When I think of the word “fizzy” it always reminds me of another Charlie, namely the one from Roald Dahl’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I’m a huge fan of Dahl and this book is filled with an insane number of incredible inventions that astounded me as a child. My favorite one was the Fizzy Lifting Drink that lifted you into the air and gave you the ability to fly, which was, and frankly still is, a dream of mine. The only way to control the flight without floating away entirely was to burp your way back to the ground. As a little boy, this was pretty much the coolest… thing… ever! It involved both flying and permission to burp as loudly as you like in order to navigate your flight properly. What’s not to love about that?! I used to pretend I was soaring above the clouds just to burp myself back down again, but this habit was quickly dispelled by my mother, who feared I’d practice flying in public.
“They fill you with bubbles, and the bubbles are full of a special kind of gas, and this gas is so terrifically lifting that it lifts you right off the ground just like a balloon…”
–From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Of course, in the movie version it was all quite dramatic as Charlie and his Grandpa Joe are soaring into large steel fans and nearly floating to their death. But they’re saved by burps and all is well. Charlie’s burps were these tiny little sounds that made me giggle every time. The entire story is rather dark, but that’s part of the fun of Dahl’s humor. The Oompa-Loompas were perfectly terrifying in the film with their glowing orange faces while singing their dastardly catchy songs. I’m referring to the original 1971 Gene Wilder version, of course, and not the weird remake they sell with it. That version is still one of my favorite movies and I remember being so excited as a kid when it would be on TV. Okay, yeah, the main character was also named Charlie so that made it even cooler. I often imagined how wonderful it would be if I had been that Charlie and got my own amazing chocolate factory.
I realize now, those magical drinks were to blame for my current obsession with sparkling water and bubbles. I love it when we go to Paris each year, as in every restaurant we go to, they always ask if you’d like sparkling water. This is simply how life was meant to be. A couple Christmases ago, Philippe bought me a cool looking red SodaStream machine to make my own sparkling drinks. I love it! The color makes it seem that much more magical and more like a little art piece sitting on the counter in the kitchen. No, it sadly doesn’t make me float up in the sky like a balloon, but it does make me incredibly happy. I still get that lovely feeling of my spirits rising, so now that I think about it, perhaps my childhood dream came true, and I can now finally make my own fizzy lifting drinks.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Azo Orange, Pyrrol Red, Gamboge, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Safari Al-Star Fountain Pen – Extra Fine, with Platinum Carbon black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!