Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Public Information Booklet: "What To Do When..." (1976)

Below is one page from "What To Do When...", published in 1976. This government booklet was sent to Scarfolk schools, youth clubs and covens and taught children aged 5-12 the survival skills they would need in the bleak near future. The council took for granted, indeed had budgeted for, a complete social breakdown by the year 1979.

In the event of such a collapse, those in power, including Scarfolk's own mayor, would be housed in secure, luxury bunkers. Despite this, they deemed it "unsportsmanlike to let unprepared citizens perish so quickly. Besides, it wouldn't be at all entertaining for us"*. This referred to the many cameras which, as early as 1974, had been placed around the town to capture the unfolding dystopian drama, not for security reasons but merely for the amusement of the surviving elite - a prescient precursor to reality TV.

Chapters included:

"What To Do When..."
...Your Personality is Erased
...The Truth Doesn't Mean Anything Any More
...A Psychic Dog is Following You
...You Realise You Have Less Trading Value Than A Good Sock

* Excerpt from an internal council memo sent by Mayor Ritter to his most senior staff and his favourite office cactus, 32nd May 1976.

The subject of missing parents is also addressed in this post: "Is your mummy who she says she is?"


  1. Interesting and frightening, all at the same time.

  2. Still better than the rest of the time in scarfolk. At least the council will no longer mess with you. (Provided that the automatic devices stop working or get violently disabled)

  3. Brilliant! It's nice to read that there is a solid plan as I begin my day.