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The Pleasures and Perils of Popcorn

Updated on January 13, 2020
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.

Fitness With Popcorn? You Bet!

Here’s Something New For You

to enjoy. And my headline should serve as an explanation enough. It’s a fitting suffice. And as for popcorn, it is the perfect snack. Loaded with protein and always tastes great—even cold. I know. I have always prided myself (for years) as being a Self-Appointed Popcorn Master. Why? During the first few months of 1981,I used popcorn as a food substitute and lost over 56 pounds—not all at once, but with the Popcorn Diet that I used, did not seem as if I were dieting. I was sad when my weight goal was achieved. And yes, you might be asking yourself, Kenneth, would you try the Popcorn Diet again? My response: is the Sahara hot?

Here are some very interesting facts about popcorn:

  • Americans consume around 17 billion quarts of popcorn each year. This amount would fill the Empire State Building 18 times.[3]

  • Nebraska creates an estimated 250 million pounds of popcorn per year—more than any other state. This is equal to a quarter of all the popcorn the U.S..A makes every year.[3]

  • Popcorn is the official snack of Illinois. Since 1958, there has been a yearly “Popcorn Day.”[3]

  • The American Dietetic Association and the American Diabetes Association say that popcorn can be substituted for bread for people on weight-control diets.[3]

  • Unpoped popcorn shouldn’t be stored in the refrigerator. Refrigerators will dry out the moisture in the kernels. Without moisture, popcorn will not pop. The perfect l place to store popcorn is in a cool, dry cupboard.[2]

  • Popcorn kernels can easily pop up to 3 feet in the air.[1]

  • Popcorn has more protein than any other cereal grain. It has more iron than eggs or roast beef.

  • The world’s largest popcorn ball was 12 feet in diameter and weighed 5,000 pounds. It took one ton of corn, 4,900 pounds of sugar, 280 gallons of corn syrup, and 400 gallons of water.[3]

  • Two tablespoons of unpopped kernels make a quart of popcorn for about 25 cents.[1]

  • There are about 1,600 popcorn kernels in (a) cup.[1]

I know that (this) fact about popcorn may not be an unusual or awkward popcorn fact, but I have found that (just) the customers are “drawn” to the popcorn by it’s magnetic and delicious aroma. I confess. I am just like this when I am in the mall or even at a friend’s home. Popcorn, my friends, is just that delicious.

Pal, What or Whom do You Love, Popcorn or Your Girlfriend?


Before I Share My Recipe, “Super-Tasting” Popcorn

I need to be completely transparent and tell everything that I know about popcorn and (at the top) are only 10 Facts About Popcorn that I hope all popcorn facts will like, but there is this ONE fact about popcorn that may open your eyes about “America’s Favorite Snack,” popcorn.

Have you ever in your life ever been in attendance at a walk-in movie theater and you missed dinner, but “that” aroma of popcorn popping “lured” your taste buds to the “Snack Area,”and before you knew it, you had purchased a “Giant, Jumbo, Jumbo Large Size Popcorn with Extra Butter,” and your mouth was already watering. Do not feel by yourself, because I would feel the same way.

As you sat back down, relaxed, and had your popcorn in-hand ready to enjoy a thrilling action film and enjoy the great taste of popcorn (with extra butter), after two or three handful’s of delicious popcorn, you suddenly became aware that there was something wrong now dwelling inside your mouth and throat area. It was not a monumental thing, so you didn’t worry or make an embarrassing scene, so you quietly begin to cough. Your thinking is maybe with this one cough, the annoyance will stop or be swallowed. Not! The scratching continues. You are becoming irritated. But what can you do?

You cannot afford having your self-respect shredded by asking a stranger (even the usher) to look down your throat to see what is gnawing at your throat. You are wiser than these things. Eureka! You pick-up your cup of soda pop and swig it and turn it toward the area that is now itching almost like one of the plagues that Moses sent over the Egyptians for not freeing the Israelites. But that does not work at all. Then you, as you are running out of ideas, bend over and try to cough louder and maybe this time will give you that freedom that you seek.

