words

VOZ

Voz Corporation is in trouble. Chuck Nesbit, President and CEO, looks out his office window across the rolling lawns and gazebos of Voz's suburban headquarters. "Voz Corporation is in trouble," he says. He is wearing a pale violet dress shirt, a brown double-breasted suit, and brown penny-loafers.

All across the fifty states and in sixty-three other countries on six continents, salesmen from Voz Corporation call on customers. Every one wears a pale violet dress shirt, a brown double-breasted suit, and brown penny-loafers. Every one brings the customer, or prospective customer, an expensive and age-appropriate gift. It is part of the Voz corporate image. A consistent corporate image is one of the cornerstones of Voz Corporation's success.

"A consistent corporate image is one of the cornerstones of Voz Corporation's success," says Chuck Nesbit to his executive secretary, who has just entered the room.

Anita Laplume, Chuck Nesbit's executive secretary, is thirty-five years old today. Her hair is dyed silver, and kept trimmed to a uniform length of three-quarters of an inch. Her head carries a perpetual silver halo. Anita Laplume's steamy autobiography, "Staying Competitive in the Global Economy" has been on the New York Times bestseller list for 43 weeks. Anita Laplume, stepping through the oak-framed doorway into Chuck Nesbit's office, wears a pale violet silk blouse, a brown double-breasted suit, and brown pennyloafers with two-inch heels. She walks to the TV and turns down the volume.

Chuck Nesbit is playing rock videos from the Bombay satellite feed on the MovieMax projection TV again. On the forty-inch (measured diagonally) screen, handsome dark-skinned young men and emphatically-built dark-skinned young women jerk coitomimetically; courtyards full of smiling hips thrust at the camera, jerk back. A young man tears off his sunglasses, spins to face the camera, smiles, spins back towards his co-star, who is smiling fixedly into the camera while rhythmically thrusting her chest at the revolving head of the young man with the sunglasses. All participants are, of course, fully clothed, in silks, scarves, brass bells, black denim jeans. There must always be some limits.

"There must always be some limits," observes Anita Laplume, turning from the VCR, halo gently rippling as she moves. When she was in the Marines, they called her "the Angel".

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, a Voz Corporation salesman has come to call on the Chief Information Officer of the Seabring Power and Light Company. In the bottom of his briefcase, as a gift for the customer, is a set of matched emeralds worth $14,000. It is early afternoon, and sunny in Grand Rapids, but chilly and windy.

"We're not making money anymore," says Chuck Nesbit to Anita Laplume, back east in the President's office, on the second floor of the middlesized brown building in the center of the Voz corporate campus.

The night before, last night, Chuck Nesbit had a dream. He dreamed he went down the back stairs in the middlesized brown building, the back stairs th