Tags: willy wonka, childrens fantasy, short story, flash fiction, conversations with wonka series, humor
|Publication Date||May 31, 2013|
|Series||Conversations With Wonka, Part 1|
|BCRS ratings?Learn more|
Conversations With Wonka, Part One.
Before Wonka, we were a bit solemn. After what seemed like endless cats and beloved dogs I had whittled down to Golly – an unobtrusive, selfless dark coated tabby cat who pretended not to be blind for ages, leaping here and there, even popping out and coming home again.
‘I must get my assistant, trainee to see this,’ chortled Mr Jones my most favourite and best Vet in the universe ‘ this is very unusual the way his eye is – you did know he was blind? No no and no. And realising that Mr Jones was a bit quick on the old putting them down for the faintest sign of ill health, said that Golly was having the time of his life, with or without sight. It was true!
And when I made my decision to move, which like most decisions are years in the making and very quick in the doing, Golly came too.
During the journey in the old peugeot/skylark with Golly sitting quietly and calmly in his basket on the passenger seat next to me, I had posed the question of us being shall we say, without a playmate. Wouldn’t it be nice I carried on, if me and Gol had such a playmate, to cheer us up, make us laugh and smile of a rotten day? Before we knew it, about six months later, Wonka had been delivered up completely fitting the bill.
Of course Golly had on occasions offered up some very sage advice. This top or that top? Do I look funny in these trousers? Golly’s placid stare would often talk me down from going out in the wrong outfit, the wrong shoes, scarf and so on. And being so benevolent, when Wonka blew in through the back door on a gentle summer breeze, he let him in.
From then on, it was all about Wonka really. Golly slept, Wonka played. He played with the old toys, the non toys, the new set of mice – I did have a long chat with Wonka about the availability of single items as opposed to packs. Packs of three, six, twelve, any combination you like except trying to buy just one. On this subject though Wonka stood firm. He chirped up, in his schoolboy voice, that if you lost the one mouse you were stumped. With three, there was always one on the go and two stuck in the dusty spidery corner under the blanket box. You know, the one where you had to practically dislocate your arm to get the two said mice out from.
‘Watch out!’ Wonka would screech as I nearly stepped on his favourite red plastic ball with a bell in. ‘Don’t say I didn’t warn you!’ he would shriek as I nearly fell to my death on a mouse on the stair. Yes life had become exciting again after a long shallow or is it fallow period. Golly slumbered on, waking to eat the food put straight under his nose and maybe popping out in the sun now and then. Wonka, due to his unfettered interest in the other side of the busy street, became housebound. A happy little prisoner gazing now at said street behind the safety of the bay window at the front.
Life meandered on really until gradually Wonka was relegated to a sort of counsellor come mentor, dishing out advice and guidance to me, on any subject that warranted such. Now whereas Golly has been cool and calm in his wisdom, Wonka was much more direct.
‘Me and Golly are starving!’ he would shriek as I poured through the door after another strenuous day avoiding pitfall after pitfall with the staff. ‘You didn’t leave me enough biscuits’ he would add, winding round the catfood shelf and tipping the packet of cat biscuits over.
‘I’ve had a god awful day – they’re on about gaps between contracts and Primes and all sorts of manoeuvres’ I moaned, carefully stepping over Golly who was patiently waiting to be fed.
‘It’ll all pan out! We love you lots’ shouted Wonka. I sipped my tea and wondered if it would. I pictured me in the skylark, piled up with the few things (lots of things) I had to have with me, and Gol and Wonkit secure in their baskets. Gol in the front of course and Wonkit on the back seat probably covered in the things I had to have with me. Gol would be silent and accepting whilst Wonka would be talking the entire journey. We would set off on our adventure. Usually when I thought of this our destination was Scotland. It always seemed best to run away to Scotland.
‘It’ll all shake down Mum.’ Wonka allowed Golly to wash him round and then raced upstairs to be there before I was.
‘Golly did that!’ – the bedcover was a scrumpled mess on the bed. ‘You left that window open all day and me and Golly were freezing’. I closed said window.
Further advice led to me having sausages and baked potato for tea.
Later on, and still ruminating on plots at work and whether my job was safe or not, Wonka reassured me. ‘You’ve still got me and Gol! Outside we heard a miaowing. Wonka sped round inspecting out of windows and sniffing at the back door. He also got on the kitchen worktop and put his head under the heavy curtain shielding me from the outside world. From here he could peer out the half glass on the door. Baba was outside.
‘Come on Ba’ I motioned him in. He was a black cat that might or might not live somewhere. Golly would have immediately offered him a home with us. Wonka however said not. ‘We’ve got enough on’ he decided. So that was that. Baba, so named for his piteous squeak, was allowed in to eat and straight out again. He did make efforts to become part of the household but Wonka was not to be swayed on this. Charming games with a wooden mouse that Wonka had never ever played with before, a playful roll over to show us his kitten like appeal – none of it worked.
‘We’ll starve. It’ll be too much for you Mum! And so Baba stayed on the outside.
