I want a popcorn machine!

I was looking at popcorn machines over at HTmarket.com, and
it got me thinking… I could really use
one of these. I daresay I need one.

When I was a younger guy, I worked in a four-screen movie theater
called the Glen Theater, as an usher and concessions
booth worker. And lemme tell ya, was pretty much the best job a 16-year-old guy
could have. The work was easy, and came in very short, very intense bursts,
punctuated by hours of playing cards and talking about movies. We were allowed
to see free movies anytime we liked, with no limit. We got free popcorn and soda,
and the occasional bag of candy. I also had a crush on half the girls who
worked there…

Anyway, Thoreau had his Walden, Lyra had her Oxford, I had the Glen.
Everything about it was perfect, even the imperfect parts.

A big part of the job was keeping the popcorn machine running. It was an 8 oz.
kettle machine, with an automatic oil pump. It was truly ancient- probably older than I am. Nevertheless, it worked flawlessly.

That smell was everywhere. It was completely and permanently
infused into my work shirt- I only had one, after all, and I worked almost
every day- and no amount of washing could cause the shirt to lose that characteristic
popcorn essence. Not that I ever wanted it to, of course; I could be anywhere,
and as long as I smelled that popcorn smell, I was in a good mood. Pavlov would
be proud. Remarkably, over a decade later, it still works that way! I can’t
imagine walking into a theater without smelling fresh, kettle-popped popcorn,
and the minute I step through the doors, any theater feels like home.

Microwave popcorn is nowhere close, in my opinion. I’ve mentioned that I’m
going to have a home theater of my own someday, and I still intend to do so.
When I do, mark my words: it will not be complete until I have a real popcorn machine, popping away, filling my brain with memories via those marvelous
popcorn sounds and smells.

Ten Ways to Recreate the Genuine Moviegoing Experience at Home

You’ve got the curtains, the projector screen, the seats… yet it’s
not quite the same as a night out at the movies. Your home theater is better than going out to see a movie, sure, but is it an accurate reproduction of the genuine moviegoing experience? Well, having worked in a movie theater for years, I’ve come up with the following list of ideas to help you get the true multiplex experience in the comfort of your own home:

10. Turn on the hallway lights, and
prop open the door to the home theater room.


9. Tune a radio to the most annoying
talk radio station you can find. Use it to prop open the aforementioned


8. Invite a friend over to watch the
movie with, and tell him the radio in step 9 is an advanced new radio
that actually turns itself off if shushed at loudly, pointedly, and


7. Leave your soda, candy, and some
wadded-up tissues in the cupholders after the movie. If you can still
conceivably fit an actual cup in there, add more


6. Drizzle a fine squiggle of maple
syrup on the floor, and sprinkle lightly with a garnish of stale popcorn. Don’t
worry about attracting bugs; realism is the goal here,


5. Set your ringtone to “My Humps,”
order a wakeup call for twenty minutes from now, gently toss your phone over
your shoulder, and let the movie magic begin.


4. Buy the brightest emergency exit
sign you can. Two or three, if possible. As a bonus, this might also help you
find your phone in the dark after following step 5. Let’s be honest, there’s
only so much My Humps a person can take.


3. Don’t waste water cleaning those
old gym socks. Wedge ’em between the seats, right next to your head. Save the
environment and smell the ambiance!


2. Watching a noisy horror flick?
Babies love those. Give mom the night off!

And finally,

1. Four words: Fart in a Can.