A dumb concept but hear me out.
Relating back to my post about how the four “rotten” kids didn’t deserve what happened to them, and what I said about the parents being the ones punished/harmed instead, I had some ideas.
First of all, Augustus nearly falls into the chocolate river but his mother rushes forwards to stop her son falling in, and she falls in instead, nearly drowning. Alternatively, we saw her putting candies into her bag, maybe she tries to get some of the chocolate river into a canteen/flask, who knows? She gets sucked up into the pipe instead, and Augustus watches in horror as the Oompa Loompas sing about how she’s encouraged her son’s gluttony, how he could meet a sticky end like her if he doesn’t change. As his mother is taken to the fudge room, Wonka sends an Oompa Loompa to get her out - but Augustus stays on with the tour. He noticeably doesn’t gorge himself as he did before.
In the inventing room, Wonka shows off the three course gum meal and Violet tries to grab it - however, she hesitates for a moment when he mentions how it’s not “quite right” yet. Her mother, however, snatches the gum from her, telling her “winners don’t hesitate, Violet”, before chewing away. Mrs Beauregarde then begins to swell up like a blueberry and has to be juiced. Violet is terrified that a stick of gum did that to her mother, and she listens as the Oompa Loompas sing about how bad chewing gum is, and about how she could end up the same way if she continues to be as competitive and like her mother. As her mother is rolled to the juicing room, Violet also stays on with the tour; no one sees her take her gum out of her mouth and toss it away.
The group goes to the nut sorting room, where Veruca sees the squirrels and decides she wants one. She goes to get one herself, only for the squirrels to leap at her; her father jumps the gate and races down to help her - suddenly the squirrels turn from Veruca and run to swarm him instead whilst she runs back up the stairs and clambers to get behind the gate once more. Everyone watches as the squirrels pronounce Mr Salt a bad egg and toss him straight down the chute; the Oompa Loompas sing about how her parents spoilt her, about how despite his money, he’s not anything more than garbage and that if she continues to act like a spoilt brat, Veruca will be as rotten as they are - rotten as the garbage. She stays on with the tour whilst Oompa Loompas are sent to retrieve her father from the garbage chute; she’s quieter and listens more as the tour goes on, not demanding a thing.
In the TV room, Mike is about to be teleported into the TV when his dad suddenly panics, runs and pushes him off the platform, taking his place himself as the lights flash a second later. Mike watches as his father nearly dies and comes out of the ordeal six inches tall; he hears the Oompa Loompas sing about how television rots the brain, hence why he tried to do something so stupid, and it humbles him a little bit. His dad is taken to the taffy puller to be stretched out, and Mike apologizes for calling Wonka an idiot as they go to continue.
Now Wonka realizes that the only ones remaining are the five kids and Grandpa Joe - and he grins as he announces that Charlie has won the special prize, that Charlie will receive the entire factory. Clearly, his grandparents and parents raised him to he not-so-rotten. The other kids are astounded but quiet, and congratulate Charlie - though they all seem a little down and different than when the tour started.
He leads the group down to the factory entrance - and there are the four parents. Mrs Gloop, covered in chocolate from head to toe, licking her lips and clearly trying to resist nibbling her fingers. Mrs Beauregarde, bright blue-purple and flexible. Mr Salt, reeking and covered in three weeks worth of garbage. Mr Teavee, eight or nine feet tall and as thin as paper. The kids are horrified by what they see - their parents are reflections of what they could become, what they could have become on the tour.
That’s when Wonka announces his proposition: the four kids have a choice. They can go home with their parents, and hope that their day in the factory has changed them, that their parents have learnt a lesson too, and that they’ll all hopefully be better people because of it - or they can stay at the factory, working under his and Charlie’s supervision and learning how to run a business together. He tells them that they’re good kids at heart, and that he’d be willing to take them on if they’re willing to make the effort, to change for the better.
None of them really know what to say, but they look at their parents - at how rotten they are, at how they could become their parents if they’re not careful - and they realize that no, they don’t want to be like their parents at all. It’s a crazy idea, yes, but as Wonka explains how each of their skills could be used and developed for good purposes, they realize that it’s better than what their parents have been raising them to be.
The parents are outraged but Wonka tells them not to worry - Charlie’s family will be living in the factory, and so the children won’t be alone with just one (kind of kooky creepy) adult male and hundreds of Oompa Loompas, because Charlie’s parents and grandparents will be there to take care of the kids and make sure they’re well looked after. Makes sense that the parents/guardians of the least rotten kid can help shape and form the other four to be better people, right? Besides, he adds, the kids are more than welcome to say no and go home with their parents.
The kids - including Charlie - decide to have a minute where they talk about this - their parents may suck, but this is still weird and a bit strange. Charlie tells them that he personally would not abandon his family, not for all the chocolate in the world - but then, he admits, his parents and grandparents are good and honest people who love and care about him, and that while they’ve never been able to afford lavish gifts or even more than one chocolate bar a year for him on his birthday, he’s always been happy because he loves his family and is content that they love him too. The other four realize that they can’t exactly say the same about their own parents - their parents have been neglectful, for the most part, and never encouraged them to pursue new skills or change their dangerous habits.
Having said that, despite the fact their parents are terrible parents, the children don’t think they can just abandon their parents completely - despite it all, the children do hold some love for their families. With that in mind, they make a deal with their parents and Mr Wonka: yes, they would very much like to live in the factory and work with Charlie, and develop new skills - but they don’t want to abandon their parents completely. They ask that their parents be allowed to live near to the factory and that they can see them as often as they like - they would ask if their families can come live in the factory too, but they don’t think a) their parents would want that, given what they’ve gone through, and b) Wonka would want these rotten adults living in his factory with his workers and potentially causing harm/problems with his candy.
