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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Chapter 24

Maggie Mae


Veruca in the Nut Room




You've got to hand it to OG Veronica. She inspired this.



Alas, this is the book. Wonka warns his guests about the NUT ROOM by saying "Whatever you do, don't go into THE NUT ROOM. If you go in, you'll disturb the squirrels."

Seems straightforward.

Wonka explains that the squirrels are trained to shell walnuts. Mike Teavee, being the reasonable one in the room, asks why squirrels instead of Oompa Loompas. Let's not get me started on food safety standards and efficiency of using a series of trained rodents to shell food that is supposedly meant for human consumption. Or that Wonka's "reason" is that Oompa Loompas always break the "walnut" into two pieces. I'm not sure that's true. Growing up, my grandmother always had a bowl of whole roast nuts and a nutcracker. It wasn't a cool, fancy one that came to life at night, though.

It was this one.


And we all had to share it, so me and my mom and dad and cousins and aunts and uncles would be (insert current slang for "hanging out" or "waiting") around the kitchen table, probably playing cards, catching up, or even passively "watching" daytime TV or breaking news on an 8 inch black and white TV and sharing this bowl of roasted nuts. And a relish tray. There would be bread and butter pickles (Recipe to come), pickled apples, pickled peppers, pickled olives and maybe if I was lucky, a cracker or two.

Anyway, so Wonka is an idiot who insists on only using whole walnuts that have been in squirrels mouths. The squirrels tap each nut to check for freshness, then they toss the bad ones.

Veruca, predictably, wants a squirrel.

Squirrels are very cute. My very spoiled cat also wants a squirrel. I no longer leave youtube videos of birbs and squirrels on for him when I leave the house after the great TV disaster of 2018.

All Veruca has at home is two dogs, four cats, six bunny rabbits, two parakeets, three canaries, green parrot, a turtle, a cage of white mice, a bowl of goldfish, and a "silly old hamster."

Veruca sucks. But her parents suck more. I hope her staff is taking good care of this menagerie.

Veruca begins to throw the temper tantrum to end all temper tantrums. Her parents try to appease her - her mom promising a squirrel later, her dad trying to buy one from WIlly Wonka, who won't sell. Veruca sees this and charges into the squirrel room to try and grab a squirrel for herself. Silly girl has clearly never seen a squirrel before. Presumably London has squirrels. Maybe she just is so sheltered that she never noticed the noisy, destructive rodents.

She enters the room, and 100 squirrels attack her. The lead squirrel knocks on her head and declares her a "bad egg" and down the chute she goes. Her parents soon follow suite. This is after a discussion about what chute it is and what it contains. Mike is concerned about who is eating potatoes and fish and cabbage, which I suppose is an adequate question if you assume that Mr Wonka's living quarters are separate from the factory as is standard in the US. Nevertheless, Wonka responds sarcastically.

Regardless, the chute goes to the incinerator. Mr. Salt is "extremely cross about this" despite the fact that his daughter might be "a bit of a frump" (Is that a kindle error? Should that say "Grump?") I do applaud Mr Salt's ability to remain a shady business mogul thru and thru. "I think you've gone a shade to far this time, Wonka!" Anyway, as I said, they follow her down the chute. Both parents lean over the hole, calling for their child, and the squirrels knock them in, head first.

Oompa Loompas sing a song about the garbage that Veruca is covered with and how smelly it is.

Seriously. She's like, the worst, and somehow she gets off the easiest. Probably because she's playing the Carmelita Spats game. She's cute enough that she even enchanted Wonka a bit.

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I think he was going archaic with frump.


mid 16th century: probably a contraction of late Middle Englishfrumple‘wrinkle’, from Middle Dutchverrompelen. The word originally denoted a mocking speech or action; later (in the plural) ill humor, the sulks; hence a bad-tempered, (later) dowdy woman (early 19th century).


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Maggie Mae


I called Veruca Veronica and I'm dying here.

25 minutes ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

I think he was going archaic with frump.


Good to know!

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