Written for @gingerblivet (and mailed to her last week)! Sumi from Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series is thrilled that her friends are finally being treated fairly…but some of the media reporting for this story is seriously flawed, and she WILL be correcting the record.
c/o Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
1407 Greymalkin Lane
North Salem, NY 10560
August 23, 2015
The Daily Beast
ATTN: Noah Shachtman, Editor-in-Chief
555 W. 18th St, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
Hey, Noah Shachtman. You have one of those names where people have to say every part of it. It’s like driving past a herd of cows—someone in the car is required to say “cows”! It’s in the Constitution. Does your mom call you “Noah Shachtman”? She probably does. Your friends, too. Maybe they whisper the second half to themselves so you don’t hear it.
Anyway, Noah Shactman, YOU have the pleasure of reading this letter because The Daily Beast is pretty good at reporting facts, and facts are tricky. They change sometimes and don’t remember to inform you they did, and one day, I’ll be so far from home that I won’t be able to recognize which truths are wearing masks. But that’s later; my window hasn’t closed yet. For now, I’m a truth-yeller and a goddamn delight, so you can believe it when I tell you that your stories about Wonka are broken. You’re the boss, so you’re going to help me correct it, and then you’ll thank me.
In fact, if you wanted to start by thanking me, that’d be nice. I could be educating that stupid ghostie girl, or re-organizng Kade’s books again—I’m leaning towards Reverse Alphabetical Order based on the seventh word on the second page. Genius, right? I’ll let you sit with that a minute. Kade’ll pretend to be upset, but he’ll end up sewing me something pretty. That’s not important for you to know, and also it is, and also it doesn’t matter except when it does.
But I’ve blocked all that off for this Thursday, Noey Shactmas, because your site has been reporting a metric me-ton of nonsense about a certain Mr. Willard Wonka. That’s silly. Between the two of us, I’m the Nonsense expert. Andthe candy expert, actually. I’m engaged to a candy-corn farmer, you know. Pondie and I are gonna be married when I find the Door back to the Kingdom. I understandcandy. Some of my best friends are wafers.
See, Wonka is giving you alternative facts, and where I come from, the Queen’ll cut your head off for less than that. I’ve visited the factory. I’ve met the workers. And they can be called “workers” now, because before the Liberation, those Oompa Loompas were forced into slave labor. No wages, no healthcare, no mandatory lunch breaks, no paid time off. No dental, Noah Shactman! They live in a chocolate factory! The Loompas had no protection of any kind. Organizing was prohibited. Once, a union rep dropped by and started asking questions, and Ol’ Willard personally threw him into a vat of half-processed toffee! So if you bought a Scrumdiddlyumptious bar sometime between late June and early July, I’ve got some hilarious news for you!!!! Well, maybe more for me.
Your reporters are writing that the Oompa Loompas finally have their rights respected now…and they do! It’s a heartwarming tale of overcoming adversity, of good winning over evil, and the false sense of security you’ve entered is delicious, because when they rise up and Phase 2 begins, you’ll all be so dazed that no one will have the bandwidth to even prepa—
What I mean is, you’re crediting the wrong person. Wonka’s been trying to preserve the status quo. And in Confection, the status quo will literally eat you. Who would want to save a creature like that? There’s crazy and then there’s crazy, Noah Shactman 2000. And though Wonka’s status quo hadn’t hatched into physical form yet, I wasn’t about to give it the chance. Someone had to fight for those workers!
That’s right, new best friend—It was me. Not him. I held meetings, sometimes late into the night. I bought so many scones. I trained the Oompas on how to use a sword. I led sign-making workshops, and the whole Television Room is still caked with Perma-Glitter. I even gave them a crash course in Loompa Law. That last one’s not really a thing and I just made everything up, but the workers didn’t realize that, and neither did Willy. The Loompa Liberation is one of the most dangerous missions I’ve taken, and I was once forced to eat a whole plate of broccoli!
So let’s discuss exactly how you’re going to print all these corrections. No need to contact me; I’m outside your office. I’ve been here since this morning, and at the very least, you might’ve noticed. A banana-nut muffin for your pal Sumi.
Seriously, let me in. Don’t force me to cut a dork, Noah Shachtman. I’m starving, and your couch looks comfy.
Get your notebook ready for me.
Want to see everything I’ve created in the same place? Because you can do that!