It’s kind of pretty useful that Charlie’s family is about to move into the factory - Wonka, with their permission, decides he’s going to use it to make a building/area for the other four children’s families to live in. Not that the parents are thrilled by the idea at all - the Salt family has a whole nut business AND a massive estate in England, why would they give that up? Augustus’ family is from Germany and they have a meat/butcher business set up there, are they supposed to just drop it and move to this strange place?
Things do eventually work out though, and an agreement/deal is made...
Augustus becomes the taste tester for new candies, and he offers up some of his own ideas, as well as some of his own critiques or comments on each idea that Wonka and Charlie present to him. He decides to he healthier, however, and he learns to control himself instead of eating everything in sight - he enjoys things in moderation. As an added bonus, running around the factory as well as healthier eating means he sheds some weight too. His parents manage to set up a butcher business in the town, though it takes a while for them to get used to the way things are and to earn respect/customers; Augustus still visits them regularly, and they have family dinners at least once a week, sometimes with the other Golden Ticket winners joining them.
Violet uses her competitive nature to help with advertising and marketing Wonka products - her competitive nature makes her want to make sure that Wonka candy is the best and number one most bought candy in the whole world. Sales are constantly booming because of her and her marketing techniques - Wonka candy has truly never been so popular, which really says something. Her mother is still blue and flexible, but Violet visits her and soon Mrs Beauregarde learns to be proud of her daughter and what she’s achieving instead of trying to push her to be a mini version of herself.
Mike is somewhat of an expert when it comes to television, and he’s incredibly smart. He’s in charge of helping in the television room (running experiments on different candies to test the boundaries of teleporting food to television sets, etc), helping in the inventing room, and in making sure all of the machines are running properly in each room of the factory. He knows the technical stuff, the physics of how everything should work, but he also becomes a little more open minded about things because clearly Wonka’s factory defies all laws of physics a lot of the time, so he learns how much of it applies to Wonka’s factory and what doesn’t, which helps him understand the machines/science behind the work they’re doing. Given what happened to Mr Teavee, the family do move to be closer to the factory - after all, it kind of makes it difficult for the kids he teaches Geography to in high school to take him seriously when he’s...well, the way he is now. They move Mike’s video games into a television room of the factory - but he plays far less than he used to, and watches less television than he did before. His parents notice that he’s less angry, though still incredibly intelligent and full of snark - they still don’t understand what he’s talking about most of the time, but he’s more pleasant to be around and talk to; he’s more excited and eager to share information rather than snapping or looking down on people.
Veruca is arguably one of the most important people in the team. Veruca is heiress to the Salt Nut business, and so she organizes a merger between Wonka and her father for the factory to start using nuts from the Salt business in their candies. Mr Salt’s Factory continues to use human workers, and they shell nuts just as they did before, selling them as they are; Wonka’s factory uses squirrels of course, and the nuts are used in candy. Other than this, Veruca starts to learn business skills from both her father and Willy Wonka, and she’s in charge of handling the factory’s finances, such as budgeting, keeping accounts of investments and incomes, and making sure that the factory has the money for Wonka and Charlie to pursue their new ideas. Her father and mother aren’t exactly keen, however, on moving into the town and into that apartment Wonka has built for the families of the other winners - they enjoy their lavish lifestyle too much. Her father comes every weekend or so for a stay, and her mother once a month - surprisingly, it doesn’t bother her that much after a while, because she’s always known deep down that her parents have never been sure on how to love her properly. Her pets are back on the estate, with her parents, which she visits for a rare holiday from time to time - perhaps she even brings one or two with her back to the factory, on the condition that they remain on the top floor where the children’s bedrooms are, and they go nowhere near any food production areas.
Charlie, of course, is Willy Wonka’s heir and becomes his protégé, a chocolatier in the making. He has much to learn but he’s always eager and enthusiastic even if they’re having a slow day with hardly any ideas or breakthroughs. He’s working with Wonka, someone he idolizes/looks up to, and they develop a wonderful working relationship; Charlie looks up to his mentor, and Willy Wonka actually learns stuff from Charlie too. Charlie’s happy because his family are all living in the factory with him, and he knows this is where he’s meant to be. Life is good and he doesn’t take it for granted.
The kids actually all become friends, and it’s nice because none of them have actually had real friends before; Augustus was bullied for his size, Violet’s competitiveness drove others away and she was “too busy” for friends, Veruca didn’t have real friends but rather people who hung onto her and tried to get close to her due to her money, Mike was always too busy watching TV or playing games to bother with friends, and Charlie was somewhat of an outcast due to the fact his family was poor and he had secondhand/“poor” clothes. Working together leads them all to becoming friends.
The Bucket family - who have always struggled to feed the seven in their family - now has enough food for them all and more. They happily invite the children and Willy Wonka to dinner with them every single night, and it becomes a normal part of the evening; the five children happily chatting and laughing, just being kids, the adults chuckling with them, all of them eating until they can’t anymore. Augustus, Violet, Veruca and Mike see what a real family can be, and soon they feel like they’re part of the Bucket family themselves. The other parents are even invited to dinner with the Buckets on special occasions, and - with the exception of the Salts - everyone usually takes up their offer. Eventually though, the Salt parents do slowly start to come around - for Veruca’s sake more than anything else. They still see themselves as better than the others, and they’re kind of stiff towards the other parents/adults, but they agree to dinners on special occasions since it means they’ll get to see their daughter.
To be honest, the kids are all really happy with life nowadays; they’re happy because they’re all friends and they’re all a part of something special - they’ve all truly changed for the better. The friendship between these five lucky kids is sure to be one that lasts a lifetime.
Life has never been better or sweeter.
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