When I was a girl, “The Wizard of Oz” aired every year on CBS (I think), and every year I watched it, and every year I was traumatized by the flying monkeys and the hideousness of Elvira Gulch turned Wicked Witch. When I was a girl, we didn’t have a color television set, so Oz didn’t look appreciably different from Kansas to me, and Dorothy’s slippers sparkled like malachite more than rubies . That all changed one Sunday evening. Mom and Dad had been invited to a light supper and bridge game at Harold & Helen Hanson’s. (you can’t make these details up, folks) Of course I went along — I always did — and watched, you guessed it, “The Wizard of Oz.” In color. The opening scenes were familiar — Elvira Gulch on her bicycle and Dorothy’s pristine goodness symbolized in her sparkling white blouse and light-colored jumper while everyone else wore dingy farmers’ attire. But Oz! It actually was an ’emerald city’! And there really was a yellow brick road! And don’t even get me started on Dorothy’s slippers!! Oh my…(obviously, this is how my love affair with shoes began…)
And then, the Wicked Witch. I never knew until that moment that she was a hideous shade of green, and when I saw her I ran, screaming into the kitchen, tears of terror welling up in my eyes. Elvira Gulch had morphed into a green monster (OH! JEALOUSY! I just this moment realized…) and my trauma was magnified beyond reason. Even the Cowardly Lion and the happy ending that I knew would come couldn’t ease my unease. I suffered through it, of course. What else would I do at Harold and Helen Hanson’s besides watch TV? Watch the foursome play bridge?!?!?
“The Wizard of Oz” aired for a few more years, I suppose, and I suppose I even watched it again, though I never became a fan. When the “Wicked” craze swept the stage, I couldn’t get on board with that, either. Revisionist story-telling. Don’t get me started.
And then, this:
Finally. A bit of revisionist story-telling, shoe-exalting hilarity that I can appreciate.