I don’t have as much time as I normally do for this post tonight, so I thought I’d do my list a bit different today!
I’m watching Willy Wonka as I type this (old, not new), and I had a brilliant idea: ranking the ‘punishments’ from best to worst, worst being the one that would suck the most.
I assume everyone knows the story, but a quick recap: Willy Wonka, reclusive chocolateer, has invited four holy terrors, and one good kid to his chocolate factory. The kids misbehave, and Wonka teaches each of them a lesson in turn. In the end, the good kid wins, and everyone is happy, yay!
So, lets get right to it.
Mike Teevee was a proto-ADHD kid, loooooves TV. He watches it all day, dressed as a cowboy, complete with pop guns to help his favorite heroes. When he gets to the studio in Wonka’s factory that transports gigantic chocolate bars through the airwaves to a person’s TV as a normal size candy bar. Mike knew exactly what a person should do with that kind of technology: send himself through, of course! So he did it, and shrunk down to TV sized, which was a problem in the seventies, considering the TV’s were only like, 10 inches high. So Mike’s tiny, and I’m like: AWESOME. Who doesn’t want to be a verrrrry tiny person? Think of all the things you could do: be an awesome electronics repair person, ride a cat, wear very tiny clothes. The possibilities are endless, limited only to what you can think of.
Veruca Salt is a nasty sort: terribly spoiled, and rotten to the core, with parents that are more interested in placating her tantrums then setting her straight. When she gets to the room with the golden geese, she of course is not going to leave until her dad buys one for her. She sings a fantasic song about it, and then manages to get herself dropped down the garbage shoot because she a bad egg. Bad egg, get it? It’s punny.
So, she doesn’t get any fun disfigurements, but she also doesn’t have to explain to all her (most likely) horrible friends. Not to mention: fun slide ride! Who doesn’t want to ride a giant slide?
Violet Beauregard is a self-centered little girl, but she isn’t quite the terrible person Veruca is. Her big thing is she likes gum. A lot. Like, a not healthy fascination with it. She’s been chewing the same piece of gum for three months is what I’m saying. After a quick interlude with the everlasting gobstoppers, Wonka shows the kids his newest invention, the three course dinner gum. Violet NEEEEDS to taste the gum, even above Wonka’s protestations, and she turns blue, and turns into a giant round blueberry, or at least something that looks like a giant round blueberry.
Several possibilities with this too: She could join the Blue Man Group, or be a circus performer. But she really would be limited in her future possibilities, which is why I have it as less desirable than Mike’s.
Poor Augustus. All he wanted to do was eat all the things. This kid had a voracious appetite, and his waistline showed it. In the very first room, Augustus fell into the chocolate river, and got sucked up by the chocolate transport system.
This one looked like it hurt: first, nearly drown by chocolate, then poke and prodded, and finally squeezed through a pipe much to small for him. Not a fun time, and much sucking was had by all.
I know what you’re thinking: Charlie didn’t have a punishment, he won the whole thing!
But nay, I’d say!
Think of the psychological torture Wonka put him through. First, he had a run in with the crazy Slugworth, promising him riches beyond his wildest dreams. Then he had to see four kids be taken away in front of his eyes, with crazy orange men singing happily about it. Then there was the tunnel of craziness, with the bugs, and the psychedelic colors, and all sorts of other craziness. THEN there was the fizzy lifting drink that nearly sent him to the ceiling fan, until he difused it with farts. Finally, there was Wonka himself yelling at him: “You get NOTHING!”
Poor poor Charlie. Sure, he wins the chocolate factory. But at what cost? What cost?!?
(Visual aids tonight or tomorrow, so check back!)