First off I want to acknowledge the recent passing of Sam Simon (cancer got him way too young). I know no one reads my crappy blog, but I need to write this down instead of moping and feeling uncomfortable when I walk past my “Simpsons” box sets. Simon did a lot of wonderful work of charities trying to help animals and the poor, and he was married to Jennifer Tilly for a while, which is pretty cool. That’s still not why I’m so bothered. He’s one of the guys who contributed to a very important part of my childhood.
People think it’s ridiculous to say some entertainment was important for your childhood, but “the Simpsons” really impacted me. I remember watching it in kindergarten, but others say I was interested in it from birth. One of my favourite feelings in the world is lying around on a lazy Saturday, maybe when it’s raining outside, and watching reruns of the show. I did that all the time when I was a kid, and sometimes I still indulge. When I felt lonely being the little kid in the house, I watched the show. When I dreaded going to school the next day, I watched the show. When I came home from the mall where I was supposed to meet my dad – separated from my mum – and he didn’t show up, I watched the show. That last one got me a few Barbies and a lot of ice cream, though.
It shaped my sense of humour of course. It taught me some weird but important stuff about life that school totally couldn’t. As I age I understand so many more jokes, or understand them in a different way, so each re-watch brings a new surprise. To be honest, the new episodes of the show don’t appeal to me (writing and animation mostly). Still, the deaths of Marcia Wallace (Mrs. Krabappel, and Carol on Bob Newhart) and Sam Simon feel like a punch in the gut. I wish I could have thanked them. The originals of “the Simpsons” are really old now, so many more sad days are coming.
So anyway, popcorn is absolutely delicious. Especially sweet and salty kettle corn like Angie’s Boomchickapop. I don’t like how it gets shoved up into your gums, but floss helps. I don’t like the smell when microwave popcorn burns, but I haven’t made that in years. It’s fun to toss it into the air and catch it in your mouth. But there are times when popcorn is terrible.
WHY THE HELL DO WE EAT IT IN THEATRES????
Why? I googled it and Smithsonian Magazine gave me an historical lesson about popcorn and movie theatres. I get how it became a tradition, but why would such a disruptive snack become not only permitted or acceptable, but expected? Popcorn may not be the most irritating snack, but the cons outweigh the pros. Yeah, it’s easy to pop it in your mouth absent-mindedly, and for some the movie going experience is incomplete without it. But it’s part of the reason why I stopped going to movie theatres for years, only to return a few years ago and make infrequent visits.
Let’s start with the smell of “butter” or whatever that tasty yellow goop is. Delicious when you’re eating it, nauseating when you’re not. Other foods also seem to do this for people; seafood, eggs and Cool Ranch Doritos come to mind. The smell is okay when you get used to it and accept that the screening will smell like that.
Next, the mess. This is more a problem for the ushers who have to clean up, and honestly they probably have to clean semen off the seats sometimes, so popcorn isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I just hate stepping on it. And when people leave their almost finished bag on the seat and just leave, I want to find them and kill them. Litter is bad.
What makes people hate popcorn most is the sound. Imagine getting to a very tense and quiet moment in a film, or even just a moment that makes the entire film shine due to it’s perfection. Suddenly, you hear this:
HooaAAAHRRCHKCHUMP mchump nyumpch nyumpch nyumpch *gulp.*
It’s not just crunchy; it’s a wet crunch that can be skin-crawling. Of course some people have mastered the art of stealth popcorning. But there’s always one douche who has to loudly chow down on his smelly popcorn with extra salt and butter, spit-covered particles flying out of his mouth and into the hair of the person in front of him, while he provides commentary on the film to his friend. Oh, and his incredible “knowledge” of the film consists of things the friend could just see on the IMDB trivia page, which was mined from the most shallow moments of a behind-the-scenes documentary on the DVD. Not even the Bluray or the good DVD, but the old blurry DVD from back in the day. I’m exaggerating about the popcorn, but as far as the talking to your friend part, YES, I AM TALKING ABOUT YOU guy from the 2001: A Space Odyssey screening I went to. You were stage whispering, not real whispering. And you didn’t know how they did the bit with Frank running and boxing on the ship, so don’t try to act like a trivia master.
Screw popcorn. As for those people who buy a bag of candy that’s really hard to open, like anything from Maynard’s, and wait until the middle of the movie to open it, and then laugh when it spills on the ground? You will have to congregate in a special corner of hell where candy is the only thing that can relieve your misery, and the bags are impossible to open.