When I was about three years old, my mother was standing at the stove patiently popping kernels in a pot of butter so she, my older brother, and I could enjoy a heaping bowl of popcorn while we sat down for a movie. I watched her intently, my excitement building with every ping and pop as the kernels burst. She poured the fluffy steaming batch into a large bowl asking me to settle down as we headed for the couch. She sat between my brother and I with the bowl on her lap, and when the signal was made to start eating, I shoveled the first handful into my mouth.
Mmm! The fluffiness, the butter, the salt; I couldn’t get enough of it. And in my state of popcorn euphoria, I did the unthinkable–I put my feet right in the bowl. Ahh! The fluffiness, the butter, the salt; I wiggled my toes and squealed with laughter. It was a moment of pure bliss, until I was so rudely ripped from the couch receiving a spanking in mid-air on my way to the ground.
After a bit of scolding, my mother handed me the bowl of “stinky feet” popcorn and retired to the kitchen to make a new batch. My brother sat there glaring at me in disgust while I quietly enjoyed my bowl of popcorn and the butter and salt between my toes. Putting my feet in the popcorn was a short phase I had to grow out of if I wanted to live through the rest of my childhood. Sadly, I gave it up and forgot all about it until I was 21.
My oldest son, at the age of two, was sitting on the couch with me watching a movie before bedtime. He scarfed a handful of popcorn and with a full mouth, managed to say, “I really love popcorn, mama.” To which I agreed. Then he looked up at me ever so sweetly and asked, “Can I put my feet in it?” Wow! It was as if all time had stopped. Where would he get such a ridiculous idea? I grinned and said, “No, but it was good idea.”
A few weeks ago, we received our rather expensive order of Cheese Lover’s popcorn from the local Boy Scouts. It now comes in new resealable packaging, which I love. As I’m sitting at my computer quietly working on projects, I’m interrupted by an unfamiliar sound.
*crumple* *crumple* *giggle* *giggle* *crumple*
Off to the kitchen I go to find my 17-month old daughter sitting on the floor with a bag of popcorn. I move toward her to take it away and realize that she’s put her foot through the unzipped opening and she’s kicking around, giggling.
What’s with having an urge to put feet in popcorn? I’ve pondered this question a lot over the past week. I’ll never begin to understand how such a peculiar idea could be genetic.
Today I made a bowl of popcorn. I ate some. And then I put my feet in it.
It’s simply the joy of doing something absolutely ridiculous.