Harrison's father, George Bergeron, bears multiple government-imposed handicaps which repress his ‘‘way above-normal’’ intelligence. He refuses to remove any of them, however, for he believes that any attempt to change the present situation will inevitably cause civilization to regress back into the ‘‘dark ages,’’ when there was competition. George and Hazel, his wife, witness Harrison's rebellious act on television, but afterwards cannot remember why they are sad. George wears birdshot weights and a mental handicap radio in his ear that receives a "sharp noise'' transmission designed "to keep people ... from taking unfair advantage of their brains.''
Harrison's mother, Hazel Bergeron, does not need to wear any handicaps—mental or physical—as she possesses "normal" intelligence, appearance, and strength. In this story, however, ‘‘normal’’ entails that one is incompetent, or unable to fathom anything beyond that which is superficial. Hazel's dialogue with her husband, George, recalls the comedic team of George Burns and Gracie Allen.
Diana Moon Glampers
Although Diana Moon Glampers, the United States Handicapper General, appears briefly toward the end of the story in order to quell Harrison's rebellion by killing him, her presence pervades the story. As Handicapper General, she ruthlessly maintains law and order without due process. One of the few descriptions of her...
(The entire section is 221 words.)