George was toying with the vague notion that maybe

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would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn’t be handicapped. But he didn’t get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.George winced. So did two out of the eight ballerinas.Hazel saw him wince. Having no mental handicap herself she had to ask George what the latest sound had been.“Sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer,” said George.“I’d think it would be real interesting, hearing all the different sounds,” said Hazel, a little envious. “All the things they think up.”“Um,” said George.“Only, if I was Handicapper General, you know what I would do?” said Hazel. Hazel, as a matter of fact, bore a strong resemblance to the Handicapper General, a woman named Diana Moon Glampers. “If I was Diana Moon Glampers,” said Hazel, “I’d have chimes on Sunday – just chimes. Kind of in honor of religion.”
“I could think, if it was just chimes,” said George.“Well – maybe make ‘em real loud,” said Hazel. “I think I’d make a good Handicapper General.”“Good as anybody else,” said George.“Who knows better’n I do what normal is?” said Hazel.“Right,” said George. He began to think glimmeringly about his abnormal son who was now in jail, about Harrison, but a twenty-one-gun salute in his head stopped that.“Boy!” said Hazel, “that was a doozy, wasn’t it?”It was such a doozy that George was white and trembling and tears stood on the rims of his red eyes. Two of the eight ballerinas had collapsed to the studio floor, were holding their temples.“All of a sudden you look so tired,” said Hazel. “Why don’t you stretch out on the sofa, so’s you can rest your handicap bag on the pillows, honeybunch.” She was referring to the forty-seven pounds of birdshot in canvas bag, which was padlocked around George’s neck. “Go on and rest the bag for a little while,” she said. “I don’t care if you’re not equal to me for a while.”George weighed the bag with his hands. “I don’t mind it,” he said. “I don’t notice it any more. It’s just a part of me.“You been so tired lately – kind of wore out,” said Hazel. “If there was just some way we could make a little hole in the bottom of the bag, and just take out a few of them lead balls. Just a few.”“Two years in prison and two thousand dollars fine for every ball I took out,” said George. “I don’t call that a bargain.”“If you could just take a few out when you came home from work,” said Hazel. “I mean – you don’t compete with anybody around here. You just set around.”“If I tried to get away with it,” said George, “then other people’d get away with it and pretty soon we’d be right back to the dark ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn’t like that, would you?”“I’d hate it,” said Hazel.“There you are,” said George. “The minute people start cheating on laws, what do you think happens to society?”If Hazel hadn’t been able to come up with an answer to this question, George couldn’t have supplied one. A siren was going off in his head.

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