Saturday, March 13, 2004

Gloop's Revenge

HORST, a reporter, is already seated on one side of a conference table. There’s an empty chair on the other side. In front of him, HORST has a pad, a pen and a tape recorder. The door opens, WILLY WONKA steps in. Twenty years older than the last time we saw him in the movie.

WONKA: Ah, the fourth estate has arrived.

HORST stands up.

WONKA: Shaking of hands. Social ritual. You sit there. I sit here. Cane goes here. Good. Begin.

HORST: (German accent) It is a pleasure to meet you Mr. Wonka.

WONKA: Reciprocally, Mr. …

HORST: Horst Weinhold of Der Speigel.
Mirror mirror on the wall.
Speigel, mirror. Ah, you know your German. Good, Mr. Wonka. Shall we begin the interview proper? In English, if you please. I am in need of the practice.
HORST takes out digital voice recorder.
With permission?
Wonka nods.
HORST turns recorder on.
No tape, you see, Digital. Our words become ones and zeroes.
Progress marches on. But what of the human heart?
What indeed, Mr. Wonka. I was taken on a tour of the new factory. It is all so clean. So industrial.
The hand that rocks the cradle turns the wheels of industry.
HORST: Your fame for cryptic sayings is well deserved. Perhaps you refer to Diana Bucket, the new owner of this place? She is of course, pregnant. Is that your meaning?
WONKA: I dunno. I just say these things. Open my mouth, the words come out.
HORST: Yes, well. Do you think she’s doing a good job?
WONKA: As could be expected.
HORST: Yes. The great responsibility of this place became hers rather suddenly. It is a shame about the untimely death of Mr. Bucket.
Wonka nods sadly.
WONKA: Poor Charlie.
HORST: Yes, poor Charlie. Hmmm. To think he would choke on a fraudulent golden ticket on a candy bar that had somehow remained in circulation since 1970. What are the odds, do you think? Are you crying, Mr. Wonka?
HORST: No, of course not. Getting back to the factory. It is said that all this new technology I see, it is not so new, yes?
I’ve never said it.
HORST: For the record, Mr. Wonka.
WONKA: No. I invented most of it in the 1960s. We’ve automated a lot of it, converted it to the 1s and zeroes you carry around in your pocket. Charlie …
HORST: Poor Charlie.
WONKA: The late Charles Bucket … started the conversion. Diana finished it. But the industrial process at the heart of it isn’t new.
So – the technology you revealed in 1970. This was not the real technology?
The chocolate river, the geese which laid the chocolate eggs and so on. This was all misdirection for the masses?
WONKA: Misdirection for the competition. Slugworth was trying to steal my secrets.
Mr. Slugworth. He was not a fiction?
WONKA: No. there was a real Slugworth. I’d hired a man to impersonate him, but ...
Gunter Meisner.
WONKA: What?
Gunter Meisner, the character actor.
WONKA: Oh, yes. I’d forgotten. What was I saying? I’ve lost my train of thought.
You were telling me that Mr. Slugworth was not a fiction. There was a real Mr. Slugworth.
WONKA: Yes, there was a real Slugworth. It’s public knowledge.
HORST: Tell us about the real Slugworth.
WONKA: He was … Le mot juste? A shit. A right bastard. A sphincter with legs. An affirmation of mediocrity and pettiness. The utter absence of imagination and joy. One of the reasons God had second thoughts about creating the human race. A picker of intellectual pockets.
HORST: And, not too bright, yes?
WONKA: Oh, no, no, no. Dumb as a rock. Dim as a dim bulb could be.
HORST: Ah. Dim enough to believe a chocolate egg comes out of a goose’s ass?
WONKA cracks up.


So, if I am to understand you correctly, Mr. Wonka. In 1970, you know, when you revealed the inner workings of your factory at the time of the golden ticket promotion. You only pretended to reveal your secrets.

WONKA: If you want to put it that way.

When the four little children walked through? The things they suffered ...

WONKA: They didn’t suffer …
No, it was just a learning experience. But, showing your factory to the children – the fake factory -- this was merely to throw Mr. Slugworth off the scent?

WONKA: Partly. But I did need a successor. That was the main reason.
Ah. The late Charlie Bucket.
WONKA: He was a good man.
A good little boy from a story by Charles Dickens. Did the ticket fall into his hands by accident?
No, of course not.
WONKA: Of course not. If the contest itself was rigged ...
I wouldn’t say …
Was the selection of a successor rigged?
WONKA: No. It was a series of moral tests.
Which Charlie passed through his innate moral goodness.
Yes. You and Mr. Bucket were very close. I understand he was your gay lover.
WONKA: What? No!
Then. I am misinformed. The rumors …
WONKA: People have me confused with Marilyn Manson. It’s the hat, you know?
HORST: Then you are not gay?
WONKA: No! Not that there’s anything wrong with it.
HORST: No. Unless of course your gay lover was a child.

