"The Discriminator" (3-12-06)
A hungry little boy can tell you how the air tastes. He can negotiate blind by lifting his face to the wind. Passing under the shadow of the great chocolate factory, he bites each breath, taking in the aroma as nourishment.
The essence of chocolate always billows forth, but day to day its foundations shift. Underpinnings of fiery cinnamon or a licorice texture speak of other candies on the menu. Despite its overpowering nature, even the pungent stab of roasting peanuts is welcome. Whatever could it smell like inside the factory?--a cacophony of scents or a mélange of the loveliest?
With an eager palate, he distinguishes subtleties among the products of the candyman's hungry soul. Too rarely do they feed the boy's hungry body. On the best days, the breeze is thick with chocolate. It soothes into him, a guardian to carry him to school and safely home again...but guiding him more than he knows.
This is a test. This is a lesson--a brainwashing concocted by Willy Wonka before sending his golden invitation. Unlike all others in the town who had gotten used to their sweet surroundings, the boy never took it for granted. Any heir of Wonka's must be deprived before he can be rewarded. Unwittingly led through his tacit training, Charlie Bucket would become a better connoisseur than iron-fisted drilling could do for an uninitiated child.