In fourth grade, I and a small group of my peers read the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and then had to give a presentation on it to the rest of the class. We were considered accelerated readers, which somehow equated to us doing more work than the other kids. Maybe it’s my scarred memory from having to stand up in front of the class playing tricks on me, but I don’t remember there being other groups of students giving presentations. My saving grace was the fact that we were a group. I was a very shy child and did not enjoy standing in front of the class with all eyes on myself.
We organized our presentation in the form of a talk show interview. One student was the interviewer and the rest of us were The Golden Ticket winners. I played Violet Beauregard. The best part was that I got to chew gum for the entire performance, in my school classroom! Under normal circumstances that would be a card-pulling offense, and being the model student I was, breaking the rules ever so slightly was a thrill. I even remember visiting a gumball machine the evening before my class presentation and getting a giant yellow gumball to take to school with me the next day.
A downfall to my shyness was that I rarely spoke up. So when my group insisted that I, as the character Violet Beauregarde, answer the question, “Where did you find your golden ticket?” with “In a pack of gum”, it took all my courage to explain to the group that was not Wonka cannon and didn’t make sense. Desiree told me that it would be boring for us all to answer, “in a chocolate bar” so my chewing gum answer would have to do. Apparently my idea to use the names of chocolates actually in the book, or to make up some names, would also have been boring. So dear children and parents, if you are to use this book for a report or presentation, please remember the simple fact that the “…five Golden Tickets have been hidden underneath the ordinary wrapping paper of five ordinary candy bars.” Not inside a pack of gum. Violet Beauregard herself says, “I’m a gumchewer, normally, but when I heard about these ticket things of Mr. Wonka’s, I laid off the gum and switched to candy bars in the hope of striking lucky.” Why couldn’t that have been my answer in our interview?
Charlie found his Golden Ticket inside a Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight, which Grandpa Joe says is, “the best of them all!” Isn’t that just a fantastic name for a candy bar? Every time I read that name I got to wondering what it would taste like. Fudgey, obviously, and marshmallowy. Whipple-Scrumptious? Well that would have to be some things to perfectly compliment the fudgey-mallowness. Melted chocolate, butterscotch, and crushed almonds immediately sprang to mind.
Folks, here we have a fudge brownie with ribbons of butterscotch, topped with toasted marshmallows, and further adorned with whipples of chocolate and butterscotch, salted crushed almonds complete the full effect. You are now in Willy Wonka world and I can bet you won’t want to leave any time soon.