I want a popcorn machine!

I was looking at popcorn machines over at HTmarket.com, and it got me thinkingā€¦ 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 thereā€¦

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.

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