Hold a beat.

WONKA: Right then. Sod off you sodding kraut. This interview is over.
HORST: I don’t think so, Mr. Wonkla. Sit down.
HORST removes an ugly looking Luger.
A luger for sentimental purposes, hmm? Don’t move until I tell you.
WONKA: What’s this …
HORST: You don’t recognize me, hmm? My name was not always Horst, you know.
WONKA: Augustus Gloop.
GLOOP: Yes, Mr. Wonka. (bows) Augustus Gloop.
WONKA: Wow, you’ve really taken the weight off.
GLOOP: Yes. I work out regularly. I am not the butterball I once was. (gestures with Luger) Now get you, you pig. We will take a walk together.
WONKA reaches for his cane.
Leave the cane, Mr. Wonka. (gestures with gun) Now move. Slowly. You go first. Keep walking and stay four steps in front of me at all times.
WONKA: Where are we going?
To the ersatz factory, hmm?. To the area you have preserved for tourists. The chocolate river, of course.
WONKA: Of course.
Of course. You are cooperating. It is the wise thing to do in a hostage situation.
Is that what this is?
GLOOP: Let me tell you something, Mr. Wonka. You can cooperate like a lamb, you can scream like a girl, it won’t make any difference. Diana will not help you. She, of course is on a leave of absence. I thought about killing her, but she is not connected to my pain. The Oompa Loompas will not help you. The ones who mocked me with their songs.
WONKA: You killed them.
GLOOP: No, Mr. Wonka. Well, only four of them. The uncooperative ones. But the others? I have taken their families. The Oompa-Loompas will live. The extortion is perhaps over carelful. The organge ones, for the most part, have no objection to what I am doiing.
WONKA: I saved them.
GLOOP: Yes you rescued them from the Grunka Lunkas and the Vermicious Knids. Mr God with the Big Hat in Africa. You saved them, then imprisoned them in your factory.
WONKA: They weren’t slaves!
GLOOP: No, of course not. They could turn themselves in to British Immigraition at any time. Please. The songs you forced them to sing? And thopse stupid costumes. They resented it greatly. Ah, and here we are. Keep walking . Four steps ahead, hmm? Stop there.
WONKA stops.
Look at it. The chocolate river.
WONKA: It’s beautiful.
Hmm. Perhaps this is, how you say, in the eye of the beholder. To me, it resembles a river of shit.
He kicks Wonka into the chocolate river.
Oh, I’m sorry.
The current takes him. WONKA thashes wildly. Goes down. Then his head pops up again.
WONKA: Help!
GLOOP: Ah. Perhaps this part is familiar to you?
The current pulls WONKA into a chocolate whirlpool. WONKA then gets sucked down out of sight.
GLOOP looks up at a transparent plastic tube coming out of the chocolate river.
GLOOP looks at his watch.
GLOOP: 4 …3..2..1…now.
WONKA gets sucked into the tube. Then gets stuck.
HORST smiles.
WONKA watches as, down below, GLOOP puts a headset with a mic on. Then speaks.
Inside the tube, WONKA hears GLOOP’s voice booming through from the sound system.
GLOOP: Can you hear me?
WONKA nods. He can hear him.
GLOOP: Does it hurt, Mr. Wonka? I was an eight-year-old kinder. Imagine what it was like for me. The pressure of the chocolate. It hurt, you know. Yes, of course you know. Now you do. Imaginative sympathy is no longer required.
WONKA speaks. His voice echoesin the tube.
WONKA: I’m sorry.
No response.
WONKA: I’m sorry. I said I was sorry. Hello …Augustus? Can you hear me?
GLOOP: Yes, I can hear you.
WONKA: I’m sorry.
GLOOP: You’re sorry, you’re sorry.
WONKA: I am sorry!
GLOOP: Of course you are sorry. I am making you suffer. But this is an act of moral weakness. It is not like you, Mr. Wonka. Like Dante, you arrange mechanical hells for the unrighteous and a a heaven of chocolate goodies for the suvck-ups. You must defend your moral position. Shall we continue our interview?
WONKA: Interview?
GLOOP: Please try to be honest.
WONKA: I’ll do my best, you psychotic bastard.
GLOOP: Good.
GLOOP turns on the recorder.
GLOOP: Well, Mr. Wonka. Did I deserved what happened to me?
WONKA: Nothing happened to you! You shot right out of the tube!
GLOOP: Yes. Your body mass is greater than mine, that is true. For me, it was not so long. But I did not “shoot out of the tube.” I was stuck for atotal of fifteen seconds. Ity hurt. I was frightented. I washumiliated. But do you think that was all I suffered, hmm? After this event, after I left your stupid factory, when I went back to Germany, what do you think happened to me?
I never thought about.
GLOOP: No, of coure not. You paid off my parents and forgot about me. Well, Mr. Wonka. Please think about it now. Augustus Gloop the roly-poly boy. I was a child. I was fat. My experiences in this place became public knowledge.. My name became a synonym for disgusting fatness, a term of abuse. Pig, swine, glutton, gloop. At my school, I was ridiculed publically. I was beaten every day by the bullies. Hey gloop! Hey gllops you want some chocolate. Eseen! They shjopved it in my mouth and laughed at me. They insulted me with my own name. You can see why I changed it. So, now, I ask you my question again. Did I deserve what happened to me?


