Not Quite Happily After, Ever (part two)

“After 23 years of litiagtion,” he said, “we were completely bankrupted by attorneys’ fees. One of the plaintiffs, Veruca Salt-Peppard, bought us out and sold the factory to Cadbury at a substantial markup. Of course, that sadistic bastard Wonka died and left me holding the bag.”

Something changed, though, in Charlie’s face, like a hole in a cloud briefly allowing the sun to smile at him. “But we had some great times, too,” he whispered, “before it all fell apart.”

But Marty thought of something else. He removed his glasses, wiped them, and looked at Charlie. Then he put his glasses on and looked again.

“Charlie, the plaintiffs in that suit were all kids. That was… that would have been in the mid-60s. If you were telling the truth, you’d only be… maybe in your fifties? You’re full of it, Charlie!”

Charlie looked angry and sad.

“You’re looking,” Charlie said at last, “at what happens when you stand in an enclosed space next to a man with a bug-sprayer full of Vita-Wonk and really poor aim.”

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