Red Band Rant: Why Movie Popcorn Is The Worst
Warning: the following Red Band Rant contains coarse language, sketchy ideas and more words than necessary to prove its point. If you are easily offended or fearful of crazy men calling out all you hold dear, please navigate away from this page immediately.
At some point before I was born, Samuel Goldwyn or Mack Sennett or some other suited dude from Hollywoodís Golden Age decided popcorn was going to be the official food of motion pictures. Like hotdogs and baseball games or mixed nut bowls and stripping, this activity and snack combination were forcibly wedged together, assumedly because of how both easily operate in the dark. Movies are better viewed with the lights down, and any fool with basic coordination skills can maneuver a small, vaguely circular object into his or her mouth. It actually makes a lot of sense, at least if you ignore the fact that movie popcorn fucking sucks. I made the best of it for years, pretending it was delicious. Then I willingly abstained, making up excuses to curious parties about why I didnít want a handful. Now Iím finally ready to publicly out myself. I hate movie popcorn and a bet a lot of you do too.
For years, industrious people have sweated through thinking caps and burnt out cartoon idea bulbs to make our lives more comfortable. In many respects, theyíve succeeded. We now live in a world where music exists in a cloud and shampoo can be purchased at the same store as a Blu-Ray. That smells like success to me. Unfortunately, despite all these technological wonders, every time I go to the movies it still reeks like Orville Redenbacher firehosed cheap butter and salt in all directions. At what point do we stop and shout, ďThere has to be a better wayĒ? Iím proud to say I havenít purchased popcorn in over fifteen years, but one bearded dude with a floppy haircut canít fight the man alone. Itís never going to get better until more of you start saying no to this flavorless abomination.
Even the best batch of popcorn, the Fiddlest of the Faddles, barely qualifies as food in my book, but movie theaters donít even offer anything close to the choicest product. Utilizing machines often decades old, they churn the stuff out at a frenetic pace and then leave it sitting there, exposed to the elements, for untold amounts of time. Perhaps worse, they donít even really butter it. In an attempt to accommodate Joe Douchebag or Jennifer Douchette with an abhorrence for extra calories, they leave the buttering to the general public, which would be fine if anyone had ever invented a way to evenly disperse the stuff. Of course, they havenít; so, people are forced to douse the top layer like theyíre putting on suntan lotion. Those top twenty pieces are almost as disgusting as the noise people make eating them.
Itís no secret that table manners have slowly eroded in American society, but Iím not sure thereís ever been a point in history when people didnít eat popcorn like fucking hillbillies going to town on deer jerky. Jiffy Pop might as well stamp Please Eat Me Loudly And With Your Mouth Open on every goddamn kernel. Perhaps worse, most people donít even bother loading up on napkins in preparation. If a food leaves some kind of residue on your hands every time you pick it up, that shit requires constant between bite wiping. I get ribs. Thatís a messy food worthy of making hands sticky, but popcorn isnít anywhere close to that level of deliciousness. Itís a half step above eating a plain rice cake.
A poor excuse for nourishment, the Native Americans mistakenly stumbled upon popcorn five thousand years ago, and bored people without other options have been mindlessly eating it ever since. Maybe it works as a nice complement to freshly slaughtered buffalo, but as a standalone, it lacks imagination, depth and excitement. If there were anything worthwhile about popcorn, eating it wouldnít make me wish I were instead consuming pretzels, chips, oyster crackers or anything else frequently set out in a haphazard manner on coffee tables.
It might sound like Iím angling for a complete ban on movie popcorn here, but I can assure you I am not. If idiots more interested in tradition than taste want to order it until theyíre buried in crumb-ridden suits, they should have that option. Some enthusiasts are beyond the point of possible conversion, but there has to be a hell of a lot of people out there in my boat. There just has to be. Thereís no way everyone in the entire fucking world has failed to notice how goddamn awful movie popcorn is. Those are the moviegoers Iím talking to.
The rest of us need more options. Sure, a lot of movie theaters have added hotdogs and various candies, but Iím not sure a single human being has ever said, ďThese Cookie Dough Bites are deliciousĒ or ďLetís not eat before the movie so we can save room for those awesome theater nachosĒ. It just doesnít happen, but no one does a damn thing about it because an overwhelming majority of people are content with the status quo. Well, fuck that. Popcorn proponent or not, I think we can all agree thereís plenty of room for improvement, and the best place to start is with French fries.
Every rundown hamburger stand in America has its own fry recipe. Admittedly, the output from those recipes varies wildly, but thereís no reason why AMC and Regal couldnít hire a chef to figure out a delicious and easily reproduced fry formula. Once thatís ironed out, a fryer could be installed in all the chainís theaters, and we could be munching on something edible by Christmas. The companies could charge five dollars for a large, and most of us would be happy to pay it. Can you imagine living in a world where you could fork over a sawbuck at the movies to consume something youíd actually pay for on the outside? That sounds like fucking heaven. They could even offer curly fries for the weirdos out there too.
Until this dream becomes a reality, Iíll keep fighting the good fight by smuggling in Cosmic Brownies. Theyíre like fucking medium-rare filet mignons in comparison to the embarrassment that is popcorn.
What Snack Would You Rather Have?
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