At the cinema last week, a young man in the seat next-but-one to me, plonked a carry bag on the vacant seat between us. Then, just before the main movie began, and with a fair bit of rustling, he opened a bag of crisps/chips which he proceeded to chomp through as the movie progressed.
As if the bag rustling wasn’t enough, the smell of the chips wafting into my nostrils was most off-putting. And, to make it worse, the chips were ‘Salt & Vinegar’ – my most detested ‘flavour’. To me it seemed as if the whole cinema was issuing forth the smell of Salt & Vinegar, somewhat spoiling an otherwise enjoyable film.
Which brings me to the subject of cinema popcorn, the smell of which I find utterly repugnant. I cannot conceive as to how or why people seem to like eating it.
I once saw a group of children in a cinema foyer huddle around a huge bucket (yes, ‘bucket’ is an appropriate term) of popcorn. Each child thrust his or her hand into the bucket, stuffed their face with a greasy-buttery fistful, licked a few fingers, wiped a hand on clothes and body, then delved in again.
Oh, lordy, my eyes were transfixed as my mind (and stomach) reeled.
Surely this vile smelling pile of yellow grease encrusted ‘corn’ can’t be a healthy food? Can it?
I did a little research and discovered that
‘A maxi popcorn contains 3930kj, 50 grams of fat, 30 grams of saturated fat, and a whopping 2000mg of sodium.’
(Source: ‘Daily Mail’)
Read that through again.
And….Percentage of daily requirements of the above:
Whether you deal in kilojoules or calories, merely a ‘large’ serving size = Calories: 664, Fat: 31g, Carbs: 75g, Protein: 13g.
Doused in ‘butter’ (oil) and salt, a maxi size container of popcorn at the cinema has twice the fat of a McDonald's Big Mac or a KFC Zinger Burger with bacon and cheese, as well as at least 80 percent of the daily recommended salt intake.
There's 'Twice the FAT of a McDonald's Big Mac' in a maxi bucket of cinema popcorn!
How about that? Still fancy some?
The popcorn is often doused in coconut oil and chemicals to give it that irresistible aroma that wafts through the cinema…
AND…. What may seem like FRESH popcorn may be from yesterday’s batch, warmed up just for you!
You can read more here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2253864/Chemically-scented-popcorn-day-old-hot-dogs-Secrets-movie-theatre-worker-want-know.html#ixzz4ZAlUN8xM
The ‘butter’ smell and look is not butter at all, but a butter flavoured oil – often of indeterminate origin. The salt has ‘seasoning’ that may also contain MSG, among other things.
If you wish to know why cinema popcorn sometimes makes you feel a little queasy, read some of this: https://plus.google.com/+SpartandietOrg/posts/GskTKgiEaM7
(AND, here’s an interesting little fact… some cinemas make up to 40% of their revenue from popcorn & junk food).
HOWEVER, many people obviously enjoy popcorn with their movies.
In a US site, ‘Kitchn’ (yes that’s the spelling) I found this statement:
‘Is there anything better than movies and popcorn? They go together like Beyoncé and Jay Z. When you think of one, the other automatically pops into your head. And movie theater popcorn, in particular, is a special breed. As soon as you walk into the theater, it hits you: the buttery, salty smell of popcorn.’
Am I the one who’s out of step? Maybe so, not only do I detest the aroma of warm popcorn, but, if I ever thought of Beyonce – which I wouldn’t – I certainly would not expect Jay Z to ‘pop into my head’!
Who or what is Jay Z?
True story: A very hot day and a drive to a nearby small beach. The beach is deserted apart from a woman with a small black poodle. We pass the time of day with the poodle’s owner and comment on her sweet little dog.
Our small white dog is not interested in the poodle – only anxious to reach the cooling water. As we reach the water’s edge, I release the catch on her leash and she walks into the shallows. My husband follows her and I take a quick photo of the two of them cooling off.
And then it’s my turn.
I wade into the cool water almost up to my knees and our little dog stays close to me, only actually swimming (dog paddle, what else?) if she accidentally finds herself in a slightly deeper part of the water.
After a while the little dog and I begin to leave the water. As we do, I see a man with a badge on his shirt accost my husband who had been taking photographs of the sea-side scene.
I wonder what the man wants and hope there is not a ban on photographing anything around; a private boat mooring? a passing yacht?
When our little dog reaches the two men, the uniformed man reaches down and checks the registration tag that is attached to her collar.
It then dawns on me.
Are dogs perhaps not allowed on this beach?.
But there are no signs telling us that. And, what’s more, there are often dogs frolicking along this small section of the shoreline. Only the day before, there were four, apart from ours, and it was quite a lovely scene.
The man with the badge on his shirt is not amused when I ask, ‘Surely we’re not in trouble for having a dog on the beach?’