GLOOP: Don’t lie, Mr. Wonka.


WONKA: Yes, yes you wre a disgusting, greedfy little pihg. Yes you deserved it! I told you the rules! Very clearly! No, stop, don’t! Remember? You didn’t have to stick your face in the chocolate river…

GLOOP: I had a glandular condition.

WONKA: I’m sorry.

GLOOP: Please, don’t be. The doctors have cured it with prednisone treatments. (makes a muscle) T though they tell me it is affecting my bones. My shoulder, they say, is necrotizing.

WONKA: I’m sorry…Augustus.

GLOOP: It can’t be helped.
I’m sorry about what I did. You didn’t deserve it.

GLOOP: No, Mr. Wonka. I didn’t. But still you do not see, hm? Even if I had been simply greedy , a litte pig and nothing more? (shouting) you do not cure a child with a weight problem by making him ashamed! He will only eatmore! Everyone knows this! (calm agaij) What you did was sadism.
This is sadism!

GLOOP: Yes. Yes it is. I do not pretend to be teaching you a moral lesson, Mr.Wonka. My goal is not to reform you. You made me suffer. I am paying you back. That is all. I do not claim the moral high ground. Charlie, for example. He didn’t deserve to die. Choking for a full minute on the foil in his throat. I just hated the little shit.

Goddamn you!
Perhaps. Calling his child Diana. It reveals his lworking-class origins, don’t you think?
Goddamn you!
You’re repeating yourself, Mr. Wonka.
You won’t get away it.
No, of course not. Diana will appear at the last minute and stop me. She will save you. Perhaps, ironically, I will drown in the chocolate river.
Looks around.
No. Well. Too bad.
Oh are you feeling uncomfortable? Now let me tell you what to expect. I hate to say it, but the fun part is over. According to my calculations?
Go to hell!
Your sayings are not so clever now, huh? Here, let’s be precise.
He takes out a high-tech device and does calculations.
The chocolate, at 1500 pounds of foot pressure per square centimeter will soon begin pushing into your lower intestines. The capillaries in your eyes will begin to burst. You will, at some point, vomit, and begin to choke on your own vomit, unless an embolism of the brain has killed you first. Or, perhaps, the chocolate seepage from below will reach up to your mouth and drown you. It is of no matter. By the time that the pressure finally forces you through the tuber, you will be long since dead, Mr. Wonka. Due to your greater mass ratio, your body will be a mangled lump of flesh when it comes out on the other end. Well. Any last words? Cute sayings? No? (smiles evilly) Well, I have one for you.
THE OOMPA loompas march.

HORST: Here, look. Your little friends have come to sing. (he smiles) the lyrics, of course, are mine.

OOMPA LOOMPAS: Ooompaloompa ...

Not yet, OK?

Goodbye Mr. Wonka. I believe this concludes our interview. My desire for revenge is purely intellectual. I do not have a strong stomach. OK, hit it boys.
I’ll pay you anything you want. Anything.

The Oompa Loompas look at him.
Then burst into song.

Oompa loompa doopadee doo
I’ve got a final puzzle for you
Oompa loompa doopadah Dee
Before you die you'll listen to me
What is the fate of the man who plays God?
Wears a big hat and acts very odd?
Jails orange dwarves in his personal zoo.
And likes to hurt children too?
By enticing them with chocolate.
Oompa, loompa, doopity das
Karma is biting you, right on your ass.
You will die in agony too
Oompa looma – hey, Wonka, screw you!

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