“Everything Amazing, Fabulous!” Says Wonka as more Oompa-Loompa’s test positive for Coronavirus
“Try the masks, they’re each flavored like a complete meal!”
Mr. Wonka, often described as, “thin, squirrely and maliciously song-driven,” danced around us few gathered reporters dolling out medical masks due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.
This one is roast beef flavored! Completely vegan!” Wonka cries as he tosses a mask in my direction. After wrapping it around my head, I gave the fabric a tentative lick, finding it indeed had the long forgotten flavor of my mother’s pot roast.
What about a mask for yourself, Mr. Wonka?” chimed in Alice Greenblatt, of the Candy Chronicle.
Nonsense! I would never. Those masks make me look absolutely silly!” Wonka cackled, as he tipped his gigantic top hat and twirled his candy-cane.
We had been invited behind the scenes of Wonka’s secretive factory as more and more reports that Oompa-Loompas, who have been designated as “Essential workers,” were coming down with the coronavirus in alarming numbers.
After grazing for a bit on candy grass, and taking a long hallucinogenic ride on a giant hard candy boat, we were brought to the section of the factory that housed the Oompa-Loompa’s village. We were greeted by a chorus of about knee-high Oompa-Loompa’s donning flavored facemasks, each standing about two Ooompa-Loompa’s apart from each other. Then they sang one of their trademark situationally ironic songs, as per their custom.
As bad a bug as we have seen,
But have no fear, we have no care,
No trace of virus anywhere,
We’re paid in cocoa, that is true,
But our positive cases are so few,
We play to work, we work to play,
And thank Mr. Wonka for the pay,
‘Cause if no work, and stay at home,
We are no better then the gnomes.
Oompa-Loompa’s hate gnomes you see,” Mr. Wonka interjects, “They’ve been taking Loompa jobs over at Slugworth and Prodnoses’ factories you see.”
As the song finished, I felt a slight tugging on my pant’s cuff. Looking down, I saw a particularly small Ooompa-Loompa staring up at me, wide-eyed underneath his flavored face-mask. As the rest of the reporting group was led away by Mr. Wonka, this particular Oompa-Loompa drew me behind an edible bush and spoke in a fevered whisper. Having spent a semester abroad in Loompaland studying Snozzwangers, my Oompa-Loompish was rusty but serviceable.
“Save us, please!”
I pulled out my smallest tape recorder so I could capture our conversation.
“What’s your name, little fellow?”
“Excuse me, I’m quite tall for an Oompa-Loompa. I suppose you expected us to all be bright orange in overalls as well.”
“I need to be off the record in case of… repercussions. My cousin tried to reach the outside world last week, and now he’s a blueberry.”
“So Mr. Wonka is suppressing the impact of Covid-19 on the Loompa population?”
“Hard to say how many of us are infected. We usually have to work the chocolate rooms without sufficient flavored masks, and we ran out of cotton gloves weeks ago. But what choice do we have? Ooompa-Loompa’s have been deemed essential workers, and we live on-site!”
“Have any of the governments stimulus checks reached you here in the factory?”
“We’re all from Loompaland on H2-A Visas, so we don’t even qualify for stimulus checks. Plus, we’re not allowed to have computers down here and our bank is just a giant pile of cocoa beans.”
“What would you say to those at home who worry about a chocolate shortage?”
“I would say, as you’re eating your third Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight of the evening and watching Parks and Rec, take a moment to think about the little people who are suffering and dying so that you don’t have to go without the slightest comfort.”
“Anything else you’d like to say to the people at home?”
“The gobstoppers don’t last forever.”
And with that, the wee whistleblower vanished further into the sugary foliage, surely last for a dangerous chocolate-related task.
Our tour of the factory concluded with Mr. Wonka boasting that “no other chocolate company is doing as fantabulous a job as him” in keeping their workers safe, before we were deposited on the sidewalk by a gigantic glass elevator.
Upon being questioned about the veracity of the anonymous Oompa-Loompa’s claims about the lack of worker safety, Mr. Wonka refused to respond.
His legal firm, Bucket & Bucket, has also declined comment.