aim, he took a few paces forward and threw the spear…….there came a terrible sound, a scream as the Guardian’s white membrane covered the gardeners face, his hands clawing, his lungs bursting as he was being suffocated. Then worse…the white membrane of the Guardian took on a pink hue as it absorbed the body of the gardener. Then rolled and bounded away.
“It was his own fault” No.2 said “that gardener had no right in attacking the Guardian like that.”
“He was brave all the same” said his young female assistant

“Brave?” said No.2 “a rather foolish action if you ask me.”
“He fashioned himself a spear and tried to kill the Guardian with it.”

“And what had the Guardian ever done for him?”
“He was a knight in shining armour on a fiery horse trying to rid the village of a monster with a lance of silver”
“He was a man in a pair of overalls with a wooden stick, and his fiery horse was a garden tractor!”

“That’s the trouble with you No.2, you have no romance, and no imagination!”

Be seeing you