Thursday, July 25, 2013

Untold Endings to Classic Children's Stories: The Case Against Growing Up

If you are reading this, you are most likely the worst kind of person. A turd. A blunderhead. A jack-a-napes. A one-eyed-lily-hustler. You, my friend, are an adult and there’s not a more horrible creation on the face of all of God’s green earth.

I know. I used to be one.

Wear a suit, a tie. Sit. Do things that rhyme with “sit.” Do what you’re told. Tell others. Use words like “greenhouse gas,” “Boolean,” and “rectal thermometer” with a straight face.

Pay taxes.

Maybe you’ve read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, and The Jungle Book, or at least seen the movies.

I’m talking about what happened after Charlie, Alice, and Mogli grew up.

Take Charlie for example.

Back in the sixties Willie Wonka could clearly see that the tides were turning for chocolate factories, particularly his American-based holdings after the FCC forced him to shut down the Television Room what with the Mike Teavee incident and all. Lawsuits came aplenty. Willie chose Charlie as his successor and hotfooted it out, leaving Charlie with a magic boatload of problems.

But a Golden Ticket and an honest, good-natured disposition does not a CEO make.

The FAA confiscated the great glass elevator for improper licensing and safety violations. The FDA forced Charlie to destroy all edible trees and rivers of chocolate due to health concerns and unsanitary conditions. The real low point for Charlie came when the NSA raided the factory and deported the Oompa-Loompas who, as illegals, were stealing jobs from Americans. Operations ceased overnight, forcing Charlie to issue an IPO in order to raise funds and keep the factory afloat.

Charlie was getting sick of three letter acronyms, and had a few choice four-letter words he wanted to share—a bad sign that the disease of adulthood was upon him.

At some point, the magic leaves our lives.

Alice grew up to become a politician. She ran for president and chose the Cheshire Cat as her VP. He was all smiles and vanishing acts. She declared Iran as the new Red Queen and swore to slay her with her vorpal sword.

At the age of twenty, Mogli was arrested for public urination. He spent years drifting through the legal system.

In his later years, Charlie, as CEO of Wonka Industries, spent much of his time in board meetings crafting mission statements and sipping water from recycled bottles. He looked over graphs and itemized reports. And sometimes—only sometimes—he thought about Willie and wondered where the magic went.

Being an adult sucks. I know. I used to be one. Like Peter Pan, I refuse to grow up. I will laugh when someone says “rectum” and cry when someone does something mean. I will wrestle with my kids and wear sweatpants to work because I want to. And also because I work at home. I will have fun even if everyone else is serious and I will smile just because.

I won’t lose the magic.

Repeat after me: “I won’t lose the magic.”

1 comment:

John Robertson said...

I thought this was a fun post, though I find being an adult quite tolerable as long as I can be surrounded by my children. They carry magic with them to those who will see it.