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Take Popcorn, Mix Well

Take Pop Corn,Mix Well


The other evening we attempted to watch a film in the cinema but as the herd around us munched their way through nachos and other commercially constructed foodstuffs, the sound was like something from a Foley artist’s studio. It seemed we were sitting, not in our local fleapit, but on a gravel path that had a faint odour of industrial tomato. Machine piped cheese perfumed every breath. Someone at the back, who we thought had been breaking ground on an archaeological dig involving drilling through Lewisian Gneiss, broke their tooth on the cracknel toffee lurking within one of the rustly wrappers of their monster bucket of confectionery. In the flying dental fracas that followed they lost their glasses. Said item was found with the assistance of the glow from the radioactive isotope coloured Pick ‘N Mix selection that was sprinkled liberally on the floor. The lenses had been melted by the chilli sauce from a hot dog.

In theatres you get ice cream and coffee or booze in an interval and its protocols are polite and civilised. You have to finish your snacks before the second act commences. The idea of an interval in the theatre is to rest your senses, to allow you to discuss the action so far, critique the writing and performances, moan about the hard seating or the twangly music. You are also allowed to pop to the loo without having to make an entire row of people stand up to let you out.

In the cinema, I suspect there are some people who could probably tell you more about their sweets than they could about the film. Did you enjoy the new Tom Cruise epic? Oh yes, it was very chewy but I wasn’t keen on the strawberry flavour. It only gets two slurps from me.

In the theatre, if your mobile goes off the actors on stage might well heckle you in defence of their art. They’ve put a lot of time into the suspension of your disbelief and the tunnel they want to build into your soul and imagination. Film makers work on the same principle but their fate is not to be present when you are enjoying their work. They just have to cross their fingers that you will involve yourself. They want to tell you a story. They want you to sit in the dark and disappear into the world they have created. You are warned about switching off your mobile but that’s all they can do. No one polices the little white lights of people checking their Facebook for updates about their neighbours dead dog.

Filmmakers don’t really factor in the need for grazing either. I don’t understand it to be honest. I’m addicted to tea in much the same way as Thomas de Quincey fancied a bit of opium now and again, but even I can manage two or three hours without putting the kettle on. Why do you have to eat in the cinema? Also why do you have to eat crap? I hear the cries of ‘food snob’ and I bite my thumb at them, it has more flavour. ‘Junk’ food is not a nutrition group. Also Soylent Green anyone? I’m not mincing my words here, unlike the innards and gizzards scoured and centrifuged from the more recalictrant pig parts to make your ‘hot dog’.  The ingredients list on most cinema junk foods reads like the Periodic table of elements.

When the Appocalypse arrives you will probably be able to make some kind of cannibalised fuel from the contents of the concession stand at the cinema. It will be nuclear fusion created from a meeting of pork, popcorn and carbon dioxide emulsified and activated by the sprinkly bits from liquorice alsorts and just the correct amount of cola cube.

Town 20The exact recipe for this proto-fuel will be given to us, by freak accident, in the forthcoming futuristic Tom Cruise space epic ‘Epiphany of Dust’. He will play  Devon Twill, a man with an eye patch and a degree in chemistry who finds out that banana skins can power the world. This discovery fails to win him Nobel accolades. Instead he has to fight the evil aliens who want to continue our fossil fuel addiction, who want, in fact, to make us into fossils for their own fuel. No one who writes or produces this film will fully understand the importance of the science contained within. It will become a post-apocalyptic Bible.  Survivors will use cinemas as fuelling stations, draining supplies of stretchy jelly snakes for fan belts and creating a world shortage of coltsfoot toffee, the uranium of the New Age.

Be warned. You won’t know about any of this if you were too busy scoffing your ‘meal deal’ and therefore WEREN’T PAYING PROPER ATTENTION.

In space, no one can hear ice-cream. But I’ll bet Tom Cruise can hear those bloody Nachos.


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