Oompa, Loompa, fligeldy-goo
I lost my job and you just did too
Oompa, Loompa, glibble-dee glee
back to the salt mines it is with me!
This is the sorrow-laden chanting being heard from the service entrance of Wonka’s Chocolate Factory as hundreds of Oompa Loompas slowly file out of the building, destined for a life of work-related injury and eventual silicosis. This is the scene as an aged, bitter Charlie Bucket peers down at his dwindling labor force.
We all recall the story of the golden-hearted truthiness that led Charlie to be the owner of Willy Wonka’s chocolate empire. What was omitted from the fable however, was Charlie’s complete and utter lack of business savvy, understanding of international trading practices, and negotiating skills.
The factory has seen a sharp decline in efficiency in the 40 years following the Wonka-Bucket transitional phase. As Charlie became Charles and eventually Mr. Bucket, so too did the tides of commerce come crashing down upon the Wonka dynasty.
Most of the high tech gadgetry – including the TV room, the golden egg geese and the fizzy lifting chamber – were sold off in the late 80s, replaced by state-of-the-art regular chocolate making machinery. By the mid-90s the Taffy Puller would be scrap metal, and the chocolate river completely dredged. The demolition of the freaky nightmare tunnel would prove to be the only silver-lining of the decline.
Don’t feel bad for Charles Thaddeus Bucket: with just one governmental bailout of the chocolatiering industry he’ll have a golden parachute big enough to cover all the golden showers he could ever ask for.
All the Oompa Loompas are going to die tho.
For more on this story, read something by Rudyard Kipling.