The Jeffers Corporation is a world success, endorsed by the U.S. President, pitching productivity and happy talk. George is a third level employee, supervising three or four others. Around the world, people are exploding as the stress of denying feelings takes its toll. The Jeffers’ response: mind control. George and his wife are miserable: he’s impotent with occasional fits of infantile pique. She’s reading a book on happiness, trying everything. His brother, released from prison, starts of freedom-of-expression movement in George’s backyard. Plus there’s Charisma, a woman from Level Four who sends him paperwork – with smiley faces. Can George connect?
When people begin exploding from stress, George Washington Winsterhammerman tries to ignore the epidemic and live his usual life, but then he suffers his first symptom.