Fred sat up straighter. “While sure,” he said. “We finally got home a couple of days later and my wife forgot to let the dog out before coming back to bed. Or at least that’s what I tell people.” Christine put on a professional smile, as well as the keep going eyes. It worked like a charm. “Well, it was cold out,” Fred continued. “I sort of shuffled in the dark, trying to find my slippers. I thought they felt different, but when nature calls the dog, you either answer it or clean up the message, if you know what I mean. I took the old girl down and let her out the door. Just then the sun was coming out and I saw I had put on the ruby slippers. That was impossible though, since my wife’s feet are like half of mine. I thought about how bad I must have destroyed them, but they looked fine. As a matter of fact they felt comfy.”
One of the crew snickered. Christine shot him a very unprofessional look of death. Sarah pulled him out of the room. Christine focused back on Fred. “I’m sorry about that,” she said. “Please continue.”
Fred nodded and cleared his throat. “Well I used to do a bit of soft shoe back in the day, and well I had on these awesome feeling slippers, so I began to dance while waiting for the dog. Want to see?” he asked.
Christine laughed. “That would be great,” she said. “Anything to make the story more interesting.”
Fred stood up and faced the camera. “Is it okay to do it here?” Fred asked.
“Please,” Christine said. She turned to the camera. “Make sure you get a good shot of this.”
Fred said, “I’m a bit out of practice, but here goes nothing.” He began to hum to himself, something out of the forties, big band style but for solo hummer. His feet began to move with a grace Christine hadn’t expected. Left shuffle shuffle, right shuffle shuffle, hop hop, then spin and ended with three heel taps with jazz hands.
Fred then sat back down while Christine gave a very professional clap. When she stopped clapping at a very respectful length of time she said, “Very nice, but if you don’t mind me asking, what does this have to do with your fortune? Did a Broadway producer see you and offer you a huge contract?”
That caused Fred to blush. “No, that would have been weirder than what really happened. You see after clicking my heels together three times and when I was doing my jazz hands I felt myself almost go into a dream. I was suddenly standing in a field where there was a fallen down house. Everything around me seemed more real than you and me right now. The green grass was greener. The air was fresher and more vibrant. The sunlight almost danced as it struck everything. I know what you are thinking. I must have had some good drugs. My wife said the same thing. I really didn’t. I gave those up years ago when I gave up being a professional dancer.”
“I noticed that there were people there, but they were all people who had dwarfism. They were all dressed in clothes from like 1920s Germany. The odd thing was the way they kept looking at my feet. I then realized I still had on the ruby slippers. They asked me if I had known Dorothy, and I had to be the bearer of bad news. They were saddened by this and brought me to this scarecrow, except it was one that talked and danced”
Christine got up out of her chair. This was getting to be too much. That’s when Fred said, “On the way to the scarecrow they took me on a gold brick road. They were real gold bricks. I brought one back with me. Want to see it?”
Christine sat down and nodded encouragingly. Fred ran from the room and returned with a gold brick. Actually it looked like a cobblestone really more than a brick. When Christine took it she almost fell out of her chair. “My goodness that is heavy. Is it really gold?” She asked.
“It is. They all were. That’s why when I went back the next time I brought a bulldozer. I figured if they could pave their streets with gold they had plenty to spare,” Fred said.
Christine gently gave Fred back the brick. “How much gold did you take?” she asked.
“That’s a secret, but let’s just say they have paved streets now, that I paid for, to replace the gold I took. After that I am still very well off,” Fred replied. “The Munchkins…”
“Munchkins?” Christine interrupted Fred.
“Sorry,” Fred said. “That’s the name those dwarfism folks gave themselves. I mean nothing of it.”
“Of course you don’t,” Christine said. “Please continue.”
Frank said, “Well, those cobblestones sucked to move goods to the Emerald City. With my blacktop in place it saved them so much time and energy. They loved me for it. I also helped with their employment problem.”
“How did you do that?” asked Christine.
“I found another chap over in England who was looking for good help,” Fred said. “I just hooked the two of them up.”
“Who is that?” asked Christine.
“Willy Wonka, the candy maker,” said Fred. “That was another win-win. Of course then there were the flying monkeys.”
Christine shook her head. There was just not a professional face or gesture that fit. “Flying monkeys,” she repeated. “Boy, without this cobblestone I would think you were telling me quite a tale. We will be right back to hear about the flying monkeys.”
To be continued….