Do I like popcorn? Yes, I guess. Isn’t popcorn one of those foods you are universally obliged to like? Its the ultimate movie snack, for one. And the smell, that of a melted butter fountain erupting in Disneyland. Not to forget the most characteristic of popcorn properties, the “pop” sound. The way it almost might be the tune of your favourite song (almost). The way the sound pauses for just a second, and when it continues you feel like how the heart beep machine in the movies goes: A long terrifying straight line, followed by a sudden blimp.
Eating popcorn isn’t eating popcorn, its an experience. To stick your nose against the foggy microwave glass (I don’t actually stick my nose against it, it might be hot and yes, I’m a slight coward) and watch the wrapper as it unfolds itself. The excitement builds up in your stomach as the packet builds itself up. Given how much we know of the universe, it could actually be a minimalistic version of the Big Bang.
Its beautiful, its exciting, its the next highest grossing blockbuster movie and you’ve used up a lot of precious time reading about what you’ve (in most cases) seen before. But what does popcorn taste like? Buttered popcorn is butter, salted popcorn is salt, cheese popcorn is cheese, caramel popcorn is something that’s trying to be caramel. But where is the popcorn?
My hypothesis: Popcorn is only there in your head. It is that extra zingy advertisement that sells you the World’s Best Electronic Plant that you don’t really need. Popcorn is the sum total of your excitement, your fascination, your awe and your imagination. Only the calories are provided in the packet.
So is popcorn <gasp> a bad thing? I would hazard a no. Its does give you the joy of anticipation and an opportunity to jump up and down and be all wide eyed. And I have always been a defender of unwarranted optimism.
Have you notice that futuristic scifi robotic movies are always so distant, dry and drab? It scares me! Why will humans suddenly stop loving colours and creativity? I love technology but that does not stop me from appreciating colour, art or the sunshine. There is an erratic quirkiness of life that is so visible in our small joys.
The sun, the stars (barely visible), some graffiti, an aimless walk, a illegible doodle, a happy dance, a book you’ve read a zillion times already, and some popcorn as well. This is stuff you do not associate yourself with because of any purpose or motive, but simply because you want to. These are things that take you away from the clockwork of reasons and compulsions into a rollercoaster world of choices.
So if you don’t like popcorn, you might just be a robot.
(Disclaimer: Before you seethe in anger and denounce my views, remember, I’m not a fine connoisseur of food. My extent of knowledge goes up to knowing the difference between chocolate and asparagus, and that serves me adequately. In short, I’m being a know it all when I know nothing at all.)
Also, first blog post! Yes yes yes! This is a good feeling.