Welcome to the penultimate episode of Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Mark Steyn Club's latest Tale for Our Time and a bit of fluffy escapism that has nothing to do with our world, no sirree.
In tonight's episode, Winston Smith is finally ushered into the room he has heard so much about:
It was bigger than most of the cells he had been in. But he hardly noticed his surroundings. All he noticed was that there were two small tables straight in front of him, each covered with green baize. One was only a metre or two from him, the other was further away, near the door. He was strapped upright in a chair, so tightly that he could move nothing, not even his head. A sort of pad gripped his head from behind, forcing him to look straight in front of him.
For a moment he was alone, then the door opened and O'Brien came in.
'You asked me once,' said O'Brien, 'what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.'
Just in case you're confused on the point, Room 101 is not the BBC game-show of the same name which ran on radio and TV for over a quarter-century. That said, it is worth noting that Orwell himself named Room 101 after the grim Broadcasting House office in which, during his days with the Beeb, he was obliged to attend tedious unending production meetings. I passed it many times.
Tales for Our Time is an experimental feature we introduced as a bonus for Mark Steyn Club members, and, as you know, I said if it was a total stinkeroo, we'd eighty-six the thing and speak no more of it. But I'm thrilled to say it's proved very popular, and is now in its fourth season. If you're a Club member and you incline more to the stinkeroo side of things, give it your best in the Comments Section below. And do join me tomorrow evening for the conclusion of Nineteen Eighty-Four.