Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Let's Go Out to the Lobby and Get Ourselves a Snack: Why We Call a Cow, "Hamburger"
Yesterday I went to see the movie "Stranger than Fiction" with the wife and parents. It's an awesome movie, very smart and well written. However, the funniest thing about the whole experience occured before the movie even started.
We ordered four beverages and two popcorns. Our drinks were enormous. I could taste the Sprite-syrup in my 64 ounce jug/cup, and it gave me a sugar high that I haven't had since I was like thirteen.
Then we got our popcorn, which was caked in butter. It wasn't dripping with butter though, which made me wonder how long it had been sitting in the bin. Then we came up to the most amazing thing I've seen in a long time. It was a "popcorn station" for people to add fixins to their popcorn. The highlight of this feature was a large pump that released "popcorn topping." I'll come back to that misnomer later.
Just before I could say, "Who in God's green earth would add more fat to this greasy bag of flavored air?" my father walked over to the popcorn station and proceeded to soak his greasy bag with yellow popcorn topping. You might think I was disgusted and revolted and tried to remind my dad that his life was at stake here. You would be wrong. Instead I ventured over and tried some of this topping myself.
Well, it turns out that it was just butter. So I ask myself, why not just call it butter? Why does it have to be popcorn topping? Then I realized that this is just a natural step to disguising things, so we don't have to admit what we're eating. For example, cow meat is called "hamburger." Pig flesh is called "bacon." Baby calf is called "veal." Dog meat is called "Chinese." It's natural that we begin calling butter, "popcorn topping."
As a side note, I think it would be smart if at these "popcorn stations" they actually started providing flavored butter for our popcorn. Like cinnamon butter and types of fruity butter and caramel. I could probably start a movie theater and run away with business just because my theater offered real flavored popcorn topping.
I also found this YouTube video of that old intermission video they used to play. I remember seeing it at drive-in movies. Not sure if they used it way back in the day at the real theaters. It has that hot dog that does tricks for the bun, then jumps into the bun. I have memories of that, man. Kind of disturbing, but funny. (see the 1:08 mark)