Wonka was not without a small fan base, with me naturally, at the top of his adoring fans. A small friend of ours called Thomas and I say small in terms of age rather than personality. I think Thomas is probably about 30ish masquerading as a boy of five. Well he and Wonka became acquainted about two years ago, Golly quickly resuming second place in his affections. Being Golly, and therefore oozing with christ-like tendencies, his unconditional love reaches everywhere and it is alright. Wonka, who looks like a buddha cat but is firmly materialistic, competitive and seeks pleasure all the time, is pleased to be first in anyone’s affections especially Thomas’. Invited to comment, usually by phone, on seemingly insignificant events eg Thomas riding a two-wheeled bike for the first time, Wonka raises his game.
‘I think you’re marvellous!! – and so does Golliboot!’. Wonka almost always speaks on Golly’s behalf now – sometimes though, Golly’s unique wisdom breaks through.
Infact come to think about it, if Golly were to say enough is enough, then Wonka would reign it in. Their playfights hold testament to this, as it is always Wonka who backs down and hides behind the settee or under the table.
“ Golly can’t see me! He chortles, and “Sorry Golly!” in case he can. Yes Wonka is on the money he really is. Another thing, I realised, and again I have Wonka to thank. A while back I thought I would be a counsellor – I have always shunned this gentle art preferring the more tortuous route of working it out for myself.
A long standing admirer of Carl Jung, this seemed however arduous, a life long task that had riches aplenty. A further conversation with Wonka on the subject of another Carl, reinforced this view.
I had taken to calling Golly, ‘Daddy Golly’. This may have been prompted by Wonka, who was smallish and youngish once. As a means of saying, Golly knows best. Wonka though, pointed out the psychology of this to me the other day. “He’s not my Daddy!” he chirped and continued with “ and he’s not yours either!” I had of course pondered on the resurrection of my Dad, now in wood carving heaven, via the cats. He had loved cats all his life.
I also imagined sitting in one of those confrontational groups where you ,one by one, ‘tell all’. Supposedly with the loving but firm guidance of a professional. Wonka questioned this immediately. “You can’t tell me that kind of thing works…” Well, it all depends on……….
“Superficial claptrap!” shrieked Wonka, and although he didn’t talk of transference, or organic selves or any of that therapy jargon, he was getting there. I mean, did it matter if Dad was back in our lives courtesy of Golly? Wonka’s down to earth approach definitely challenged anything airy fairy.
Carl Rogers’ army of bland beings, all having reached their potential and all the more boring for it – was I missing out? The dark wood of the psyche eh.
Wonka was becoming a familiar face at the front bay window. Leaping onto the sill as I left the house, advising me from the other side of the glass, so he would be there on my return. He also popped out on the main sill, sitting next to a snow leopard called Maximillian. Just as a treat for walkers by, I often decorated the big cat, excelling myself on the day of the eagerly awaited royal wedding. He sported a pink and silver plastic tiara and fake blue sapphire engagement ring. It was noticed and Wonka only knocked the ring off towards the end of the day.
Anyhow, so Wonka greeted me long before I shuffled into the hallway with work bags shopping bags and swimming bags and the rest. Oh that would be the lightweight cat litter that will do fine come the revolution. This particular day I turned up at the door in a bit of a state. The rusty thing I had in my hand was the spare front door key long buried in a plant pot and which broke immediately in the lock. Just a small panic as I imagined not just being locked out of the skylark (the entire set of keys nestling on the back seat) but having to get someone to sort out the front door. The half a broken key fell out though, and I thanked my lucky stars.
‘ We’re starving me and Golly! Get a move on Mum!” Wonka shouted at me through the glass. “I’m trying to get in.” I whispered back. Stress levels were high and the locking of the car door and then looking through the window at my keys was testament to this.
Strangely, it was the first of a series of bank hols and Easter was first up. At a time like this, neighbourly love, or any sign of a benevolent influence is extra special. With Wonka gazing on, I began my encounter with said neighbour and influence.
“ I’ve always liked him! “ cheeped Wonka when I finally returned. “ You need to chill out!!” as he leapt towards the kitchen overtaking Golly in the rush to get fed. Swearing fairly quietly and acknowledging stress levels, I wondered at the miracle of the retrieval. This neighbour had professed a knowledge of opening car door locks with a wire. Twenty minutes on, and still not in a full blown panic or anywhere near to crying, I stayed calm. He had appeared moments after I locked myself out of the skylark and answered immediately to my statement of: “ You’ve got to help me!” Off he zoomed to his garage to get the car breaking into equipment. The old skylark should be a piece of cake I advised him, been broken into millions of times. Hmmm.
I shifted my gaze from the piece of wire, tantalisingly close to pulling the lock up but each time bobbing away, to Wonka. He was still in the front bay window looking over at us. “Why?” he would have been thinking.
“Shall I have a go?” – I took the wire from the neighbour and then, then the hand of God reached down and guided mine. A second later the wire had clinched onto the door lock. “What do I do now!” I prayed the wire would do what we wanted it to, and then we heard that satisfying click.
Wonka has vowed to leave the flowers alone. He loves flowers and demonstrates this by pulling them out of their vases and playing with them. Eating them sometimes.
“Pack it up!” I say to him. “Sorry” he shouts back. And he is sorry of course he is. Golly continues as a benign and higher being, sleeping peacefully in Wonka’s best spot on the settee. Baba has been wormed and brushed. This caused me a mild anxiety attack in case I had got the dose wrong.
“ He’ll be fine “ advised Wonka on guard on the sideboard with a fine view out the back. And “ You worry about nothing!”
He is so right.