this column first appeared in BTL 12/20/17
Contrary to rumors circulating for years in Story Bookland Weekly Tabloid there never was any real friction between Dorothy, Cowardly Lion, Tin Woodsman and Scarecrow.(And those horrid pictures of an aging Dorothy are photoshopped.)
Although the famous foursome each went separate ways — Cowardly Lion becoming a respected animal rights advocate; Tin Woodsman, expert on emerging robot technology; Scarecrow, an IRS specialist; and Dorothy — what else? — a big-time diva on the fabled LGBT rainbow circuit — they kept in touch by smart phone and email.
They also made it something of a ritual to get together every 25 years on the occasion of the anniversary of their first Yellow Brick Road adventure to seek out the Wizard of Oz, just to say a friendly hello, to renew little people acquaintances, and to see how things were playing out in Oz.
As spokesperson for the fabled partners, Dorothy messaged, “I know you last texted that we drive to Oz in your new Lexus 017, Tin Woodsman, but let’s play the game as we always have. Waltz the Yellow Brick Road, holding hands. Singing our theme song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
So, agreed, they met at the red, white and blue neon sign, “This Way to Oz!” But failed in their excitement to note a new flashing purple addition to the sign: “Be prepared for surprises when you get there!”
Midway down the Yellow Brick Road they were stopped. Startled, Tin Woodsman dropped his cell phone, Cowardly Lion waved his cane excitedly, Scarecrow pulled some straw hair out and Dorothy sang a few notes just a hint or two off key.
“Where might you dudes be headed?” demanded a hooded militant type, sporting a big silver badge. Government Oz Police. “What business you got here?”
After brief explanations that the four were old friends of the Wizard of Oz, and after a thorough electronic vetting, they were permitted to continue their journey. As they proceeded with understandable caution, it seemed that the temperature dropped and the sky became overcast. Their singing turned to faint mumbling.
After what seemed like hours of walking not waltzing, Dorothy, Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion (who was visibly trembling) arrived at the entrance of a gigantic, brand-new, Wizard of Oz Tower. “Well, well, well! I’ve been expecting you,” bellowed an imperial broadcasted voice. “You four don’t know me yet! But I’m the newly crowned Wizard of Oz.”
Dorothy, Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion stood stunned. Silent, as an orange neon-halo’d Wizard of Oz trumpeted. “OK, guys! From now on here are your marching orders. Or else! You get me?” He paused for emphasis. “Ready?!”
“Tin Woodsman, you are ordered to make robots who will do my bidding only! Cowardly Lion, listen up. My rights take precedence over all rights. Human. Animal. Political. Religious. Scarecrow, forget about my taxes, past and present. And Dot! You are ordered never, never — no, no way ever — to sing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
“Got that, good buddies! From now on: if ever there was a Wiz Bang who was it’s me.”
Next day, Dorothy texted, “Auntie Em, I’ve had the most gawdawful nightmare. Thank my lucky stars, I’m awake now. And back in Kansas City! (I think).”