Postcards from Retirement


Written by Nick Parker, illustrated by Maya Chapman
Inspired by Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie! Your first day in charge! The goodest of lucks!
Remember – call the Wonkaphone if you need me!

Charlie! Had splendiforous idea for edible hats!
If it’s not a winner I’ll… eat my hat!! Drop by and show you?
Fine if you’re busy.

SO sorry for the trubulation.
Just wanted to see the Oompah Loompahs again.
Of course I’ll bring them back! Hope production not affected.

Yes. Was me on the roof last night. Must have been sleepwalking.
Were the squirrels very spooked? A thousand apologies.

Charlie, my dear boy.
Listen. Don’t suppose you need a lift operator, do you?

The story behind the story

It’s always struck me that although a unique and magical place, Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory still has the same pressures as any business: recruiting good staff, developing new products, and, of course, ‘succession planning’… so it seemed likely that Mr Wonka would have the same trouble letting go as any other workaholic CEO.

I asked Maya to illustrate my story because her dad had posted some of her pictures on Twitter. I particularly liked the one below, which she drew when she was cross because she didn’t think her drawings were turning out any good. I think she captured Willy Wonka’s sudden retirement loneliness perfectly.


Me and Maya have never actually spoken. This is because she is very busy with other important illustration projects. I asked her assistant to pass on a few questions about the Willy Wonka story. Here are her answers:

What did you like about Nick’s story?
I liked it because it was different to the other Charlie ones. It wasn’t about people doing loads of different stuff, just Willie Wonka writing letters.

What made you decide to draw what you did?
I just tried to draw it exactly what I thought the scene would look like.

What would you like people to think when they look at your picture?
I’d like them to think that it is exactly like Nick’s story.

What’s your favourite funny-sounding word?


See more 26 Twits work here

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