Yesterday I was contacted by a reporter from a suburban Chicago newspaper called The Daily Southtown. The reporter explained that he was “writing a story about a guy who filed a lawsuit asking that a judge restrain his neighbors from referring to him as Willy Wonka. The guy sells gumballs and the neighbors complain his sells them out of his home and creates a bunch of problems.” He wanted to know my opinion, as a Roald Dahl fan of some standing, on whether “Willy Wonka” was actually a negative reference. So I emailed him back with a few thoughts… and got quoted in the article! That’s the wackiest story I’ve seen in a long time. How funny! (Although I will add that the Michael Jackson bit was an afterthought. They cut my bit about how a lot of people found Gene Wilder’s Wonka menacing and got the idea that Wonka somehow deliberately bumped off the naughty children. But I guess that wasn’t as fun as my offhand reference to pedophilia!)