the Green Curtain: An Update on Ozís Post-Wicked Witches Era
By Shawn Holiday
has been over ten years since the Munchkins were liberated
from the tyranny of the Wicked Witches of the East and West
by Dorothy - yet peace, stability and prosperity have eluded
the tiny population ever since. Due to serious infighting
immediately after the power vacuum, the Munchkins have been
unable to sustain a democratic society and bear little resemblance
to the cheerful and fastidious people whose exploits were
popularized in the famed documentary "The Wonderful Wizard
of Oz: Behind the Green Curtain."
"Frankly, it was not so bad under the Wicked Witch
of the East," says the former Mayor and now arms merchant.
"We were clean, well fed, wore elaborate clothes and
had a sufficient reservoir of happiness to burst into spontaneous
song and dance as soon as Dorothy's house smacked down that
witch. Actually, we'd been rehearsing for years.
"Hey, I'm not complaining. Witchie there was about
to fry me as an example to the others. It's just that, well...
at least her brand of oppression did give order to a divided
While details are sketchy, several townspeople - many of
whom asked not to be identified - said that the chaos, looting
and violent reprisals began immediately after Dorothy slipped
out of sight down the famous Yellow Brick Road, which no longer
exists. The bricks were used in walls to separate ethnic groups,
thus fragmenting the populations into impoverished enclaves.
The resulting collapse of trade and infrastructure threw the
tiny kingdom into anarchy which spread to the surrounding
lands of Oz in a classic domino effect.
"This whole place went to crap after the Wizard left,
whoever the hell he was," said a women dressed in what
looked to be extinct bunnybury skins. "He didn't mess
with us and we didn't mess with him and everything was fine.
Then that awful triumvirate took over and everything just....
She was apparently referring to the brief reign of Dorothy's
three companions - Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion - whose constant
bickering so unnerved the peaceful residents of Emerald City
that many fled to the countryside where they soon fell victim
to the lions, tigers and bears.
Glenda, the Good Witch of the North, tried to mediate but
her powers were useless there and the eons of harmony in the
capital city were soon shattered. Glenda herself narrowly
escaped injury when her transporting bubble was damaged during
a food riot. She had to walk the 70 miles back to her castle
in Winkle Country and hasn't been seen since.
Through her spokesperson, Glenda informed reporters that
she wished the Munchkins well, but it's time that they grow
up and learn to manage their own affairs. As for the rest
of Oz, she hoped that the international community would finally
lift the trade embargoes and provide peacekeepers and developmental
Rather than an era of peace in which oppressive overlords
have been vanquished, the entire land of Oz was divided along
ethnic and class lines. The Tin Man stormed a nearby castle
and began a reclusive heavy metal band that experiments with
chemical weapons during its annual "Doomsday Ethnic Cleansing"
concerts; the Lion was in and out of rehab for three years
before accidentally drowning in the Magic Waterfall; and the
Scarecrow stayed behind to dismantle the Emerald City using
prison labor from the Quadling Country. Only tiny shards of
the once magnificent architecture are left, which is now boarded
up with plywood and duct tape. The city's fortunes declined
further when Scarecrow flooded the market with cheap Emeralds,
collapsing wholesale prices and throwing the country into
a severe economic depression, now in its ninth year.
"Hey, it's not like I have a degree in macro economics,"
shouted the Scarecrow from behind a cardboard peephole. "I
should have grabbed those ruby slippers when I had the chance."
For a while, many Oz residents had pinned their hopes on
a dark horse, Brenda Lee - The Good but Troubled Witch of
the South. The polite, cheerful girl with spunk was the darling
of the family and soon overshadowed her much older sister,
"Them girls used to go at each other. Whooee!"
exclaimed the mayor. "Trouble is, if they had just worked
together they would have defeated those wicked witches in
a natural progression of internal conflict. The kingdom would
have rallied and that would ease in a balanced resolution
on which we could build a moral foundation for a new government.
But noooo. Brenda had to be the bitch!"
Soon after the quick deaths of half of Oz's witches, Brenda
and her lover, political newcomer Cleetis Fortuitous, took
charge of Munchkinland after a highly questionable election
and intervention of the Mt. Fludderbudget District Court.
The couple, who have two children together, shared power until
Brenda threw Cleetis out of their trailer for alleged infidelity.
Cleetis, formerly a roofer and carpet installer, denies the
charges and is waging a bitter custody battle during which
Brenda turned several judges into rigmaroles.
Their legal troubles worsened when the last Munchkin lawyer
filed a class action suit against the couple, alleging insider
trading, accounting irregularities and conducting genetic
experiments on immigrant Oompa Loompas. Last week, Brenda
emerged from her trailer at the edge of the Forest of Fighting
Trees for a brief but bizarre press conference, during which
she denied carrying the Mayor's child and threatened to send
the remaining Munchkins back to the tobacco fields.
"You tiny ingrates better drop this lawsuit or it's
hard labor for the whole mess 'o ya!" slurred the agitated
Brenda while flicking lit cigarettes on reporters. "Big
Daddy - god rest his soul - only left me with this farm and
his army of flying pit bulls so it's been a struggle. Let
me tell you something, you little farts better mind me 'cause
my critters haven't had a Munchkin luncheon for a loooong
Brenda Lee then burst into tears and bumped her magic wand
against the podium, which immediately exploded into purple
smoke. In the confusion, two flying pit bulls whisked her
into the air while the rest set upon the reporters, mauling
several. Animal control officers arrived later to capture
several suspects, which were then destroyed.
Aides later said that Brenda Lee was medicated due to a
difficult pregnancy - the unwed 24-year-old enchantress is
expecting her sixth child next month. The aides also refused
to address rumors that social workers have taken custody of
her other children: Gator, Feedback, Destiny, Rumor and Blanche.
Some pockets of Oz appear to have stabilized, albeit through
savage oppression. Warring factions have split the once mighty
Munchkin Army that policed all of Oz during the Golden Age.
Now the soldiers have become mercenaries for the highest bidder.
However, the military attache for Cleetis says that after
his legal troubles are over, he plans to reconstitute an all-volunteer
force to restore civil order and form a provisional government.
"The Munchkin Army? Hah! Give me a break," said
the Coroner, who now prefers to be called Warlord Wogglebug.
"Those wussies couldn't cut through a poppy field without
The Coroner reportedly commands several hundred militia
that are largely made of conscripts and children, some as
young as 8. Their fierce loyalty and brutal methods of warfare
have already garnered a feared reputation in Oz, allowing
the Coroner to operate with impunity.
"I know where all the bodies are buried. Nobody's going
to touch me," he laughed during the interrogation of
a POW who was repeatedly dunked in the Truth Pond. "The
good ol' days are over! It now takes cajones to rule Oz, and
they'd better not be made of tin!"
All of this means big business for the Mayor, who used his
political connections to sell the country's surplus arms just
as civil order collapsed. He is one of the few Munchkins to
prosper amidst the anarchy and lives comfortably in the old
Winkle Embassy complex guarded by his private army of Munchkins
that were trained in orphanages. Still, there's a twinge of
bitterness in the formerly jovial leader of a people known
for their innocence, compassion and snappy choral numbers.
He almost seems wistful for the days of capricious vengeance
from a flying hag.
"Hey, our Wicked Witch was the worst, but she was ours
you know?" he says, shining his ceremonial sword. "That
Dorothy just parachutes in here, takes out our leader and
screws up an arrangement that had its problems, but worked
just fine for generations. There was no contingency for providing
services, restoring order, maintaining the infrastructure.
I still can't make a phone call. So if you see that uppity
Kansas broad, tell her we got a huge clean up bill for her."