UNITED NATIONS—Responding to pressure from the international community, the U.N. ordered enigmatic candy maker William "Willy" Wonka to submit to chocolate-factory inspections Monday.
"For years, Wonka has hidden the ominous doings of his research and development facility from the outside world," U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said. "Given the reports of child disappearances, technological advances in glass-elevator transport, and Wonka-run Oompa-Loompa forced-labor camps, the time has come to put an end to three decades of secrecy in the Wonka Empire."
The chocolate-making capabilities of Wonka's heavily fortified compound have long been a source of speculation. Wonka, defying international calls for full disclosure, has maintained his silence regarding his factory's suspected capacity to manufacture confections of mass deliciousness.
Secretary of State Colin Powell praised the U.N. announcement.
"No more will this sinister figure be free to pursue his nefarious endeavors without fear of reprisal, protected by loopholes in international candy-making law," Powell said. "With this ruling, the U.N. has issued the global community a 'golden ticket' to draw back the curtain behind which this mysterious confectioner hides."
According to CIA psychological profilers, Wonka has retreated from the outside world entirely, withdrawing into "a world of pure imagination." An anonymous tinker stationed near the infamous, long-locked Wonka factory gate corroborated the claim, saying, "Nobody ever goes in, nobody ever comes out."
Rival candy makers, long worried that Wonka's advanced capabilities have created an imbalance of power within the volatile global chocolate marketplace, also applauded the U.N. move.
"Wonka exerts a powerful psychological grip over the world's children," said Arthur Slugworth, president of Slugworth Confections. "They are devoted to him with a loyalty that borders on the fanatical, eagerly lapping up Scrumdiddlyumptious Bars by the millions at his command. But when we found evidence that Wonka was developing so-called 'everlasting gobstopper' technology—'the mother of all gobstoppers'—we knew it was time to act."
To date, all efforts to peer inside the Wonka inner sanctum have met with failure. Armies of legal experts retained by Wonka have kept visitors to his chocolate-making facilities effectively gagged with elaborate non-disclosure agreements. His in-house staff of high-contrast Technicolor dwarves carefully monitors what information flows in or out of the heavily guarded compound. And the few scraps of information that have come to light—vague reports of terrifying river-barge rides, razor-sharp ceiling fans, and human-sized pneumatic tubes of indeterminate purpose—have been obscured by layers of darkly comic, psychedelic symbolism, making them virtually impossible to interpret.
"Wonka has shown himself to be a man who cannot be trusted," Annan said. "Whether misrepresenting himself as a limping cripple, only to drop at the last moment into an agile somersault, or exploiting the deepest and most personal character flaws of misbehaving children, Wonka has been a man of shifty, undetermined motives and baffling ends. He must be stopped."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, a longtime advocate of regime change in the Wonka Empire, is urging President Bush to consider military intervention should Wonka refuse to cooperate.
"The world can no longer turn a blind eye to Wonka's deception and misdirection," Rumsfeld said. "Without full inspections, there's no earthly way of knowing which direction Wonka's going. Not a speck of light is showing, so the danger must be growing. And he's certainly not showing any signs that he is slowing. Are the fires of Hell a-glowing? Is the grisly reaper mowing? Who can provide the world with the answer to these pressing questions?"
"The candy man can," Rumsfeld added grimly.
Bush said he is leaning toward the use of force, undeterred by the prospect of the candy maker using his rumored "Wonkavision" technology to turn would-be attackers into millions of tiny pieces, beaming them through the air and shrinking them to tiny, dollhouse-accessory size.
"We are talking about a man who is able to take a rainbow and cover it with dew," Bush told reporters during a press conference Monday. "Who knows what else he is capable of? Left to his own devices, he could, in a worst-case scenario, make the world taste very bad, indeed."