Popcorn isn’t just for snacking anymore.


– The popcorn people in the popcorn promotional literature.



Sixteen years ago, when I started writing for the Rhino Times, I began getting mailings from the popcorn people.

They would send me all this information, beautiful high gloss folders, booklets, free bags of all sorts of exotic popcorns, popcorned-themed presents, popcorn recipe books, yearly popcorn calendars, little games you could play with popcorn and other stuff related to popcorn – basically because they wanted me to write about popcorn, how great it is and how good it is for you.

As part of that effort, just about every week or two for the past 16 years, I would come in to the office and find more popcorn literature and swag waiting for me. It just kept coming and coming and it continues to do so to this day.

The first couple of weeks writing for the Rhino, I just threw the stuff in the trash, but then – amazed at the quality and quantity of the materials that kept coming – I decided to keep everything they sent me in a popcorn pile that just kept growing bigger and bigger and now has gotten so massive that I have to address it in some way.

I mean, they must have spent hundreds of dollars just on mailing this stuff alone over the past decade and a half.

While I’ve played the popcorn games and eaten the free popcorn and given some of the stuff to friends – and even used some of the recipes over the past 16 years – I’m not sure I’ve ever even used the word “popcorn” once in my writing – because, well, you know, the Rhino Times doesn’t really cover popcorn.

But you have to give it to them: The people at popcorn.org are the most persistent people I’ve ever seen. They are masters at marketing. At Halloween, they show you ways to make costumes out of popcorn. At Christmas, they encourage you to have snowball fights with edible coconut popcorn snowballs and they even have instructions for making a popcorn snowman with jelly bean eyes and a licorice stick scarf.

They have pre-prepared stories that you can run for free and they have ultra high-def royalty-free photos available for download. If you need any at all information about the history of popcorn or anything else about the product, you can call the no wait media line and they’ll help you out in any way they can.

You know, they just really, really want people to write about popcorn. They want popcorn to get some good press and be kept in the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Well, this week, I decided – you know what? I do owe them something after all these years of taking and taking and never giving back.

This week is your week, popcorn people, who have been so amazingly dedicated to the product that you clearly love with a passion. After over a decade and a half, I’m going to thank them and finally write that column about popcorn and make it the most flattering, best column about popcorn anyone has ever written in the history of the world.

So, popcorn people, this week is your week! You win.

And why not finally write that column? I mean, if you think about it, who doesn’t love popcorn? Absolutely everyone loves it except for perhaps murderers and thieves. Because what is there not to love about this delicious and wildly nutritious food? Popcorn is unquestionably America’s favorite food, which is why the US Congress either did or could have at some point voted unanimously to name popcorn our national food.

One of the greatest travesties of modern civilization is that some very wrong-headed people, for some unfathomable reason, think popcorn is just for the movies. But that whole idea is completely laughable. Listen, if people had any sense whatsoever they would have popcorn every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner with popcorn snacks in between and they’d wash it all down with a big glass of delicious popcorn.

Corn is a vegetable, and there’s nothing in the world better for you than vegetables, so you know popcorn is great for you. All the scientists ever interviewed by the popcorn people agree that popcorn is 53 times better for you than kale (which is itself great for you by the way!). And, let’s face it, when you put kale in your microwave, nothing magical happens to it.

Also, since popcorn has no calories or carbs even if you drench it in butter, you can eat as much of it as you want with no worries. I’m not a doctor but I do write about doctors sometimes in my column, and, therefore, as an associate expert in the medical field, I can tell you there is absolutely no downside to eating any amount of popcorn you want. In fact, some people who made the mistake of not eating popcorn have died suddenly and mysteriously.

And the history of this fantastic product is simply amazing when you look into it. As the popcorn people point out, “In 1519, Cortes got his first sight of popcorn when he invaded Mexico and came into contact with the Aztecs. Popcorn was an important food for the Aztec Indians, who also used popcorn as decoration for ceremonial headdresses, necklaces and ornaments on statues of their gods, including Tlaloc, the god of rain and fertility.”

So, not only was popcorn literally a religious experience, but, also, one bowl of it can obviously increase your fertility.

National Popcorn Day is usually considered to be on Jan. 19 and, as fantastic as popcorn is, I am now proclaiming the start of a movement to make Popcorn Day a national holiday – though I still argue that, every day should be a day to celebrate this amazing treat.

Also, why do we just eat popcorn when, as the popcorn people have pointed out, we can do so, so much more with these very versatile kernels.

Looking through the literature, here are just a few things the popcorn people suggest. You could, for instance, get some string and make a string of popcorn for the birds to feast on. Or you can fill a jar with popcorn and play “Guess the Number of Popcorn Kernels.” They also tout the game of Popcorn Air Hockey, where you use straws to “volley” the kernel back and forth 20 times without letting it fall off the table.

Then, of course there’s the Popcorn Relay Race where you race around the yard or the house with popcorn in spoons and try not to drop it, and then there’s Popcorn Basketball, where you try to flick a piece of popcorn into muffin tins or tea cups. You can also, of course, play the Popcorn Word Search Game and see how many words you can make from the letters in these phrases: “Fresh hot popcorn,” “Popcorn tastes good,” “I like popcorn” and “Hot buttered popcorn.”

One of the most fun things anyone can ever do in life is, “Write a Popcorn Haiku (5, 7, 5 syllable pattern poem) Like this!


“Oil, kernels, heat, time

Many loud explosions heard

Pop, crunch, snack time. Yum!”


It is totally beyond me how the popcorn people did not win a Nobel Prize for poetry with that poem, nor can I explain how the person who wrote that was not immediately made the new poet laureate of the United States.

Trust me, this is just the start of what you can do with popcorn. These fun activities are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many other possibilities.

Popcorn is delicious. You should eat it, you should fill your pillowcases with it and sleep on it each night. You should use it for all your packing needs of fragile goods. You should write poems about it and love letters to it.

Popcorn is quite simply, not just the best food in the world, but the best thing in the world period.

Now, if you will excuse me, I’ve got some microwaving to do.