It was a shocking announcement from the ORS (Oz Revenue Service) taking everyone from Munchkinland to the Emerald City by surprise – the Scarecrow and Tin Man had been arrested. Never before in the historic chronicles of Oz did anything like this happen. It was unthinkable. “Hear ye, hear ye,” cried out the Doorman from the Emerald City. “In an unfortunate turn of events, the Scarecrow and Tin Man have been taken into custody for fraudulent activity on their tax returns. An investigation into the accusations will take place before the case goes to trial. Further information will be released as the case proceeds.”
Everything across the Land of Oz came to a standstill. The Emerald City Spa was closed and the Horse of Many Colours turned white. There was no ‘ho ho ho’, ‘tra la las’ or even a couple of ‘la di das’ to be heard anywhere. The Mayor of Munchkinland cancelled his meetings with the Lollipop Guild and many of the Munchkins turned to the poppy fields to ease their pain. Glinda the Good Witch bubbled in from the South to try and calm things down, but to no avail.
In the meantime, the Cowardly Lion was nowhere to be found until he courageously showed up at the courthouse and tried get the Scarecrow and Tinman out on bail. But no matter how he pleaded, cried and ‘shucked’, the judge refused. Unfortunately he bit off his tail in frustration and had to be rushed to the Oz General Hospital where they quickly sewed it back on, but his nerves got the best of him and he remained under sedation for months.
During the following weeks, news of the charges against the duo were slowly made public – and they were scandalous. The Scarecrow and Tinman were accused of falsifying information for government-funded benefits and of failing to disclose income. Receipts for visits to the Emerald City Spa to see chiropractors and massage therapists were falsified. Government funds were used for trips to the ‘No Place Like Home’ resort in upper Oz, as well as hot air balloon trips to Kansas for corn roasts. And then it got even worse. Corruption charges connected to the repaving of the Yellow Brick Road came forth, a project over budget and years past the scheduled completion date.
Apparently the Scarecrow and Tinman were behind the consortium of companies hired to do the work. Investigators discovered the project manager behind the main company was none other than the Wicked Witch of the East and the workers were her army of flying monkeys. Additionally, the new yellow bricks used to repave the road were of poor quality and mixed with sand. But when the Scarecrow and Tinman were questioned about it under oath, they maintained remembering nothing at all and not understanding why they were arrested. Their lawyer tried to plead a case of amnesia, but the jury still reached a unanimous guilty verdict.
The Scarecrow was sentenced to life in prison under dry conditions. The Tinman also received a life sentence and no access to oil. They both fell to their knees, shaking with fear – but that’s when the most remarkable thing happened. The doors of the courtroom were slammed open. Dorothy, in her ruby slippers, entered the room with the Wizard of Oz, followed by several dozen of the Flying Monkeys. “Stop!” shouted Dorothy, “We have proof the Scarecrow and Tinman are not guilty of any of these charges and in fact are victims themselves!”
Given who they were, the judge agreed to hear them out. They claimed the Wicked Witch had them both under a spell for years. The Flying Monkeys, who had escaped her grip, offered credible testimony. The judge finally threw out the charges declaring them both innocent. The Wizard then gave the Scarecrow and Tinman a special potion, immediately cancelling the spell upon them. The Witch was chased down and then melted in a barrel of water. Everyone in the Land of Oz rejoiced for weeks. Oh! And they all lived happily ever after.