MOM! You shouldn’t have let me stay up past my bed time and watch The Wizard of Oz. No matter how hard I pleaded and insisted that it wouldn’t scare me, it always did. Sheesh! I was just a dumb little kid . . . .
Today is Lyman Frank Baum,author of (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) birthday. I shared all about Baum on El Morno, along with some fascinating and riveting Oz facts. However, Gone with the Wind came out the same year as The Wizard of Oz, and I liked seeing Rhett tell Scarlet he didn’t give a damn a whole lot more than I liked following Dorothy down the yellow brick path.
I remember watching the Wizard of Oz for the first time at my dad’s sister’s house. We seldom visited Aunt Alice and her family, but I do remember she had three very nice boys that were a lot older than me. I must have been around five, and when those flying monkeys started to take off, I remember leaping into Cousin Randy’s lap, who may have been 15 or so. You take refuge where you can when the Wicked Witch is after Toto, the monkeys are after the Scarecrow, and your mama is having an after-dinner drink with the other grown-ups. I’m not sure if Randy minded, but I stayed firmly planted for the rest of the movie.
Here’s the whole truth. I never liked the story of the Wizard of Oz, and I liked the movie even less. Watching a little girl swept up in a big storm, taken away from her Aunt Em, squashing a witch, and having her dog threatened . . . and then there were the flying monkeys, a wizard (who seemed suspect from the start—after all, why was he hiding behind the curtain), and friends without a brain, heart or courage . . . no, this did not seem like a fair price for staying up past your bedtime, thank you very much.
I did love the Broadway show Wicked.
For some reason, I feel the need to tell you that (since I am sure practically everyone in the world loved The Wizard of Oz, and I alone hated it—and still do.) Munchkins belong in a box with powdered sugar or colorful sprinkles, not doing the Happy Dance because a wicked witch is dead. Ok, I suppose I have made my point. I could go on and on, but I will stop here—and just say one last thing: No, I did not think Glenda was beautiful. Cinderella was beautiful and had a kind fairy godmother and a handsome prince who went to look for her . . . while Auntie Em stayed in her kitchen making meatloaf and mash potatoes for dinner when clearly poor Dorothy would not be home for dinner. I will take a glass slipper over gaudy red ruby slippers any day.
So . . . what did you think of the Wizard of Oz? Did your mom make you watch it? If you have a spare Sunday moment, drop me a comment. Odd loves company!