I love popcorn. I love the smell of it. I love the taste of it. I love making it. There’s nothing about popcorn I don’t like. In fact, since Earl is out of town tonight, I’m eating my second bowl of it right now as a snack before bedtime. Nothing like a little bit of Orville Reddenbacher to get one interested in bed, that’s what I always say.

As a kid I was fed popcorn on a regular basis. Thank the Universe for the invention of the Radarange, because my mother used it to pop some corn for just about ever meal of the week. Soup? Side of popcorn. Sandwiches? Side of popcorn. Prime Rib? Side of popcorn. It was the only vegetable I ate. When we went to my grandparents on Sunday for “Family Day”, there was a bowl of popcorn on the table. The bowl was bigger than the bathtub and the popcorn was leftover from Friday night, but who cares, Grams made it with some wickedly delicious lard thing, real butter and lots of salt.

These are the things that harden arteries the right way!

As an adult I used popcorn as one of the two* major criteria for evaluating men. Wannabe suitors could take me to the finest restaurants in Boston, shower me with the most lavish gifts from Lechmere and Jordan Marsh and take me for rides in the sheets to places that would make a porn star blush, but if they didn’t like popcorn, they were gone. Quickly. No questions asked.

“I don’t think we were meant to be together. You don’t like popcorn.”

I’ve gone to the movie theatre, bribed my way past the ticket taker for access to the lobby and have purchased a large popcorn then left, large corn in hand and a big smile on my face. Why watch a movie when you can eat popcorn? Back in the early 1990s we used to go to the local speedway to watch the races on Saturday night. The fumes from the fuel used in the cars would make everyone’s eyes water, dust and dirt would be flying all over the place, but there I was sitting next to my cousin Becky, large popcorn in hand when she would yell to me “Corn?” That meant she wanted to share. The noise in the speedway was so loud your ears would ring for days afterward, but I heard that magic word.

So now I’m contemplating making another batch of popcorn for a snack and to share with the birds. I might as well spread the love.

*For those that are curious, you’ll have to e-mail me for the details on the second criteria. I can’t give away all my trade secrets.