Social Experiments – A


The Gospel According to Willy Wonka: Chocolate-Based Social Experiments Can Only Be a Good Thing.

If my understanding of the true meaning of Easter is correct, then it is the time of year in which we celebrate Our Lord’s triumph over the greed and vanity of four other children by winning the eccentric and reclusive billionaire’s chocolate factory. I could be wrong – I went to a Godless public school. Still, sometimes I think that in this crazy modern world; with our iPads and Masterchefs, we all need to take stock of the real message, the one that spoke to us all in our time of need: ditch the greed or tiny orange people will bring you down, bitch.

I, for one, cannot afford to have Snooki leap out from behind me and crash tackle me to the ground for being too enthusiastic at a breakfast buffet, so I better heed the good word. And the good word certainly isn’t greed; nor is it any of the other seven deadly dwarves. So I need to commit to being less slothful and lustful, which seems like an unfortunate combination anyway. So now it’s all about doing the right thing. Doing unto others. Exercising and eating well. Buying organic. Propagating fewer doomsday conspiracies. See? Being good is awesomely simple – or simply awesome. In fact, we should celebrate the good! I shall gather all of my fellow nice-ishly inclined folk and we can have a parade! We can pick up the rubbish once it is over and then ride our bikes home or to the library, or animal shelter, for the after party!

Except there is nobody else who is willing to associate with me. Now I am such a complete bore at parties that nobody will talk to me. I sit quietly in the corner sobbing into my vegan-friendly beer (because yeast has feelings; and man, is it ever pissed off at being stuck with me banging on about mining), longing for a fellow sensitive type to play Uno with, but no. Now even my mum won’t talk to me because she thinks I am dull, and she knits coathangers for fun. Which is pretty dull.

So how do we strike a balance? Should we be tolerable to other people whilst ensuring our existence causes as little harm to dolphins, underpaid factory workers and homeless people as possible?

This is where we need social experiments to come into play. We need to know what sort of person a potential new acquaintance/TV Star/role model for the children is like before we are stuck hearing about their volunteer work/parole requirements. We need to know exactly what level of self-expression will be celebrated, and what will see us become “that guy” or “ugh, her”. So, taking it back to our earlier, delicious gospel lesson, the chocolate-factory-style personality test (as devised by Mr W. Wonka) is certainly the best thing a tycoon has done for humanity since Richard Branson hunted down and killed whatever small animal it was that had attached itself to Donald Trump’s head. (Oh wait, that doesn’t happen until 2014 – I’ve said too much. All you need to know for now is that is one awesome super bowl halftime). Just set people up with temptation – and lots of it – and wait for the results. Would we want to hang out with as needy a princess as Verruca Salt? Or would we want to take her modern day equivalent (step forward, Kim Kardashian) and hurl her straight down the nearest garbage chute? Nigella Lawson might be endearing as a giant blueberry. I have several friends who are totally on board with the chocolate river thing, and don’t care where the crazy tubes slurp them off to, as long as it’s delectable. Everybody has their own weak spots, it’s just figuring out if theirs is compatible with yours, and if they are worth your time and friendship/energy as an internet stalker.

Me? I’m with Charlie, because the floating looked fantastic (also, to dig your way out, seemingly all you have to do is burp) and because this must be the only social experiment in history where the nice guy comes out the winner.

I just hope the chocolate is fair trade.

by Hayley Alison