A footnote to l’affaire Gloop, if you will. Like many kids, I didn’t just watch the 1971 movie adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I went to the source text by Roald Dahl, where I found glosses on the the whole Augustus Gloop incident like this:
“Mr. Wonka doesn’t seem to think so!” cried Mrs. Gloop. ” just look at him. he’s laughing his head off! How dare you laugh like that why my boy’s just gone up the pipe! You monster!” she shrieked, pointing her umbrella at Mr. Wonka as though she were going to run him through. “You think it’s a joke, do you? You think that sucking my boy up into you Fudge Room like that is just one great big colossal joke?”
“He’ll be perfectly safe,” said Mr. Wonka, giggling slightly.
He’ll be chocolate fudge!” shrieked Mrs. Gloop.
“Never!” cried Mr. Wonka.
“Of course he will!” shried Mrs. Gloop.
“Because the taste would be terrible,” said Mr. Wonka. “Just imagine it! Augustus-flavored chocolate coated Gloop! No one would buy it.”
That’s on pp. 75-6 of the 2007 Puffin edition, if you care.
All these years — decades, really — later I reflect and wonder if this naughty cannibalistic image didn’t create in my head scenes like this from Gnosis Dreamscapes.
int. an industrial set inside “hygeine and you” – day
Professor Wagstaff stands with LITTLE BOBBY, a boy of perhaps eleven, watching cans coming down a conveyer belt through a hole in the wall.
Gee, Professor, this isn’t quite what I expected.
Little Bobby picks a can off the assembly line and looks at it.
close-up: a can
The lable has a picture of a smiling, well-scrubbed and properly coiffed Marcia on it, with the legends CANNED MARCIA and AS SEEN ON T.V. on it.
back to scene
Well, little Bobby, let that be a lesson to you. Always check the settings on the machine before you start.
I will, Professor. I promise.
What a tangled thing our psyches are.