Wednesday, March 18, 2015

{a dozen eyeballs on the floor}


It was mostly out of nostalgia that Barclay and I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this week. I had completely forgotten (or just never realized) how terrifying that book is. Hilarious, too, but terrifying. A quick and easy read, written for children, and quirky and interesting and fun, but terrifying. Like a horrible nightmare that makes you laugh sometimes but also has a bunch of valuable life lessons in it, like don't ever chew gum. If you haven't read it, I'd say do, but I'd also say don't. I'm not sure how a person would manage to do both, but I'd recommend trying.

In any case, you've probably seen one or both of the movies (which aren't even half as sinister as the book) and remember the Mike Teavee plot line, where Mike gets sent by television and shrunk and then Wonka puts him in a special machine he has for testing the stretchiness of chewing gum.

There's a song that accompanies this bit, sung by the Oompa-Loompas (who are also so much more creepy in the book than in the movie), which goes, in part, like this:

The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set -
Or better yet, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw a dozen eyeballs on the floor.)

IT ROTS THE SENSES IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!

HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE
HE CANNOT THINK - HE ONLY SEES!

I don't really care how much TV you let your kid watch, but I guess it got me thinking a very little bit about myself (oh, what's new, Suzy) and my own entertainment intake (including internet) and my own powers of thinking and how I wouldn't like them to rust and freeze. But mostly it got me thinking about how I would not like to be stretched in a machine designed to test the elasticity of chewing gum.

Anyway, so then I drew this picture of a bunch of old TVs. It was relevant and therapeutic and got my mind off of that dang book.