I started wondering how a world would look if a government decided that people were too stupid to make their own choices. This is the start of the story I came up with.
Some of the older folk say they can remember another time. They speak with reverence about fast food, supermarkets, and Facebook. One of the oldest says she remembers something called pop music. I think she’s making it up, but sometimes she sings snippets of things she says were hits.
Even now, as they eat their identical meals, they parody how they think mealtimes used to be: ‘That looks great, can I have some of yours?’ one man laughs. But the target of his joke is just a little too young, and too new here; he only glares at the prankster and pulls his plate closer.
Technically we’re only supposed to find humour in state sanctioned jokes, but many of the rules are relaxed in this place. It is officially presumed that illegal laughter is simply a result of senility and dementia, and the perpetrators can’t be blamed. There is no such leniency for the staff.