August 23, 2023

Growing up, I remember my dad eating popcorn every night. He’d watch TV after we went to bed. The remote only controlled the channels so I’d have to get up to ask him to turn down the TV. I’d then have to turn down the TV. I’d fall asleep to the sound of the nightly news and the smell of popcorn.

He’d put kernels in a paper bag, fold over the top, and then put it in the microwave. Once popped, he’d pour the popcorn into an aluminum bowl to take to the couch with him. Naïve as I was, I thought I’d do away with the paper bag and put the kernels directly into the metal bowl. After the couple of minutes in the microwave, the kernels hadn’t popped. Confused, I asked my dad what happened. He got up and came into the kitchen. The look of surprise on his face when he saw that aluminum bowl in the microwave is still imprinted in my mind. He points, mouth open, and eyes wide. He had a mustache then.

At some point over the years, I developed a similar habit. When I lived with my parents, it was a nightly ritual. Often, I’d have one bag of popcorn and my dad would have his own. When I moved out and into my own place, I had a microwave for a bit but replaced it with a countertop oven after I found cockroaches nesting in it. I also bought an air popper. I started eating less popcorn.

When we were home a couple of weeks ago, both Hannah and I would take microwave popcorn downstairs to eat as our midnight snack. It was lovely. The smell. The greasy fingers. The satisfying crunch. When we got back, we both mentioned just how much we missed microwave popcorn. 

I’d say that it’s better, even, than movie-theatre popcorn. Incidentally, my first job in Toronto was making popcorn at TIFF. I made a shit-ton of popcorn during those ten days.

On the weekend, Hannah sent me a few links on how to make microwave popcorn in the oven. Apparently, there’s a method that can be used to pop the kernels while they’re still in the bag. I was skeptical. This afternoon, she brought up the microwave popcorn again. We reminisced about how delicious the popcorn was while we were in Calgary.

So, this evening, after dinner, we went out and got a microwave. We got a small one. We also got the largest box of microwave popcorn that we could find. It wasn’t in the chips and snacks aisle but alongside the dried meat snacks and frozen dinners. I didn’t have a quarter for the trolley, so we had to carry the microwave around the Walmart while we searched for the popcorn. I also wanted milk and some treats for the cats. I wanted to get some Coke, too, but it would’ve been too much to carry. Without any reusable bags, we balanced it all on the way to the car and then again on the way up to the apartment.

It was worth it. The popcorn is delicious. I can hear Hannah crunching on it now while watching TV. She asked if the sound was disturbing me, and I told her that it doesn’t.





Leave a Reply