As I stand idly by the microwave, soaking the radiation while listening to corn being transformed into a wonderful fluffy substance enjoyed by millions of Americans throughout our various phases of history. I believe in popcorn. I believe that is unites people across a wide spectrum that many others attempt but fall short due to their inhibitions. Popcorn is different.
From the home popped variety to the premium confectionary popcorn, there are an endless adaptations of popcorn that will fit anybody’s preference. My saving grace came in the form of overpriced, artificially buttered theater popcorn.
When I was thirteen, spending time with my sister was reserved exclusively for family vacations. With a ten year difference, there was very little that we could find in common except for the red blood that flowed through our veins. Yet my mother insisted that I take her to the movies in lieu of spending time with my friends. I begrudgingly accepted my replacement schedule while my sister was enveloped in a infallible sense of happiness.
Upon our arrival at the theater, my sister was babbling away about Nemo while I purchased the tickets and we stood in line to enter the theater. As we entered, the red and yellow concession was another outlet to fruitlessly spend money and both my sister and I ignored the various consumables and continued to go find our theater.
As we settled into our seats to watch Finding Nemo, my thoughts wandered to mundane teenage thoughts while my sister was enraptured with the various movie ads. Yet as the lights entered their darkest hour, my sister was suddenly filled with fear and anxiety. This manifested itself into shaking and an iron grip onto myself that Superman would have shamefully failed at undoing. As I grew worried that my sister would report her dilemma to my mother, I picked her up and led her way outside. But as Murphy’s law took it upon itself to make matter’s worse, my sister still wanted to see Finding Nemo. In essence, that clownfish had put me in a catch-twenty two that I had no means of solving.
As I helplessly stood with my crying sister, a disgruntled concession stand worker asked if I wanted to purchase anything. I rudely asked the employee if a large popcorn would solve all of my present problems and he left with malice in every step. When he returned, he handed me a carton filled with popcorn and walked away muttering obscenities under his breath. As I thrust the popcorn into my sister’s hands, I noticed she rapidly calmed down. My sister was fascinated by these white and yellow kernels and they gave her serenity. She eventually led the way back into the movie which we finished without incident.
I believe in popcorn. With it’s ability to help a three year old overcome their fear to satisfying the health conscious snacker, to decorating Christmas trees, I will never underestimate popcorn.
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