My dear friends,
The internet is a marvelous place. How perfectly astounding it is to learn the secrets of the deepest jungles and most obscure Kardashians, all at the touch of a button! However, the “Condescending Wonka” meme has got me all wrong, and I’d like to set the record straight.
My protege, Charlie Bucket, insists that there is no such thing as bad publicity, and the Oompa-Loompas have warned me: “What do you get when you go to the press? / Reporters who question your business success.” But I simply cannot bear the idea that I would condescend to children, when in fact, I hold them to quite rigorous standards.
Take, for example, the golden-ticket-holders who didn’t make it to the end of my tour. I allowed them to be nearly killed by my terrifying factory machinery when they made the wrong moral choices. If that’s not giving them credit for their decision-making skills, I don’t know what is! I mean, the parents are a whole different ballgame, but they’re monstrous.
And, to be fair, when that picture was taken of me, I was offering to show the group my tremendous Everlasting Gobstoppers. Look, I admit, I do enjoy being a fascinating enigma, and these candies are possibly my greatest invention. Think about it. I basically solved world hunger. Can you blame me for having a bit of a twinkle in my eye? I’m a delightful elfin trickster, it comes with the territory.
On the chocolate river of life, there’s no earthly way of knowing which direction we are going, and I understand the need to take some control by commenting on society with a splashy image and some text. I realize that not everyone has a multi-billion-dollar business run by an insular group of loyal immigrants with which to isolate themselves from civilization, and the internet is a splendid place.
But play in this world of pure imagination carefully. My mysterious aura of kindly megalomania has been carefully cultivated, and I will not allow it to be besmirched by your greed for pageviews. You never know when I might be testing you, and if you don’t pass you get nothing! You lose!
Good day, sir!
By Kathryn Funkhouser