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pop pop pop

tonight i have to pop around 40 cups of popcorn for paul's class tomorrow. (they're doing some kind of craft activity that requires popcorn, spider rings, juice boxes, candy corn and some other stuff. if it turns out that they're just going to eat popcorn and candy while drinking juice and wearing rings, i will be, well, not exactly livid, but at least irritated.) we own a microwave popcorn bowl that doesn't need oil or butter or anything. since paul can't have any dairy, that rules out most prepackaged microwave popcorns, so i think all the popcorn he has ever eaten has come from this bowl.

when i was a kid, we had two popcorn poppers that i can think of -- an air popper (we have actually had multiples of this because i know it kept breaking) and an old fashioned oil-in-the-bottom/melted-butter-on-top popper. the latter was probably in some marvelous retro colors, like avocado or mustard. i still remember bringing salted popcorn (not buttered) from home into drive-in movies in a big yellow kodak plastic bag with a red logo. for the sake of convenience (and coolness), we moved over to the jiffy pop stovetop pans, and when microwave popcorn entered the scene in those little paper bags, we were all over that. my brother particularly liked microwave caramel popcorn. then came the flavored popcorn rage (i think i liked the cheddar cheese), which seemed to manifest itself in large tins given as christmas gifts. a few years later farmers markets became trendy in the suburbs and we all fell in love with kettle corn.

add all that to the sentimental favorite, movie popcorn, and you can see that in my lifetime i've eaten at least 8-10 different kinds of popcorn. easily. some healthier than others. some i've liked, some i didn't. but this new breed, these kindergarteners, what do they know? have their lives been filled with nothing but movie popcorn and overly processed microwave stuff? will paul's favorite unsalted and unbuttered popcorn strike them as being something akin to packing peanuts?

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