Chapter 22 Excerpt

[At this point in the story, two of the children are already gone: Augustus Gloop has been sucked up the chocolate pipe and Violet Beauregarde has been rolled off to the juicing room after turning into a gigantic blueberry. Now Mr. Wonka is rushing his slightly smaller tour group through the maze of factory corridors, whizzing them past thousands of rooms with the strangest titles on their doors…]

COWS THAT GIVE CHOCOLATE MILK, it said on the next door.

“Ah, my pretty little cows!” cried Mr Wonka. “How I love those cows!”

“But why can’t we see them?” asked Veruca Salt. “Why do we have to go rushing past all these lovely rooms?”

“We shall stop in time!” called out Mr Wonka. “Don’t be so madly impatient!”

FIZZY LIFTING DRINKS, it said on the next door.

“Oh, those are fabulous!” cried Mr Wonka. “They fill you with bubbles, and the bubbles are full of a special kind of gas, and this gas is so terrifically lifting that it lifts you right off the ground just like a balloon, and up you go until your head hits the ceiling – and there you stay.”

“But how do you come down again?” asked little Charlie.

“You do a burp, of course,” said Mr Wonka. “You do a great big long rude burp, and up comes the gas and down comes you! But don’t drink it outdoors! There’s no knowing how high up you’ll be carried if you do that. I gave some to an old Oompa-Loompa once out in the back yard and he went up and up and disappeared out of sight! It was very sad. I never saw him again.”

“He should have burped,” Charlie said.

“Of course he should have burped,” said Mr Wonka. “I stood there shouting ‘Burp, you silly ass, burp, or you’ll never come down again!’ But he didn’t or couldn’t or wouldn’t, I don’t know which. Maybe he was too polite. He must be on the moon by now.”

On the next door, it said, SQUARE SWEETS THAT LOOK ROUND.

“Wait!” cried Mr Wonka, skidding suddenly to a halt. “I am very proud of my square sweets that look round. Let’s take a peek.”