So he decreed, in words succinct,
That all who flirted, leered or winked
(Unless connubially linked),
Should forthwith be beheaded, beheaded, beheaded
(With thanks to the Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan.)
I was strolling down the Rehovot high street when a passing young woman caught my eye. She’s got a nice pair of …. I tried to stop the thought. I tried to think shoes, I meant a nice pair of shoes, but it was too late.
The nearest Thought Control post, they are mounted every 25 meters along the pavement, flashed red. I mouthed a few choice words, holding my hand over my mouth to avoid the Lip-reading CCTV with its lip-syncing program that can decipher what people are saying at distance. I tried to limp a little to confuse the gait-analysis software, which can identify an individual by the manner of their walk, but I was not too hopeful.
The system, which, of course, has all my personal details, now had my inappropriate thought.
I remembered reading that the Ministry of Public Surveillance, or MPS as we call it, was demanding a larger budget to allow it to implement Thought Control in all coffee shops and restaurants but had not yet received the necessary funds. I entered the nearest coffee shop and ordered a cup of tea (I would have preferred coffee, but try to rebel whenever possible).
I sat down to think, averting my eyes from the comely waitress who lent over a little more than was strictly necessary to put my teacup in front of me, in case I should have thoughts about her when back on the street. It is rumoured that the MPS employs waitresses with thought-producing bodies to test customers’ observance to the rules.
The MPS operates a points system, like the Ministry of Traffic Control. When an offender has accumulated a certain number of points, automatic penalties apply. But there’s a problem, there is no way to know how many points you have accumulated. And if you try to remember previous occasions that might have earned you points, your collection of thoughts of well-shaped women will get you even more points.
Luckily, unlike the Mikado’s punishment of beheading, the MPS just notifies your friends, family and business associates of your inappropriate thoughts.
While this Blog is a product of my imagination, it was inspired by an article in the UK’s Telegraph:
“Lip-reading CCTV will have people ‘cupping hands over their mouths’ in street, warns surveillance watchdog”
The Telegraph 27 August 2019
Think about that!