The hard-coughing draws the customers around you to hear S-h-h-h-h-h-! Now you are very embarrassed, but since the Customer Area is dark, you do not care. Then comes the “Big Guns,”: you have to take an index finger and gently reach toward where your throat is now so irritated that tears well in your eyes. You sniff and try to conceal it, but a nice woman next you offers you her handkerchief, not as much as she is being selfless, but sick of your hacking and coughing. You whisper to you, if you cannot stop this coughing, I know that the usher will tell you to leave. She isn’t wrong. You shut your mouth and the scratching continues. Hey, maybe you could use your cell phone and call your family doctor to tell him what is happening—but this won’t work because he is on a fishing trip with his brother, “Todd.” Now more frustrated, you and the irritated throat continues.

Pretty Girls Also Love Popcorn . . .


But Now, You Are Out of Ideas

in which you can do something to free your throat of this awful digging in your throat. You slowly get up and hopefully, you get up without drawing that much attention, and head toward the Men’s Room, but this time, this theater was changed to a Unisex Bathroom Area that both sexes (men and women if you want to be in the know) and you are now having to take a chance. So you stand there and contemplate your next move. Sweat is now soaking your new sport shirt.

As like a turtle, you slowly walk into the Unisex Bathroom. And you hear no noises, at least those made by human beings, it is only a commode that is dripping. Whew, you release a sigh of relief. Now to head up to the wall or mirrors to where you can stick your right index finger down your throat and then . . .freedom! Now you have to be very brave because sticking your index finger down the throat serves two things: it causes you to gag the popcorn husk from the side of your throat and might cause you to vomit your guts out. And you despise both, but the husk has to be removed or go home, but you forked-out $15.00 for this ticket and you are not going to be cheated-out of it.

Now comes the battle. You slowly insert your right index finger and within seconds, you are gagging like a drunk soldier on leave, but nothing happens. So you try it again, but only more gagging hits you and now you are bent over the sink heaving for breath. You hear a scary sound. It is the familiar sound of a woman’s high heels on the tile floor. Any other time, you would love this sound, but with you in the condition your are in, you shake with fear and humiliation.

“Ohhhh, hun-eeee, are you sick?” this gorgeous redhead coo’s out of concern. Then she trots up to you and her perfume, although subtle, sends you to your knees because it so lethal to a male.

“Uhhh, no. I, errr, just have this popcorn husk in my throat, and I, errr, have to get this out or go home,” you answer with sweat frustration. The redhead smiles. That one nice gesture calms you down. Maybe when this ordeal is over, you can ask her out for coffee.

You wish.

But just as she takes her right hand to pat you on the back in order to dislodge the popcorn husk, another familiar sound is heard: a man’s angry screaming as he runs from a rest room stall. You are about to have a nervous breakdown. He looks as if he is a professional wrestler. No. Not Hulk Hogan, but very close. The gorgeous redhead’s right hand is still on your back and frozen in fear.

“Hey, pal! What do you think you are doing? Huh?” the angry professional-wrestler-looking man yells at you while cracking his knuckles.

“Nothing! Nothing at all! This woman was just helping me dislodge a pesky popcorn husk that has hung inside my throat and she was about to pat me in the back,” you explain. And with one move, the big, angry man with a Hulk Hogan grunt, slams your back just as if he were in the ring and you resemble Bret “The Hit Man” Hart.

“That get it?” the angry man asks still fuming. “This girl is my girlfriend and looks as if you are moving in on my territory,” he continues still cracking his knuckles.

“Ohhh, ha, ha, noooo. She doesn’t know me. She was about to pat me in the back and if you will look right here, you will see the dislodged popcorn husk that you knocked from my throat to the inside of this sink. Thanks, and ohhh, this girl would fit you because you are as cheap as you are,” you are so ignorant for letting your mouth override your butt.

Now in perfect rhythm, the pretty redhead and the angry Hulk Hogan-looking guy both begin to beat you like you were a stray dog. You are in trouble. More than you ever had with anyone. Now with the two of them having beaten you to a pulp, you slump to the floor.

In about five minutes, you come to. Both the redhead and angry big man are standing over you grinning from ear-to-ear. Now you are angry. But you are wise enough to know that you are out-manned. And since you are much wiser than these two, suddenly-decide to just let them go but not before you offer them a gift. Both grin again like an Alabama possum eating persimmons.

