I know it seems rather strange to have Bruce getting all grandfatherly and calling Robin 'Rob-boy', I know. But I'm still trying to retain his tough image (quite different from the movie's version of Grandpa Joe actually) and it should be noted that I'm talking about the old Bruce Wayne, from Batman Beyond. And just try to think of Wonder Woman as a skinny, grey-haired lady (she's still quite an eye-catcher mind). So, without further ado: 'The News that Started it All'.

By the way, Because of the cold weather and the fact the Buckets are too poor to buy hair-gel; Robin gets that cute middle-parting hairstyle from the wacky-panky episode 'Mother-Mae-Eye'. Enjoy!


Robin was glad the he quickened his pace; the snow was now coming down rather heavily, and his poor nose was starting to drip. He stifled his nostrils a bit, and hurried back to his house, or should he refer to it as a shack, a hut perhaps? As he passed by a few adults holding their children's hands, he settled for the most general of terms: home.

As soon as the dingy, alarmingly lopsided wooden house that leaned on one end came within Robin's not very distant radius of sight, he ran to the place, jumped over the fence, dodged a few large rocks strewn here and there, opened the door and went in.

A burst of warmth instantly engulfed his cold body, bringing back some life into his flesh and blood; Robin sighed happily, getting the feel of the flames from the tip of his hair to the wriggling of his toes. As inviting as the warmth of the fireplace was, it was the sight of seeing his family that made him went in.

There was his mother by the stove, stirring a large pot filled with what is the usual Bucket family meal: cabbage soup. Not the best winter supper of all time, but one that they can afford. "Hi mom, I'm back," he said, shedding off his winter coat and placing it on the shoe-rack slash coat-hanger.

Mrs. Bucket turned her head and the moment she saw her boy's adorable little head, it instantly made her day. "Robin darling, had a good time in school today?" she asked dotingly with a smile. An awkward shake-of-a-head was all she got, but satisfied… she was. "That's nice, sweetie. You must tell me what in the world do you do there one day, but for now, could you be a darling and hand these four bowls to your grandparents? Careful now! They're hot!"

Robin willingly placed four big bowls of hot cabbage soup on a tray, stuck four spoons into each bowls, carefully picking the whole thing up and silently thanking his dad for teaching him the art of precision balance: the bowls were almost full with soup (it had to be in large portions just to fill up their stomachs), the tray was tiny and Robin wasn't exactly the largest of teenage boys, or the most well-fed for that matter.

Despite the tray almost consciously trying to spill its heavy contents, Robin walked for dear life and maintained his balance. Thank goodness his mother's busy storing the cabbage and not looking; he doesn't want his mother to help him in such a meager task, hearing her lecture about accepting help, and feeling like a useless weakling. No, if he can't to this on his own, then he can't do anything on his own. He bit his lip, swallowed his indignity and carried on.

Even though Mrs. Bucket wasn't looking, someone else was, from a bed that was literally inhabited by four grandparents that were so tired and old they hadn't gotten out of it in years, who were still dozing off in the bed, all but one: a stern, elderly-looking man named Joe Wayne Bucket, whose eyes that were kept on little Robin and was the only source of encouragement for the skinny lad. Grandpa Joe was as quiet as a dead mouse, careful not to make any sound that would attract his doting daughter-in-law (who's putting away the excess cabbage); he knew how much Robin despised not being able to do things for himself, he told him before on an autumn's evening.

A few tense steps from Robin and a little swerving got him right in front of his grandparent's bed, with not a drop of soup spilled at all. Grandpa Joe looked up at him with an acknowledged nod, and took his bowl of soup. Robin bent down, using a side of the bed to balance that evil little goblin of a tray that's still holding up three more bowls of soup.

Grandpa Joe, after taking a few sips of the runny thing, he sharply yelled out, "Oui! You three, wake up, it's supper time!" Among all the four grandparents, it was Grandpa Joe that was the most active, even if he doesn't get out of bed anymore. Grandma Josephine, Grandpa Gregory and Grandma Mary, upon hearing Grandpa Joe's voice, rose to a stir, and as if by instinct, each gave Robin a loving smile before taking their fill of cabbage soup; Grandma Josephine with a quick peck on her flushing husband's cheek as an appetizer as Grandma Georgina continuously muttered, "I like grapes!" as always. Good old Grandma Georgina.

