This website and its list of frequently asked questions has been around, in one form or another, since 1996. So I thought, in honor of April Fool's Day, it was time to turn my attention to some more obscure questions that people don't ask so often—in other words, infrequently asked questions. So, here are a few IAQs, and my attempts at answering them.
- 1 Why doesn't Glinda do something about all the crazy stuff between her palace and the Emerald City?
- 2 Does Trot's mother wonder what ever happened to Trot and Cap'n Bill?
- 3 In The Movie, Dorothy meets the Scarecrow at a crossroads and doesn't know which way to go. But by the time they're done with their big song-and-dance number, they seem to know where they are going. How do they figure out which one to take?
- 4 Are the pumpkins in the Scarecrow's cornfield meant to be a reference to the pumpkins Mombi grew in The Marvelous Land of Oz?
- 5 How did Glinda know that the Ruby Slippers would fit Dorothy's feet?
- 6 Why do we never see Dorothy eat or use the bathroom?
- 7 Where was Glinda in Return to Oz?
Why doesn't Glinda do something about all the crazy stuff between her palace and the Emerald City?
She did, actually. Not long after the events of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Glinda chopped down the forest of the fighting trees, sent all the denizens of the China Country to an antique store in Piqua, Ohio, relocated the animals of the next forest to the Bronx Zoo, and drilled a tunnel through the Hammerheads' hill, all so that she could pave a four lane road connecting her palace to the Emerald City. That's why the Sawhorse, on his many runs between them in the books, never encountered any of those obstacles Dorothy and her friends had to deal with in the books. Of course, now that highway is crowded with all kinds of traffic, which is why Glinda usually flies to the Emerald City in her swan-drawn chariot.
Does Trot's mother wonder what ever happened to Trot and Cap'n Bill?
At the end of The Scarecrow of Oz, Trot and Cap'n Bill find they can't go home. Nobody seems to care that Trot's poor mother is still at home, worried about them. But no, it turns out that the shrewish Mrs. Griffiths, seen in The Sea Fairies and Sky Island, was only the tip of the iceberg. It turns out that Trot's mother was a cold, calculating woman who, unbeknownst to anyone, had only recently taken out large life-insurance policies on both her daughter and her husband's former captain. She had planned to "deal with them" herself in the coming weeks, but their disappearance just meant she could collect the insurance money without expending any effort. Not long after, she got word that her husband had been lost at sea, so she was able to cash in his insurance policy as well. Being unencumbered and wealthy, she sold the cottage in San Diego and moved to Hollywood, where she got involved as an extra in the fledgling film industry. Eventually, she started taking up with younger men, started running hooch from Mexico once Prohibition started up, and eventually drowned at a raucous party in some star's swimming pool after a particularly hard night of partying in 1927. Even sadder, Trot and Cap'n Bill didn't even find out about any of this until 1936.
In The Movie, Dorothy meets the Scarecrow at a crossroads and doesn't know which way to go. But by the time they're done with their big song-and-dance number, they seem to know where they are going. How do they figure out which one to take?
Dumb luck! They really didn't know where they were going. The good news is that both roads go to the Emerald City. However, the one that Dorothy and the Scarecrow chose was a little more direct, and gave them the chance to meet the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. Had they taken the other road, they would have met the Gassy King Crab, who would have asked the Wizard for something to settle his stomach; and the Belligerent Bear, who wanted to learn how to get along with others; however, he ticked the others off so much that they just left him in the poppy field to die in his sleep.
Are the pumpkins in the Scarecrow's cornfield meant to be a reference to the pumpkins Mombi grew in The Marvelous Land of Oz?
No, those are actually meant to be a reference to The Pearl and the Pumpkin, a book by the original illustrator of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, W. W. Denslow. MGM had bought the rights to make a film version of that book in 1936, and the cornfield was originally meant to be a set for that movie. However, once they acquired The Wizard of Oz, they decided to skip The Pearl and the Pumpkin and reused the set for the Scarecrow's cornfield instead.
How did Glinda know that the Ruby Slippers would fit Dorothy's feet?
Because Glinda quietly put in some foam spacers to make them fit (and, incidentally, protect Dorothy from the Wicked Witch of the East's athlete's foot).
Why do we never see Dorothy eat or use the bathroom?
This is a phenomenon not just limited to The Wizard of Oz. We also don't see characters use the restroom, and rarely see them eat, in The Wiz, Return to Oz, Oz the Great and Powerful, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Rocky, most of the Star Wars movies, Schindler's List, the Godfather saga, Singin' in the Rain, The Sound of Music, and any number of other movies you can name. It all has to do with how movies are made. The actors are filmed from the moment they get up in the morning until they go to bed at night. Yes, a film crew followed Judy Garland around the MGM lot all day. They got several hundred feet of film each day, including her lunch break at the MGM cafeteria, the times she was off-set learning at the MGM school, and yes, her trips to use the restroom. But most of that footage had nothing to do with the story they wanted to tell. Only the parts pertaining to The Wizard of Oz were retained, and the rest (about 95% shot each day) was incinerated. So that is why you don't usually see characters in movies eating or going to the bathroom.
Where was Glinda in Return to Oz?
When the Nome King took over Oz (before the start of Return to Oz), he knew that Glinda would be a problem, and decided to deal with her first. Liking the idea of decorating his palace, he turned her into an ornament and stuck her in a room far in the back so that, in the unlikely event someone ever came into the palace to try to save their friends, they'd never think of looking in the back for an additional enchanted ornament. Sadly, Glinda was crushed when the Nome King's palace collapsed.