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Monday 25 January 2021

The Tally Ho

 The General Stores – Under New Management!

by our own reporter

        The General Store has been placed under new management, No.19, or was it 56 has been replaced. It would appear a recent audit of the Store’s books has shown a number of discrepancies in the accounts, in brief it appears the shopkeeper has been “cooking” the books! No.2 said that this is an administrative error the fact that the Store’s books had never been checked before!
    No.112 has now been given the position of shopkeeper, and has already implemented a number of improvements to the village shop, a number of “special imports” now stock the shelves. Various LP records are now for sale, which any prospective buyer can listen to in the newly installed record booth. Although I cannot see much call for Cuckoo clocks! For those budding photographers there is now a selection of cameras and photographic equipment which can be purchased as well as 3 pounds of King Edward potatoes, Brussels sprouts, oranges, pineapples, and for the table, and imported blue and white Cornish ware, along with Portmeirion pottery. A 1940’s till is also a new addition to the shop. I asked the shopkeeper No.112 why there was a need for the till when the village is a cashless community which runs on credit?
    “Well sir, every time I clip a customer’s credit card I have to keep the clippings somewhere, so what better till could there be for what is supposed to be an olde worlde, typically English corner shop?”
    I found I could not argue with the man. So I asked the shopkeeper for 20 cigarettes.
    “Cigarettes sir?”
    “Yes, I’ll take 20 woodbine, oh and a box of matches.”
    “I’m sorry sir, but we don’t sell cigarettes.”
    “You do there’s a cigarette machine next to the door” I said turning to look.
    “There used to be sir, but I had it removed.”
    “Since when?”
    “Since the no smoking policy in the village sir.”
    “I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous, a no smoking policy. I’ll see Number 2 about this!”
    Ting ling a ling.
    I stood outside the shop for a few moments, took out a packet of woodbines from my pocket and a box of matches and lit a cigarette, a passer-by gave me such a queer accusing look, but my mind was on the previous shopkeeper who couldn’t make up his mind what his number was. A question buzzed around inside my mind, with the village being a cashless community, how could the shopkeeper No.19 or 56 have been found to be “cooking” the books, and so removed from his position because of fraud? There was no possible way he could have skimmed cash off the top, there being no cash to skim, unless he was philching goods, but then to what end? The shopkeeper isn’t the only citizen not to be seen recently, there’s No.14 the ex-Count, the painter No.42, and No.58. I have asked around, but no-one could say they have seen any of them; no-one leaves the village, and the only funeral recently was that of No.73. So where are they? It’s as though they have been wiped off the chessboard, as if they never existed! What’s more there are no more games of chess using people as chess pieces!

Be seeing you


  1. Hi David

    Yes: that General Store shopkeeper does flip from person to person and number to number.

    I seems that only sometimes does a number attach to a person and only sometimes does a number attach to a position. It appears that Number 2 is always the top position (that of Number 2) in charge of The Village.

    If The Prisoner Number 6 had become Number 2 (by being elected), then the Number 6 would be available for someone else to use. If the former Number 2 were then to stay in The Village, he could use an available number, say, Number 6.

    Does everyone in The Village have their individual designated number displayed outside their accommodation, as does Number 6?

    Cheers - Mike

    1. Hello Mike,
      Good to hear from you.
      I like the way the shopkeeper in ‘Arrival’ changes numbers in the same scene!
      That’s absolutely right, had No.6 been rightfully elected as a new interim No.2, perhaps he would have had to move out of his nice comfortable cottage, and into that room in the Town Hall, as seen in ‘Dance of The Dead.’ And as you say that would have made the number 6 available again, ready for the next No.6. And fictionally speaking, seeing as the village has been going for a long time, since the war, before the war, which war? The No.6 we know, will not have been the first No.6. After all in the series there are a number of new number 8’s, 12’s 14’s, 22’s to name but four.
      The only person who does not have their individual designated number displayed outside their accommodation, is No.2. However the Green Dome isn’t No.2’s accommodation, it’s an administrative office, No.2’s office. His, or her accommodation, is that room in the Town Hall.


  2. I should have written:

    "It seems that only sometimes does" ...