I have, dear reader, a confession to make.
And it is not, I suspect, going to go down well with most of you. You might, as a consequence of what I have to say, think lesser of me. But I, intrepid soul that I am, am willing to bear that cross in the interest of full disclosure. Nothing if not honest is how I’m known in my neighbourhood, and that is how I prefer it.
Ready for it? Here goes: popcorn is vastly overrated.
Now, now, stifle those outraged squeaks, and fight the temptation to close the browser window. Hear me out, let the defense make its case, and then try and come to a reasoned conclusion.
There is nothing, I aver, to like about popcorn. It is a singularly unattractive to look at piece of fluffed up food. It is amorphous, blob-like and misshapen. It is possessed of a pale, sickly white colour that does more to repel than attract. It possesses, and this is my biggest bugbear, absolutely no taste whatsoever.
While boiled or steamed corn has a sweetish taste on the palate that is inordinately pleasing, popcorn has no taste whatsoever. None. Zip. Nada.
Popcorn, you supporters of this most plain food, might argue, becomes better when you pour melted, golden butter all over it. Or perhaps it becomes better when you apply tomato flavouring to it. Caramel, some of you might shout out in defense of your favourite food.
I shall now deal with each of these weak, flimsy arguments in turn.
First: everything tastes better when you pour golden, melted butter on it. What you’re really saying is that you like the taste of butter, and there we are in complete agreement. I’m not a big fan of tomato flavouring per se, but if it must be applied, I’d far rather it be found on crispy potato chips, say, than on that insipid popped corn.
And finally, if you must have caramelization, why not on bacon? Or bananas? Or on pudding?
But the biggest argument against popcorn (and this is the economist in me bristling with righteous anger) is the price. Just the other day, I had gone with the Missus to watch Tom Cruise do things that he really shouldn’t be doing at his age. During the interval (which, for the record, seemed to last for longer than the movie), I popped out to buy some caramel popcorn.
Sadly, I had to return empty-handed, since my last name wasn’t Gates, nor my first name Bill.
That it tastes of nothing, I could live with. That it depends, wholly and solely, on butter to redeem it, I could tolerate. But the expectation that I eat nothing else for the entire month to partake of it: that is a step too far. Mr. Thackeray (the nephew, not the son) and I rarely see eye to eye, but on this we’re united: these guys doth charge too much for giving too little in return.
That being said, the nephew’s solution involves letting in khakras instead. And that is a whole other column, dear reader, and one far too painful to contemplate, let alone write.
So take the five hundred rupee note, friend, and pass me the tub of caramalized pointlessness. Bah.
He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime