Sunday, November 11, 2007

I dislike Jiffy Pop

I guess it doesn't really matter in the big scheme of things. I can't imagine that Jiffy Pop sales have been through the roof since the advent of the blessed miracle that is microwave popcorn. But I was starved last night, and as luck would have it I was in that depressing period of time between having a house with no food in it and going to the grocery store to remedy the situation. But there, atop the fridge, shining like a beacon in the night sky, was a container of jiffy pop that I had acquired months earlier as leftover spoils from a camping trip.

I suppose Jiffy Pop was made for camping. I mean, it's not like you bring a microwave with you into the woods. Even though the label clearly states "Do not pop on ... open campfire or other uneven heat", millions of humans have probably fumbled with a long stick to pop this vile shit over a campfire. It always seems to taste like burnt styrofoam, but hey, we're in the woods and we should be thankful that we have burnt styrofoam to eat. It probably helps that there is usually a lot of beer with which to wash it down.

But there I was, holding my container of Jiffy Pop over my electric oven burner because it was either that or pretending a stick of butter was a Snickers bar. This stuff is pretty damned simple to cook. The instructions clearly say to continuously shake pan in a circular motion on the burner. So I'm shaking the ever loving shit out of this pan and then the evil starts to erupt from that microscopic anus in the top of that foil lid. As the foil expands like the boil on the neck of that guy at the airport, smoke that vaguely smells like popcorn and burning bodies is wisping up into my apartment, drawing my awareness immediately to the smoke alarm that is wired to the other floors. Not wanting to explain why I am cooking popcorn in my underwear to angry neighbors, I opened a window and let some fresh, although nipple freezing air into the kitchen. So the boil, er... foil reaches maximum size and I fearlessly open it to reveal what, for the most part, looks like popcorn. But as I pour it into a bowl, then it becomes evident that despite my vigorous shaking, the entire bottom of the pan is burnt to hell.

While eating it, it was pretty easy to just avoid the bits that looked like coal, but it was the worst tasting popcorn I had ever had. Even if only because I was not sitting on a log in front of a fire, and I had no beer to wash it down. It also had the texture of eating rocks. The kicker though, was the fact that the entire place now smelled like burnt corn. I lit a candle and let that burn for a while, but that only succeeded in making the place smell like butter cream cupcakes and burnt corn. It's not as appealing as it sounds. But even that wasn't the worst of it. This morning when I woke up, I discovered that my hair and my pillow now smell like burnt corn. Luckily, a shower and some open windows seem to have exorcised the ConAgra demons from my home. I'm sure Fred Mennen was a great guy and all, but I think I'll stick to my microwave bags from now on, and if I find myself in front of a campfire, I'll just have an extra s'more with my beer. At least burnt marshmallows still fucking taste like marshmallows.

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