“What’s this, punk?” the angry, big man, who now looks like “Big Sexy,” Kevin Nash, a real professional wrestler with backgrounds of the WWE and the NWA wrestling companies. Nash stands seven-foot, three, muscular and loves to fight.

The pretty redhead just snickers at you and softly begins to laugh at you.

“This is my wallet. I have about $50 bucks. It’s all yours, just please let me go home,” you beg looking down at the floor.

“Yeah? You meat it, Wormy-looking Punk?” The angry, professional wrestler says in surprise. The beautiful redhead cannot believe it.

“Sure! I am beaten. You deserve it,” you plead still looking at the floor.

“Okay . . .yeah, $50-bucks, huh? Just what will this buy us, “Cheap Punk?” the big, still-angry pro-wrestler-looking man asks.

“Ohhh, uhhh,” you reply very calculating. “You could step out in the lobby there and uhhh, buy you a box of popcorn. It’s gooood.” you say with the confidence of Perry Mason.

Both the pro-wrestler-looking man, not so angry now and the pretty redhead who still looks as cheap as she is, winks at him as they head toward the Concession Area. You say not a word, then put your legs into over-drive and head for home—swifter than The Flash (DC Comics).

Just think. You paid $15-dollars for one ticket to this film, which was not that popular (someone said), you also got an annoying popcorn husk hung in one side of your throat that caused you to hack and cough, almost vomiting, theater patrons were understanding, but was glad that you left. Then you went into a Unisex Bathroom and noticed it was vacant. You went to a sink and used your right index finger to help gag the husk from your throat, but started heaving for dear life. A gorgeous redhead walked in wearing high heels and asked if she wanted her to pat your back to get the husk dislodged.

Before she could pat your back, an angry, big man big enough to pass for Hulk Hogan, the professional wrestler, ran from a stall and yelled at you for trying to make moves on his girlfriend. Then he did “pat” you on the back and the husk WAS dislodged, but the angry, big man who looked like Kevin “Big Sexy” Nash, asked if you were flirting with his girl and you, knowing it is far better to buy your way out of trouble, offered him over $50-bucks and your wallet if the two of the would leave you alone.

They agreed. Then headed to the Concession Area. You do remember the next part . . .when the angry, big guy asked you what would $50-bucks buy, and you told him, a Big Bucket of Fresh, Hot Popcorn, (wait for it—see what he bough) then you headed for home.

And all of these awful events happened to you because you simply because of a small, powerless, popcorn husk that you wanted to be rid of your throat.

Who says that big, tall, powerless things cannot make a difference in almost anyone.

Popcorn is Enjoyed by Everyone . . .


Now Enjoy The Following “Tasty Popcorn Tip Recipe”:

Ingredients: One bag of Kernel Popcorn, and one container of any brand vegetable oil. Back to the Kernel Popcorn, I would suggest Pops-Rite, but that is up to you. You will need a medium-sized Aluminum Steer (we call it a pan) and start heating it at 400 degrees.

  • Now fill the bottom of the steer with popcorn kernels after you have the vegetable oil at the bottom and make sure that all of the kernels are soaked with oil. Then take One and a Half pats of Vegetable Margarine and put it in the middle of the now-sizzling kernels and the last thing for you to do is if you buy a bag of shelled popcorn kernels, there is a brand that contains a package of tasty popcorn salt, but it is NOT table salt, but still, use a moderate amount.
  • Allow the corn to start popping. Use your own judgment and pick-up the steer ever so often and still allow the popcorn to pop. Sit it on the eye of the stove and allow it to finish popping—and you can have the eye of the stove already turned off. When the popping is finished, make sure that you are not lifting the steer/pan with your hand but a Lift Rag (older people said and it works). Slowly pour the popped corn into a bowl or container big enough to serve two or three people.
  • Do not use more popcorn salt. That one dusting before it pops will be enough and here is a bonus: the pats of margarine and popcorn dusting will be cooked inside the popcorn and you will taste it with each handful of popcorn that you WILL enjoy.

Oh, the Super Bowl is almost here, if you need a Tasty Popcorn Tip that is fast, easy, and economical.

January 12, 2020____________________________________________________

© 2020 Kenneth Avery


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