Saturday, January 19, 2019

National Popcorn Day

Back in university, I was part of the school's improv comedy club.  The popularity (among wannabe drama kids, at least) of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" inspired any number of would-be Colin Mochries, Wayne Bradys, and Ryan Stileseses to take part in the club, which met once per week in some random room somewhere on campus to....

....well, I'd like to say we really dove into the improv comedy space, in the sense of learning about the art form and getting into 30-minute "Harold" scenes.  In reality, we basically just played the WLIIA games, with one of the group's two organizers acting as the de facto Drew Carey for any given sketch.

I don't want to say I was the star of the troupe since a) I'm modest, and b) it would be a stone-cold lie, given the number of funny people involved.  If I had to list the top 10 laughs of my life, one entry would definitely be the sketch where this guy Sean, playing a dog, had to alert his oblivious owners that a bank robbery was happening around them.  Words cannot describe how funny this was, so really, even trying to type out a description was pointless.

Participating in the sketches was fun and everything, though obviously one big attraction was simply getting to watch others perform.  Since 75% of the group was legitimately very funny, it was a great way to spend an evening, at a fraction of the cost of a Yuk Yuk's ticket.

Just to complete the audience experience, I brought fresh popcorn to every meeting.  You see, whenever the improv club happened to meet in the student community centre, that left us in close proximity to the second-run movie theatre right down the hall.  I defy anyone to walk those halls and not be taken in by the smell of freshly-popped popcorn.  My self-control is only so strong, not that I felt a need to curb this desire whatsoever.

So, every single meeting, I bought some popcorn from the theatre and went to the meeting, happily munching away until it was my time to perform.  Did I incorporate the popcorn into a sketch?  You're damn right; many a popcorn bag found its way into a game of "Props."

The culmination was at the year-end meeting, when the group's organizers bought everyone a small gag gift related to the past year.  My gift was, naturally, a popcorn popper.  I take some pride in the fact that I think my gift was the most expensive of the bunch, since I seem to recall that everything else was something that could've been picked up in the campus variety store.  But a popcorn popper?  That took some effort.  That required a trip to, like, Walmart or something.

And, almost 15 years later, that popcorn popper is....okay, for the sake of the narrative, it would be great if it was still operational.  But it really conked out about a decade ago.  The popcorn popper I bought to replace it, however....also died out.  I've learned that popcorn poppers generally last maybe five years if they're consistently used, and brother, was mine ever consistently used.

Anyway, the replacement to the replacement of the gift popcorn popper is still going strong.  I give it a year.  Happy National Popcorn Day, everyone!

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