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Keep Your Hands Off My Redenbacher’s…

June 2012

I heard this morning that some yahoos in New York, on the “health board“, in a brainstorm session, deemed it might be a good idea to assault New Yorker’s freedom yet again, because not only are they too stupid in that state to drink soda pop without the government measuring it up for them, they can’t eat popcorn properly at a theater either.

In light of that, I thought I would write about a funny thing I saw this weekend after I purchased a garbage can sized bucket at my local theater this past weekend, while waiting in line to add a little melted buttery goodness to those fluffy, golden, puffed kernels of awesome.

Now I must confess, I bought the popcorn as an emotional “safety blanket” because I was about to sit through Snow White and the Huntsman with my wife and a couple of friends after dinner (yes, that is a good illustration of how much I love my wife – Charlize Theron needed to leave the British accent stuff to those who know what the hell they’re doing, good Lord, that was horrible), so I should hang my head in shame for crossing over to the Dark Side.  As a matter of fact hang on… … … OK, head hanging complete. Mea culpa, mea culpa.  Now, here’s what I saw, and how it relates:

First, the owner of the local theater is wise, when they built the theater several years ago they put the butter spritzers out in the lobby so patrons have to put on their own butter.  Brilliant!  20 years down the road when trial lawyers are suing theaters in a class action lawsuit for adding butter to popcorn, they’ll be exempt.

So I’m standing in line waiting to squirt some of that melted butter goodness on my popcorn, like a bitter sheep… Waiting to do something that I should have had done for me, but now have to do myself (for the same price) because of an obvious fear of future lawsuits, and I’m just minding my own business until I see the absolute definition of the stupid use of freedom in action.

Now anybody who knows anything about theater popcorn knows that you put a sharp burst over the upper kernels then give the small kitchen garbage can sized bucket a good series of shakes, the heavier butter coated kernels swap places with the lighter kernels below, then you simply squirt the top one more time, shake twice and your good…  Trust me, it works.

The married couple in front of me, both overweight from too little activity and far too many trips through the buffet, pull out a soda straw. One holds their bucket while the other inserts the straw deep into the bucket and places the other end under the butter spigot and operates the “feed” button. Imagine a crude oil rig – in reverse. After several seconds of liquid butter infusion, the wife removes the straw and drops it in a few inches away from the initial point of insertion… They repeat this process three more times. It takes at least two minutes.  God only knows how much butter made it into that bucket, but it was a lot.  Good ole’ American Inginuity.

I, on the other hand, move up to the second butter station, and move my bucket under the nozzle…squirt, one two… Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – squirt, one two. This took 20 seconds overall, the whole process.

Am I evil for being physically fit and taking advantage of it by eating fun stuff, blah, blah, blah (does anyone remember Michael Phelps’ diet? Now that was awesome! Chocolate chip pancakes, fried egg sammiches (3 with cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo, a five egg omelet, a bowl of grits and some french toast…and that’s just Monday’s breakfast)?  Probably, and granted, I’m no Michael Phelps, but I don’t eat that amount of food all day let alone just for breakfast either.

The point is most people really don’t care what Mayor Bloomberg thinks – and they sure as hell don’t care what will wreck they’re health.  They don’t care that it would be more efficient just to stick one’s mouth under the butter spout and hit the button for a second and then throw in a few pieces of popcorn (or maybe take a small soda pop cup, fill it with butter and dip the corn in there, one piece at a time?) – and no amount of government intervention is going to change human nature.  What it will do is dumb down society so that normal people (the other 70% of non-obese people) can’t split an $8 popcorn between three friends – no, now it’ll be a $6 single serving size, because anyone who knows anything about movie theaters (and it just so happens that I do, I was the head projectionist for a local theater when I was a kid), knows that they don’t make much money from actually showing the pictures, the studios make most of the cash there, theaters make their money from concessions…  What will happen is that we’ll get hosed, again, on price which will be blamed (as usual) on “the industry” rather than on the government, which screwed up a perfectly sucky system even more when it meddled where it didn’t belong – It’s an episode of Scooby Doo for crying out loud.

In fact, what I oughta do is find out what the Mayor likes to eat (or drink), get on that health board (one look at me would show that I belong on it) and ban the shit out of whatever it is that he enjoys.  In fact, I think we need that to be a law.  Anyone who wants to ban something without real scientific data backing danger to human consumption of even the most miniscule amount should be relegated to eating steamed broccoli and baked chicken (no seasoning) for six years; breakfast, lunch and dinner – and no mayo for you jerks either, it’s bad for you.

If it’s not quite obvious I couldn’t go for a ride yesterday afternoon.  Dammit I’m a bear when I can’t take a ride on a perfectly beautiful day.


  1. I’m convinced these policies won’t pass anyway. It’s a really stupid way to try and tackle the states health problems. Kinda reminds me of prohibition in a way- I’d be surprised if it worked.

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