An Oz Interview part 2

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….

An Oz Interview, Part 1

Christine looked into the camera and pasted on her professional persona.  “This is Christine Grady and I am here tonight with entrepreneur and philanthropist Fred Smith.  Mr. Smith, I understand your path to fame and fortune is a rather unique one.  Would you care to share it?”

Fred Smith smiled a goofy smile and checked to make sure the color of his blue polo shirt was down.  “It’s sort of a crazy story.  It all begins when I was traveling through Kansas. My son, Kurt, wanted to visit Emporia State, so we decided to make it a family vacation.  So after checking out the school we decided to look around the area.  That’s when I stumbled upon them.”

Christine jumped in with her interviewer’s intuition.  “Stumbled upon what?” she asked.

“There was a garage sale and it looked like they were selling some old musical instruments.  Well I love collecting musical instruments and making planters and lamps out of them so I stopped the car and checked it out.  Found out that this woman, I believe her name was Dorothy had just died and it was actually an estate sale.  The whole family poked around.  I picked up a coronet and a Suzuki style violin.  My son just sat outside and played with some dog.  My wife though, she found a pair of the reddest slippers that glittered like they were made of rubies.  I thought they were gaudy as hell, but she wanted them.”  Fred stopped up short.  “Is it okay to say gaudy as hell?” he asked.

“Don’t worry about it,” Christine said.  “We can always edit it out in post.  So what was so special about the violin?”

Fred laughed.  He said, “The violin was a piece of crap.  I gave it to some homeless guy in Vegas.  No, the slippers were the real find.”

Christine used her profession nod technique.  She then probed deeper.  “They were made of real rubies?” she asked.

“Don’t know, and I really don’t care,” Fred replied.  “You see, those slippers are how I made my fortune.”

Christine decided to fall back on the nod again.  “Fascinating,” she said to Fred.  She then turned to the camera and said, “We’ll be right back after this commercial break.”  She smiled at Fred.  “Excuse me for a minute please.”

“Sure,” said Fred.

Christine got up and found the Sarah the director.  Sarah could barely contain her mirth.  “Really, ruby slippers?  You sure this isn’t a homeless guy and you’re pranking me?”

Sarah laughed, but then she got herself under control under the burning gaze of Christine.  “Look, he is the real deal.  He made a fortune in gold and no one has ever gotten him to talk about it.  He said he would only talk to you.  This is going great.”

“Going great?” Christine asked.  “He sounds like a nut job.”

Sarah looked Christine in the eyes and tried to wipe the smile off her face.  “He may be a nut job, but this is your job.  The bosses want this interview, and you are the one to do it, so suck it up and do your job, even if he sounds ridiculous.”  Christine didn’t look convinced.  She placed her hands on her hips and looked like she was about to throw a fit.  Sarah continued, “Besides, this guy must have something going for him.  He has made billions, and you are his first interview.  Treat him like the virgin he is.”

Christine shook her head, then stomped her right foot, but she then spun on that foot and cruised back over to her chair, her professional smile pasted once again on her face.  “Thank you again for this opportunity Mr. Smith.  May we continue?” Christine asked.

Fred looked like he hadn’t heard a thing.  “Sure, that would be awesome, and please call me Fred.  I’m not that special.”

“Thank you Fred,” Christine said.  Turning back to the camera Christine continued, “We are back with Fred Smith.  When we left off you were talking about how a pair of glittering bejeweled red slippers were the key to your fortune.  Would you like to explain more?”


To Be Continued….