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I’ve got to go back to the doctor’s. Got to have my damn Voicewaxer removed. It was a great status symbol and it was even useful at times, but it’s got to go. All busy executives these days have one, and that’s fine for them. I’m Chief Executive Officer of Towndog Fabrication Systems, and I’m a very busy executive, but this damn Voicewaxer has got to go! The Voicewaxer; a tiny microphone with a radio transmitter, surgically implanted in the neck next to the voice box. These days it’s so routine they can put one in your neck in twenty minutes. No blood, just a band-aid and off you go. Then you put the tranceiving processor on your belt, run the installation and start-up protocols, and you’ve got Voicewax.

All the heavy hitters have Voicewax, or will soon. Hey, it’s useful, like I said. You can use your Voicewaxer to talk on the phone, run your computer with voice commands, dictate letters, make memos, retrieve voice mail, all kinds of nifty stuff.

It was hard to get used to seeing big-time executives walking into Neola’s for lunch talking to an imaginary companion. Ah, but hold, stand fast and don’t rush to judge. They are not talking to themselves, they are talking on the voicewaxer. They are on the cutting edge. They have spent thousands of dollars and had a Voicewaxer implanted under the flesh of their necks. They are talking to some valued friend or associate using their Voicewaxer.

My Voicewaxer has become a serious problem, though. It seems to be on the same frequency as my garage door opener and the invisible fence which keeps my hounds at bay. I came home last night and was dictating a letter to my computer as I came up the driveway. There were my Etruscan Goat Hounds, yapping merrily at the perimeter of the invisible fence. But something was wrong! The garage door was going up and down of it’s own accord. What in the wax Simpson was this? Very disturbing. As soon as I stopped talking the door stopped going up and down. But as I was pulling into the garage I muttered an oath at the wayward door, and it came down on the roof of the car.

“What the pissant HELL!?” The Voicewaxer! It was messing with the door! I was flummoxed. Then I noticed that the hounds had escaped the invisible fence. Holy wax! Some word I’d used had turned the fence off. Oh no! I walked across the yard imprecating the sandwiches of hell and when I crossed the fence I got a huge jolt of electricity right in the throat. “Feeeeeyagh!” I said. Some word I’d used had turned the fence back on.

Now I was in a quandary, the dogs were on the wrong side of the fence and were too far gone in reckless abandon to obey my calls to come home. They were digging up Mrs. Walker’s weird expensive flowers. Holding my breath and clenching my teeth, I leaped back across the invisible fence. My cry of, “Feeeeeyagh” must have turned the fence back off, because I didn’t receive another neck-wrenching shock. I went in the house and bemoaned my techno-neck. Every time I cursed out loud the garage door went up and down. My wife came home and I told her my problems. She went to the garage and unplugged the garage door opener and the invisible fence. She got the dogs inside and took some candied yams over to the Walkers’ to try and make peace.

My wife listened sympathetically while Mrs. Walker blew off steam. “I saw your husband over there,” said Mrs. Walker, “He’d been in the yard acting crazy, clutching his neck and making the garage door go up and down. Your hounds have devastated my Aleutian Pansies and my Madagascar Mums. I don’t know what I’ll do! Ah, but candied yams are a rare and quagmotic gift. I just hope your husband hasn’t lost his halyard!”

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