Now tonight, if you’ll follow me, we have something rather special.
Southern Colorado got smacked by a blizzard on Wednesday so our local schools had a two hour delay on Thursday. While I don’t normally let the boys watch TV on school mornings, it’s not like there was any rush. While Pres was in the shower, Nate’s choice was for “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and I wasn’t going to say no to that. I was a little worried that Pres — eight, going on 14 — might complain it was too young for him. But he came downstairs and sat right down on the sofa, just as entranced as Nate was. And as I was, too. I might be a grown adult of sorts, but a little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.
The book’s author, Roald Dahl, hated the movie, which is why the name was changed to “Willie Wonka and… ” from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Has a fine author ever been more wrong about the movie version of his work? More than 40 years later, the movie still sucks you in. My boys sat there totally still, even though small boys are extremely springy and elastic.
When I was about Nate’s age, I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times Dad put on Sammy Davis Jr’s record of “The Candy Man.” A hundred? Hundreds? A thousand? It probably wasn’t a thousand, but I bet it was in the hundreds. It wasn’t for a couple more years, this being a time long before VCRs and rental stores, before I knew the song was from a movie. I can’t watch Gene Wilder without hearing Sammy Davis.
So here he is in all his unabashed, sugary glory.
And I dare you not to smile. I double-dog dare you.
The suspense is terrible… I hope it’ll last.