April 7, 2008


Fake butter on movie theater popcorn: have you tasted this? Well you probably will because it’s just that horrible that it will never go away. It wouldn’t have come into use at all if some twipe in a focus group didn’t say in sentence fragments which will appear between quotation marks in marketing for it “Can’t taste the difference! Same great taste!” I’m not talking about margarine or the poisonous diacetyl in the microwave rubbish. Whatever this is, it’s worse than that, except that I don’t necessarily know the smell of it can kill me.

Anytime something cheaper and less good gets invented it tries to take over. Like when all the lime candy started turning into “apple.” Or whatever happened that allowed the largest pizza chain in the world to have originated in Kansas and the second largest Michigan. For some reason, you’re not allowed to expand unless you make tasteless slab cheese orange sauce cardboard crust ellipses of dread. I can’t stand it. The previous invention of microwaving technology left the theaters safe, and for all I know gave them yet another excuse to raise their prices once the ability to pop corn properly in a domestic environment had been bred out of common folk.

And this time the theaterbies thought
“hey, we can cut corners here, at the butter churn, too, and people will stay pay as much as we say for it, probably.” Of course this was supplemented by a “Bow-Tie-Cinema”-produced ad for their kernels of punishment prior to the actual movie. It sheweth old-timey footage of popcorn plopping up in a pot and intermittently flashes black screens with FRESH! and REAL! printed on them. These people think that will be enough to convince me. I was not convinced!

Microwave popcorn, I don’t like it, I won’t pay for it, and I won’t feel inclined to eat it, but if I mistakingly eat a piece, I can chew and swallow it. THIS I had to force down with water. I couldn’t even taste the corn itself, just its otherworldly coating, like I’d drank a cup, or rather a vial of it. I don’t remember the flavor, just thinking at the time that it tasted really orange. Not like the fruit, just the color. It tasted like something orange that should not be orange. Like if a dorito was made entirely out of its preservation dust but was also wet. I’ve never tasted styrofoam, but I imagine if I had and it was orange and a liquid it would have the same effect when poured over once palatable snack products.

I had to blow my nose at several points during the production I was screening, and I was suddenly very repulsed by the smell of the restroom soap on my fingers, and for some reason it reminded me of the tiny bit of turned popcorn gel I had just ingested and the burning, ringing sensation it left within my nasal passages. Perhaps they come from the same source. They definitely both emerged via the same pump-action goop distribution method. It actually made the sound “goop” when it was dispensed. That is one popcorn related omonaontonpaiea I could do without. I thought right then and there how glad I was that the other person was getting popcorn and I wasn’t, but a couple minutes later I had forgotten and was both surprised and grateful when without being prompted at all he offered me a chance to partake of his mysterious possession (this was the same person I shared that dangerous pizza with two weeks later. He may be trying to destroy me). I should have known better when he said “I’m probably not going to finish this.” And I ate one (1) popped corn unit, and for one brief shining moment I felt less than dead. What was it? My recent re-examination of the picture above, which I only took because I thought it a bit odd to bring popcorn into a restroom, is the first opportunity I’ve had to really look at it, and aside from the fact that it appears to be glowing I can’t make out any unusual poperties.

This was like something they’d give to the army. This was like something invented by dow chemical in the 1950s that no one on the consumer end knows causes cancer yet. This was like a failed 80s cost-reducing experiment I’d have to read about on the internet because it happened so long ago and was abolished so quickly that most people old enough to know about it have forgotten. This was like something people would film themselves dropping Mentos into. Like an hour later, still preoccupied with the popcorn I thought to myself that it could not possibly have been as bad as I imagined it was, and also that I really did want some popcorn, and took two pieces instead of one. I actually gagged. The only time I usually gag is when I try to eat something my mother likes. I shouldn’t gag on snacks. The whole point of snacks is that they taste so good I’d rather eat them than nutritious vegetarian brodinger. Did somebody replace the butter with yellow triaminic? That’s almost orange, I suppose.


Hey, if I see this guy eating cold pork chops after passing out drunk and waking up in his personal bowling alley and I become envious, that’s not good.



2 Responses
  1. 1
    6:20 am, April 7, 2008

    Fifteen tons of expensive-to-dispose-of waste sez:

    I can’t even stand the taste of real butter; why someone would seek a yet inferior substitute is fully beyond me.

    Really, I never understood the idea of theater concessions in general. They’re obscenely expensive, they don’t taste very good, and they’re not really even necessary in the first place. Why does one need to eat when watching a film? I submit that one does not. One is typically not even allowed to eat in the viewing chamber of most stage performances. Yet it has somehow become accepted as the sort of thing one must do at cinemas, and thus people purchase such items simply on principle.

  2. 2
    1:35 pm, April 7, 2008

    Rinslid sez:

    It’s one more great American indoctrination stapleton. People can’t be away from cholesterol for two solid hours. I suspect this goes back to some relatively ancient carnival/county fair culture -rather than legitimate theatre with the r first- within which popcorn and such were affordable. People might just have popcorn already when they came around to whatever tent humans with alternative physical development were being abused in. There still are carnivals and fairs, obviously, but once the merchandorks saw people would pay 5 dollars for popcorn in one place it was decided they would, and must, in other places as well.

    Butter is gross, I won’t argue that. I never put it on bread or pancakes.
    However, I’ve already convinced myself a great deal of vice foods are gross which other persons do not –I can’t eat Starburst or the hot-dogs from Friendly’s anymore, for example– and I’d like to hold on to my ability to deal with this type of popcorn until… I confess I have not thought this through.

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