Over Christmas, my dad gave me some popcorn. Not the kind that comes in the big metal container with the dividers separating "cheddar n' cinnamon" from "caramel nacho;" not the kernel kind that comes in a jar (or in that metal pie plate thing that always catches fire), but the kind that comes on the cob, which his neighbor grew and dried like a veritable homesteader. Dad said, "All ya do--and you gotta believe me-- is put the cob in a paper bag, roll the top of the bag down, and pop it in the microwave."
Eight short weeks later, as I was ransacking John's cabinets looking for a frickin' snack-- why is there only dusty cans of coconut milk and vitamins?? I stumbled across the cobs. I was almost delirious with joy, but because I am a loyal companion, I decided to wait until John got home to try this snacktivity. [*Term refers to any eating event involving more than the traditional "vittles-in-pie-hole."]
I sat on the table by the door like a forlorn Irish setter for the rest of the afternoon until I heard the car pull up. When John entered, having been beaten up very slowly at Tai Chi, I announced that I had a fantastic post-karate popcorn project waiting in the kitchen. He was too blissed-out to object, so we put a cob in a paper bag, rolled the top down, put it in the microwave and set it to cook on HIGH for two minutes.
Then we waited.
When 40 seconds passed without so much as a kapoof, I furrowed my brow. When a minute went by with no kerflooey, I narrowed my gaze. At 1 minute, John walked over to the microwave with his index finger pointed at the DOOR OPEN button and...POP! poppityPopPOP POP!!!! Like five hundred starting guns in my ears, heat + carbs = terrifying magic.
When the noise was over, we inched out from under the counter. I made him open the microwave door and take out the bag. It was hot as Hades, and would have steamed his nose off if he hadn't dropped it so adeptly. But the house smelled like popcorn. And inside the bag were fat, puffy white kernels of popcorn, most of which had shot off the cob, and some that had not. And the only way to get them off that cob was...