After three decades of togetherness, my wife and I have some serious questions about whether our relationship can really continue any longer when we have such a fundamental disagreement about one aspect of our marital life: popcorn.
Everything about popcorn from the moment we get in the car to go to the movies to the point when the movie has ended creates a disharmony in our otherwise perfect union.
“You’re not going to get popcorn this time, are you, Mary Ellen? We’re going out for a very expensive dinner right after the movie.”
“I have to. It’s been a movie tradition for me since high school.”
“So was necking in the balcony, but we’ve cut that out almost completely.”
Once we reach the theater, the tension rises. “Dick, I’ll find a seat. You wait in line for the popcorn.”
“Why do I have to wait in line? I don’t want popcorn. And when I come into the dark theater you’ll forget to look around for me and I’ll walk aimlessly up and down the aisles while people stare at me and assume I’m all alone and have no one to sit with.
Of course, I do wait in line. I buy the popcorn and a drink.
“Why did you get the extra large, Dick? You know we can’t eat all that.”
“Because the extra large is only 50 cents more than the small and you get five times more popcorn. I already feel like I’m getting ripped off and I don’t want them to get away with it. Did you know that popcorn used to be a quarter?”
“Yes, and the people in the films are talking now.”
Another issue is that my wife is a bit of a health nut so she avoids butter and salt. But popcorn with no butter and salt? You have to be kidding. Why not just tear up Styrofoam into tiny pieces and put them into a bag? Enjoy. It’ll taste the same.
And then there’s eating the popcorn. My wife takes one piece from the top of the box with two fingers, then places the popcorn in her mouth where she lets it melt on her tongue. Mary Ellen claims this gets her into a rhythm to understand and enjoy the movie. I believe this technique is practiced by a satanic cult in Utah. My wife’s right arm moves up and down next to my face about 1,100 times during the movie. I don’t remember any films I’ve seen with her because I’m hypnotized through most of them.
Here’s the right way to eat popcorn: Dig way down into the container, which spews popcorn all over people on either side of you. Take an entire handful, shake the kernels up in your fist like a pair of dice and throw several into your mouth at one time. Then while still chewing, reload and prepare to fire again. This is how Orville Redenbacher did it. You could look it up. Why aren’t there instructions on the popcorn box?
We take the remaining popcorn home and Mary Ellen sits in front of the TV watching old re-runs of Bonanza. I hate that show, but I’m not saying anything. When Mary Ellen gets angry, that right arm packs quite a wallop.
Dick Wolfsie is a television news reporter, syndicated humor columnist and author. He can be reached at Wolfsie@aol.com.