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  • Traci Kanaan

My Inner Golden Ticket Winners


“‘We must hurry!’ said Mr. Wonka.

‘We have so much time and so little to do! No! Wait! Strike that! Reverse it!’”


Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is one of my favorite books of all time. An eccentric recluse chocolate factory owner and innovator sends out 5 Golden Tickets out into the world to tour his factory, with the secret goal of finding the next owner of his factory. 5 children win the tickets: Augustus Gloop, Violet Beauregard, Mike TeeVee, Veruca Salt, and Charlie Bucket. Each of the children except for Charlie ends their chocolate tour due to extremely irresponsible parenting that contributes to various levels of greed, gluttony, impulsiveness, and perfectionism, and an unknown number of oompah loompahs to clean up the mess.


I only thought about the book when my neighbor admitted to me she was looking at getting brick pavers for her yard, and mentioned she was having “Veruca Salt thoughts” because she wanted everything she saw. I could only think about my own Veruca Salt moment last week, when I bought a tricked out golf cart to get from my condo in Lutz to the resort. I needed a simple, used golf cart with a flip seat so I could haul my cats to and from the condo or take a few friends to the resort. Evidently, Veruca Salt decided to go golf cart shopping with me, because when she saw a candy apple metallic red golf cart with the built in sound system, upgraded seats, jacked suspension, mag wheels, and LED lights underneath…she said “Daddy, I want a squirrel” and now “Little Red Rides The Hood” is ours. I’ve spent quite a few happy moments riding around the resort playing KC and The Sunshine Band at full tilt, much to the delight of my elderly neighbors who recall the 70’s with more fondness than I do.


Augustus Gloop came with me to Savannah a few weeks ago. I walked by some chocolate shop, and I’ll be damned if he wasn’t right there dragging me in for a white chocolate peanut butter cup, chocolate drizzled caramel corn, and 2 scoops of premium ice cream.


Last Tuesday, Mike Teevee and I sat right down on the couch with a bag of Act II popcorn, so I could revel in my unexplained, latent maternity instincts watching Baby Yoda in Season 2 of The Mandalorian.


And then there’s my inner Violet Beauregard, damn her too. Anything worth doing is worth over doing, because she’s a WINNER! I work 60+ hours a week because I want to be the best at what I do. Thankfully, I haven’t turned into a bouncing blueberry girl…but I have a feeling I’m not done touring the chocolate factory yet!


Thankfully, I still have a little “Charlie Bucket” in me. Charlie watches with wide eyed wonder and curiosity at the world around him, observing the roles that gluttony, greed, laziness, and perfectionism have in one’s life. We should all be more Charlie Bucket!


But then, I think of Mr. Willy Wonka…and realize that maybe we need a little touch of all of these golden ticket winners, so we can fully experience all that life has to offer.


Mr. Wonka: “Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted.”

Charlie Bucket: “What happened?”

Mr. Wonka: “He lived happily ever after.”

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