"Enjoy the meal everyone," he told them as he turned to receive his own bowl of cabbage soup from his mother; the little tray was left lying on the floor, quietly planning out its devious plot for tomorrow's supper, or so Robin thought. As he took a sip of the soup, Robin felt a sharp winter wind; his father was back, but instead of saying 'hello' to everybody and quietly taking his share of soup, he was waving an evening paper rather excitedly. "Everybody, have you heard the news? Oh hello, darling, but anyways HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS?"

Robin has never seen his dad this excited ever since he heard another circuswas coming to town, but that was just a rumor unfortunately. He wondered whether if what his dad has to say was true. It definitely was, for Mr. Bucket held up the paper so that they could see the huge headline. It said: WONKA'S CHOCOLATE FACTORY AT LAST OPENED TO A LUCKY FEW

Robin could almost hear everyone's hearts making a big 'whoo-pee!' sound, but a big 'RAWR!' in his heart deafened everything else but the voice of his family. "You mean people are honestly going to be allowed in the factory?" cried Grandpa Joe, a smile almost creeping into his wrinkled face. "Hurry up and read what it says, Terry - quickly!"

"Right then," said Mr. Bucket, smoothing out the paper on the table. He cleared his throat, and began. "Mr. Willy Wonka, helmed by many as the worlds most brilliant man in the chocolate and candy business whom nobody has seen for the last ten years, sent out the following notice just today:

I, Willy Wonka, have decided and confirmed to allow five children - just five, mind – to visit my factory this very year. These lucky individuals will be given a tour, shown around personally by yours truly, around the ups and down, the ins and outs and sometimes – ouch… of my beloved factory! And when the tour is over, as a special gift to that particular five, an endless supply of chocolate and candy that will last them for the rest of their lives! So watch out for five Golden Tickets! These special tickets have been printed on biodegradable golden paper, and these Golden Tickets have been hidden underneath the regular wrapping paper of five, mostly ordinary bars of chocolate.

These five creations of mine may be anywhere –in any shop in any street in any district in any province in any village in any town in any region in any country in any continent of the world- where my creations are sold naturally, and it's only available on planet Earth, by the way, sorry. For those who live on this planet, and found a Golden Ticket, gets to be inside my factory and see how everything is done! Good luck everybody, and happy hunting! (Signed by yours truly: Willy Wonka)

"That man's completely out of his mind!" muttered Grandma Josephine. Grandpa Joe thought otherwise, Robin was sure of it.

"Of course he's out of his mind, that's what makes him so ruddy brilliant!" cried Grandpa Joe. Robin's not too sure of it right now. "Just think about what would happen now! The world will be searching for these Golden Tickets! He'll outsell those 'Live-Strong' armbands and even Paris Hilton's phone number! Wouldn't it be exciting if our Robin could get one of those Tickets?"

"Oh yes, darling, all the chocolate you can eat- free! Wouldn't it be nice if we found one?" said Grandma Josephine, the thought of all that chocolate just made her kiss Grandpa Joe on the cheek again. Robin wonders whether Grandma Josephine honestly finds any chance just to give her husband a smooch, but he's got better things to think of, like getting a Golden Ticket! As he imagined a truckload of chocolate wheeling into the backyard, a nasty little voice said, 'you get only one bar a year, stupid. No chance at all,'

Robin felt horrible. "But I only get one bar a year. There's no chance of me getting one at all," Robin sadly repeated that nasty little voice's words, or was it the tray's doing that made him say it?

"Oh, poppycock, Robby-darling; you've got as much chance as anyone else," Mrs. Bucket said, being as optimistic as a mother could get.

"I'm afraid I'll have to agree with Robin, Roberta," said Grandpa George. "The kids who'll be getting those Tickets are the ones who are able to buy them everyday. Robin only gets one once a year. There isn't a hope,"


As you can tell, me duckies, I'm following the book very closely, so if you haven't read one yet, shame, shame, shame, shame, on you. And the Paris Hilton thing is just a joke mind! Nothing more! Until next time, R&R for now, and cheerio!