It was then that one of my earliest childhood memories was formed: watching the world television premiere of Star Wars: A New Hope with my dad in our shag-carpeted living room. I specifically remember picking through a big red melamine bowl of buttered popcorn and getting up during one of the commercial breaks to pour some more dry kernels into our old air popper. As the machine, with its 1970s brown, orange, and tan color scheme, whirred and heated, Fred (as we called my dad, because, well, his name was Fred) microwaved a half stick of butter in a cup until just melted and tossed the bowl of popcorn while I drizzled on the butter, intentionally pouring it just a little too fast to increase my odds of finding one of the coveted extra-buttery kernels later on.I wrote a vaguely similar post 8 years ago on my own love of popcorn:
My first memories of popcorn are as a little kid, it would be Friday or Saturday night and “Diff’rent Strokes” would be coming on. My mother would start making a batch old style, in a pot on the stove, with a little pot on the side melting butter. Me being an idiot, I would never get my bath for the night over with in time to settle in before the show started. Oh no no, that would be the smart thing to do. Me, I’d time it so that as I’m splashing in the tub I could hear the corn popping in the kitchen. Which sounds weird now.....okay, I took baths in the kitchen sink til I was 14 years old. Feel good about yourself now, Daddy Warbucks? Anyways, I could hear my mother yelling that I better hurry up, or I’ll miss out on the popcorn. I’d splish and splash, splish and splash, apply cocoa butter aloe vera with sliced almonds while marveling at the sensation of my vas deferens in the water, splish and splash some more, until I knew enough time had passed. Now this is how much of a loser I was – I’m come strolling into the room, looking around for the popcorn, eyes wide, spinning my head around.
“Where’s the popcorn?!??!!!”
“WHAT!??!!?!?” (note to brain: fill eyes with water.)
“You were in the bath. We ate it all.”
“Butbubbubbubut wha!!!!!!!!” (note to brain: fold arms, stomp foot. Invent the Internet.)
“Yeah, well...you’re in front of the tv. Move.”
Keep in mind that this would happen EVERY WEEK, like clockwork. Geez. I’d drop to the floor, a fuming, barely contained raging pile of 6 year-old flesh. I’d stare at the tv for the rest of the night, not blinking, not moving, not speaking to anyone. Eyes forward, totally focused - thinking, of course, this was “punishment” for those involved. Ha! To this day I’m waiting to unearth a whole picture album dedicated to these moments; dozens of shots of everybody making faces etc while my back is turned, staring ahead at the tv. Bunny rabbit ears over my head, maybe a big foam #1 finger, maybe my dad and brother posing behind me with a dead moose. You can see the steam coming outta my ears as they put a cigarette in the dead moose’s mouth and a beer stuck to his hoof, snapshot!