Tuesday, December 2, 2014

One third of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I just reread the classic children's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and was eager to tell you all about it. So I wrote one introductory sentence and then, instead of continuing, I drew a hundred tiny dots on my thumbnail with my pen. Those little blue dots are pretty interesting on my thumbnail and they say to me "I don't like writing book reviews!"

Now that that's out of the way I can say what I came here to say. I love the first third of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I love it to pieces, which makes it particularly appropriate that my copy is a first edition with all the pages falling out of it. I love that first third so much that even after probably a dozen read throughs I still cry every time Charlie finds a golden ticket.

My god! All that making a small chocolate bar last for a month because it's that precious and rare, and his heartbreaking birthday present of a mere chocolate bar where he doesn't find a ticket just as one would expect and his grandpa's hoarded dime that buys a chocolate bar without a ticket as one would expect, but a little less so, and then finding the ticket only when in an astonishment of good luck, desperately hungry, Charlie finds a bit of money and buys chocolate that he wolfs down without even considering the ticket because he is starving to death

To talk about the grab bag of dazzling, imaginative genius, amusing nonsense, and petty, mean-spirited moralism of the last two thirds of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is beyond the purview of this essay and merely makes me want to see if I can draw a nice chocolate bar on the back of my hand.

So how about I leave you here and get to that...


  1. I am doing an experiment. I am commenting on a blog months old to see if you will see this comment. This is a very advanced experiment. Thank you for your participation.

    1. I am delighted you are experimenting here. I think you are really in the right spirit. And indeed, it is super advanced. Even I don't know quite what you're up to here.

      Unfortunately, no, I am unable to see this comment of yours as the post is too old. But great try!

    2. BTW, the dots I drew on my thumb are now all long gone.

    3. Those dots? You mean *those* dots? Well, I guess I'm okay with that, but I'll have to drop it into the well of thought and feeling to see what bubbles up.

    4. I also see that my experiment is showing signs of success: I have received a message that my previous response will not be visible until after approval, securing my early hypothesis about commenting on older blogs being something that brings up the thumb dots of yore--enhanced response time secures it!

    5. Er, to get all technical- I'm not sure you want me to, comments on posts more than a week or two old require me to approve them. It's sort of an anti spam thing. Since old posts are ever so rarely visited one can use the comment section to chat back and forth, like us now. I also use them for lists and sometimes carry on fake discussions with myself back and forth. There are way more benefits to a complete and resounding lack of fame than anyone thinks!

    6. As to dots. Yes, *those* dots, unless you mean *those* dots, which sound very different altogether.

  2. I would have you know that I am writing to you from Merida, the capital of the Yucatan. We are celebrating our 20 year anniversary. While at the Mayan ruins of Uxmal I asked several of the snake deities about the nature of your blog and possible comments on older dates. They responded by sending me to the underworld river and then back again to the top of a pyramid. Oy, I said, when will you Mayan gods give me an answer. And so I am still waiting.

    1. Really?


      I was at that wedding 20 years ago!

      Underworld river, top of pyramid, that's one long trip!

      I am waiting too.

      Still waiting.

      And waiting.

      Happy Anniversary!!!!!


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.