How Un-American of me. I do not like The Wizard of Oz. Not only do I not like it, I loathe it. To me it has been totally misclassified. How can this be a family classic?

Other movies that have witches, flying creatures that pluck people off the face of the earth, creepy twitchy little people with strange voices, death threats from the sky and a lying cheating man hiding behind a curtain pretending to be omnipotent would be filed under the genre of horror. Horror! And that is what The Wizard of Oz is to me. The scariest movie ever produced.

I would also file it under childhood trauma. I don't know how it was in your family but in my family once a year when this classic came on our family was required to watch it. Or at least I was because I was too young to be left alone for two hours while everybody else watched it. It was suppose to be a treat. We didn't even have the wondrous ability to see the grand transformation of Kansas in black and white to Oz in technicolor. Our TV was black and white.

And while my brother and sisters eagerly looked forward to this family tradition that usually occurred somewhere around the holidays, I recoiled. It is almost worse that I was born in Kansas. The tornado scene terrified me having spent many a day or night in basements under tornado watches. Then there is that horrible cackling woman on the bicycle, all this before Dorothy even arrives in Oz.

The very first thing that happens in Oz is death. A violent death at that. It really doesn't get much worse that being crushed to death by a house and having your feet curl up. Why did her feet have to curl up? That is just creepy.

Bring on the disturbing little people. Just the thought of those voices leaves me feeling cold and they twitch when they sing. I believe those scenes were the cause of my irrational fear of little people that persisted well into adulthood. Yes, I would actually change directions in a store to avoid a midget. Of course I know that is stupid but then that is the definition of irrational. I have gotten over that phobia, but you can see why my children would tease me.

Don't even get me started on the flying monkeys. In what world are flying monkeys not scary? Okay, maybe on the Planet of the Apes but I'm thinking even they would be leery of those winged little assholes.

There are poppies that drug you into unconsciousness, the witch, of course, and then there is the wonderful wizard who isn't wonderful at all. The wizard is just a despot who lies to those who count on him and he does it in a very clandestine way, much like Muammar Gaddafi who isn't wonderful either.

I must have been at least twelve before I was brave enough to keep my eyes open when the Wicked Witch of the West melted. After that I simply refused to watch this "family classic" ever again. I did not pass this insane fear on to my children. They love The Wizard of Oz. It is only when I would retreat into another room every time it came on did they wonder why I wouldn't watch it.

To this day I will occasionally get "Don't make me unleash the flying monkeys, Mom".

There is no place like home but if I ever lose my way, I most certainly AM NOT going to find my way back home via Oz.

Lions and Tigers and Bears. Oh, my!

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