Mr. Wonka asks the remaining children and their parents to follow him and not worry about Augustus. Out of the mist coming from the river, a pink boat appears. It looks like it’s made of pink glass, and Oompa-Loompas sit at the oars. Mr. Wonka explains he hollowed out a huge hard candy to make the boat. When the Oompa-Loompas stop the boat at the riverbank, they all start laughing. Mr. Wonka assures the group that the Oompa-Loompas always laugh, and he ushers everyone onto the boat. As they start to move, he scolds Mike Teavee to stop licking the boat.
Again, there’s clearly some sort of joke being played on the tour group, since the Oompa-Loompas keep laughing at them—but it’s unclear exactly what the joke is. Mike might be forgiven for licking the candy boat, since Mr. Wonka has said that most things in his factory are edible. But Mr. Wonka’s scolding also suggests that even though things are edible in theory, the kids should still ask permission before sampling and show Mr. Wonka respect and deference. This dynamic is, perhaps, meant to teach the children self-restraint.
Veruca Salt tells Mr. Salt that she wants a boat just like this and Oompa-Loompas to row her around. Grandpa Joe whispers to Charlie that Veruca “wants a good kick in the pants,” and Charlie agrees. He’s holding tightly to Grandpa Joe’s hand and is very excited. He’s seen such amazing things so far and wonders where they’re going next. Suddenly, Mr. Wonka appears next to Charlie. He uses mugs to scoop up chocolate from the river and offers them to Charlie and Grandpa Joe, asking if they haven’t had much to eat lately. It’s the best thing Charlie has ever tasted.
Veruca’s selfishness shines through when she again asks Mr. Salt for what she wants. Grandpa Joe, as the grandparents suggested earlier in the novel, insists here that what Veruca needs is for her parents to step in and tell her no. But this mostly goes over Charlie’s head, as he’s too awestruck to dwell much on Veruca or even Augustus. Mr. Wonka rewards Charlie’s interest and respect when he offers him a mug of chocolate—presumably, the appropriate way to drink from the chocolate river.
The boat continues down the river into a tunnel, going faster and faster. Violet asks how the Oompa-Loompas know where they’re going, and Mr. Wonka says there’s no way to tell. He sings a song about this, and the parents in the boat shout that Mr. Wonka is “off his rocker.” Grandpa Joe insists Mr. Wonka is just fine as Mr. Wonka shouts to turn the lights on. Presently, lights illuminate the tunnel, which is a pipe. Mr. Wonka is in the back of the boat, clapping, leaping, and laughing.
Veruca and the other parents speak as though they expect Mr. Wonka and the Oompa-Loompas to always have a plan and be in control. But Grandpa Joe expresses the opposite sentiment: it’s more fun to go through life like Mr. Wonka, enjoying what comes without worrying too much about where you’re going. Given that the Buckets are the heroes of the story, the novel implies that Grandpa Joe has the right idea here.
Charlie points to a door in the wall. They pass a room that’s labeled as a storeroom for “all the creams,” including hair cream. Mike Teavee asks if Mr. Wonka really uses hair cream, but Mr. Wonka says that there isn’t time to answer “silly questions.” When they pass a door labeled “whips,” Veruca asks why Mr. Wonka needs whips. He needs them for properly whipping cream; Mr. Wonka also says that poached eggs aren’t really poached eggs unless the egg is stolen. The next door contains beans, including “has beans.” Mr. Wonka insists that Violet is one. Moments later, the boat stops in front of a bright red door.
Again, the other kids want to understand exactly how the factory works. But Mr. Wonka’s responses show, instead, that the factory is a place where it’s more fun to revel in nonsense, wordplay, and wonder. It’s also humorous that Mr. Wonka jokes that Veruca is a “has bean” (that is, a has-been). It seems unlikely that anyone has ever said such a thing to her, given how much her parents spoil her. This supports the idea that Mr. Wonka and the Oompa-Loompas are trying to change the kids for the better.