That Time I Delivered Candy to Gene Wilder
Who can take a sunrise
Sprinkle it in dew
Cover it in chocolate
and a miracle or two?
I can, motherfuckers.
That’s right. I delivered candy to Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka himself. You know in movies when a seemingly unimportant character comes out of nowhere and rescues the hero? Well yeah, that’s basically me.
The other parts of the day seem really unimportant now, but I remember waking up that morning and making plans to drive over to New York to visit some friends (I’m from CT). Those plans were suddenly and violently derailed when I received a phone call from my dear friend and colleague, Andrew J. Eckl. (Little background: Andy works at his parents’ awesome deli. Definitely check it out if you’re in or around Westport, Connecticut. Mention my name and receive one fully-priced sandwich of your choosing.) He was working that day and had to make a personal delivery, but not just any delivery. The Customer? Willy Wonka. The Package? A fully stocked gift basket of sweet, sweet candy. Reveling in the situational irony, I met up with Andy and we suited up in our normal delivery-wear, Badass Motherfucker wallet included:
The first part of the job was actually to go to a store and pick up a mysterious envelope. I’m beginning to think that it was a gift certificate to accompany the candy, but who knows what kind of kooky shit the guy’s been into lately?
Finally, we arrived at his house/candy factory. When Mr. Wilder came to the door the first thing we noticed about him was the twinkle in his eye. Not kidding. After all this time he was just as charismatic, albeit in a charming, older gentleman kind of way. And his eyes were so damn twinkly! We shook hands and told him it was a pleasure meeting him. Soon his wife came to the door, and she was equally as charming. I guess all of the gifts were for her. Gene, you old dog, you! Not going to lie, it was a pretty touching moment.
But this is 2488 Hughes. No room for touching moments here. During the initial excitement of meeting Gene, I think we let his dog out. Don’t worry. I’m sure they found him. And there was something really unnerving about the sobbing orange midgets chained to his garden fence. Well that last part isn’t true, but as we backed out of the driveway we realized the worst part of it all:
That’s right! He didn’t tip us! I’m tempted to rant about that for a bit, maybe go as far as saying the Johny Depp version was better. But who would I be fooling? Meeting Gene Wilder was awesome, and he was a genuinely nice guy. Plus you can’t teach somebody to make their eyes twinkle like that.