I nearly popped my corn

I nearly popped my corn

Many years ago – about eight or nine perhaps – I remember I was still working for Derek Wilson at the Argus Tonight. I approached him and asked whether I could write a piece on popcorn eating habits in cinemas. After a short inquiry as to the angle and what might make it newsworthy or interesting, I got the go-ahead.

It was one of the most interesting pieces I had written to date and it got quite a bit of feedback from people who – mostly – agreed with me. The long and the short of it was that popcorn eaters fall into two categories – the considerate eaters and unfortunately the second category that are mostly the ones who couldn’t give the proverbial freshly squeezed breasts whether they are as inconsiderate as old hell – as long as they are chomping away at their beloved popcorn.

These are the one who are totally oblivious to the fact that some of us are there not to chomp but to watch (and listen to) the movie.
And please don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against popcorn or the munchers thereof. I am myself a lover of popcorn – falling into the first category though.

All I am saying is, must the popcorn eaters eat so loudly! Okay, I admit, I have a bit of a problem with loud chewers per se. But that is at a dinner table! When one goes to the movies – and especially if it is on the full side, you inevitably get placed next to, behind or in front of, the loudest popcorn eaters on the planet. I was reminded of the story last week when we were in Durban and got to see ‘Argo’.

They now give you your choice of seasoning in a sachet which basically means that people add said seasoning IN THE MOVIE HOUSE.
And with some, it is a whole ritual…it starts with the shaking of the box so that the salt or the salt ‘n vinegar or the butter salt or…or…can mix THOROUGHLY with each of the individual popped corn inside the humungus box.
Then it is the grabbing of handfuls (hands full?) of popcorn at the bottom of the box…now I ask you with tears in my bloodshot eyes – what in heaven’s name is wrong with the popcorn on top?

Why not just eat them first? They are going to become the bottom ones at some point anyway, aren’t they? Does it have to do with being a bottom feeder? Not sure. Just asking…Then it’s a case of swirling the corn in the hand to fit snuggly, as if they were peanuts, and simultaneously jerking the head back while hurling the popcorn down their gullets. Ooh, and don’t get me started on those that insist on getting, no, searching and finding the one or two corns that got away.
Instead of watching the freakin’ movie, they are more obsessed with finding that one popcorn that fell into the shirt pocket or onto or next to their stomachs somewhere…Now imagine this like 50 to 60 times on a trot like right next to you in the movie house?

For good measure and to heighten one’s irritation, throw in the slush puppy (something I believe should be outlawed along with jeggings, and people who say things like: “green is the new pink” and “awe-sooooome!”).

And anyone over 30 buying a slush puppy should be locked up in the same cell with people who use OMG and LOL in written or, heaven forbid, spoken language! I swear, the slush puppy glugger makes more noise than someone drilling into concrete.

This of course after they try to make some kind of a cool drink out of all that dry ice by chiseling away at it with a plastic straw before the slurping starts.
Now I am not proposing Loud-Eaters Anonymous or that we have a popcorn-eating and a non popcorn-eating section in the cinema…or am I? Nah, probably won’t work.

Here is a deal…how about I become less anal about the loud eaters and we all become a bit more mindful and less mouthful about our habits that might affect or irritate those around us?

rafiek@mweb.co.za