He writes in his note book and informs us that dogs must be ‘leashed’ at all times.
I suppose I should not have told him that it was ‘a pathetic rule’ because that made him more belligerent - which then caused me to take on the role of ‘assertive female being talked down to by an officious and obnoxious man’.
(Been there before).
As the confrontation progressed, I realised that the strange little square object fixed to his central chest area was, in fact, a recording device.
My annoyance level thus increased another notch or two.
When pressed, he admitted that he had recorded our whole conversation. I asked for a copy and he told me that (‘by law’) he was not to give me one.
I requested a copy of the ‘infringement notice’ and he told me that the fine was to be $121 and that I would have to wait until I received the notice in the mail.
By the time Mr Uniformed Man had left the beach, I was at boiling point and not only to do with the hot day.
We packed up and drove home, only to find the ‘Infringement Notice’ already in our mail box.
A round-about series of emails followed over the next days as I attempted to speak with the local councillor connected to the specific area of the ‘scene of the crime’. But finally accepted that I could only talk to the councillor of the area in which we lived.
Five days later found me in the office of ‘our’ councillor.
To say that he was interested in my disputed claim is a vast overstatement.
He proceeded to recite to me the rules and regulations of his/our area ‘division’ and inform me of various parks that allowed dogs to be ‘off leash’. I tried to tell him that that wasn’t the issue and it was the fact that I had been fined $121 for having a small (old and very much under control) dog in an area unmarked as an ‘on leash’ area of the foreshore.
He stated that it is a ‘default’ situation that dogs must be ‘on leash’ at all times, anywhere, unless a sign announces that it is a ‘dog off leash’ area.
The ‘conversation’ went around and around in time-wasting circles as he tried to force more and more unnecessary council rules into my consciousness.
Then he wanted to know if I had ‘any other infringement notices’.
After I had answered ‘no’ to that, he asked, ‘traffic infringements?’
‘No’, I answered.
‘What about your husband?’
‘We can check’, he said.
I had taken my small dog to a beach on a hot day.
She (the dog) had stayed by my (or my husband’s) side the whole time.
Subsequently I had been issued with an ‘infringement notice’ and $121 fine for having ‘an animal not under effective control’. Yes, that’s the official wording.
The next thing is that when I plead a case for review of this unfair assault, I am being questioned as to any traffic infringements belonging to my husband.
Welcome to the Brave New World of officialdom and the fining of enjoyment.
Talk about money-raising, crazy bureaucracy and fun police all rolled into one.
Meanwhile, I await my fate…due to arrive in the mailbox within two weeks.
Will it be hand-delivered by my friend with the recording device strapped to his chest?
PS: Yesterday we finally found a ‘dog OFF leash area’ part of beach. The water was dirty and full of slimy weeds. It was unpleasant to wade into and I had to rinse the gunk off the little dog after her swim. We will not be returning.
.AARRGGHH! I am ‘over’ Donald Trump! Let me rephrase that – I am trying very hard to be ‘over’ Donald Trump. I am sick and tired of hearing and reading about him and his deeds - and proposed deeds.
And yet, alongside being shocked and sickened by his words and actions (both before and since the election) I remain almost mesmerised by his weird behaviour. I am heartily turned off by - and fed up with - his childish rants, where he uses phrases such as,
‘….bad people with bad intentions…’ (about travellers from countries HE has selected to be on his banned list)
‘…they don't appreciate how "kind" President Obama was to them. Not me!’
‘…We must keep "evil" out of our country!’
‘…Bad people are very happy!’ and ‘…People pouring in. Bad!’
(About Australia’s refugee arrangement), ‘…I will study this dumb deal!’
And his reference to Judge James Robart, a (highly regarded Republican appointee), as a
‘so-called judge’. What an appalling insult!
And all this on TWITTER, for Heaven’s sake! TWITTER !
But, as much as I try to ignore media reports on Trump, I am still drawn to reading more and more. It’s like reading a fascinating, yet grim, novel. I have found myself trawling through opinion pieces in the New York Times and the Washington Post, as well as other US and world wide publications – and here I am, in Australia.
I resolve to stop reading abut the orange man, yet continue to do so. I have developed some sort of compulsion to follow his pronouncements and people’s reactions to him.
I watch television news reports with my mouth agape.
As I try in vain to curb my viewing of media coverage of this awful man, I start to harbour a sense of guilt about why I should ignore the dreadful truth of it.
I am watching this ‘performance’ in mild horror while not being able to do anything.
And here I have to offer (the obvious) Burke’s famous ‘Triumph of Evil’ quote,
“All that is needed for the forces of evil to succeed is for enough good men to remain silent.”
And also William Wilberforce, who said,
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
So, as I ‘remain silent’ and desperately want to ‘look the other way’ I feel that I should be doing something. But what?
What can I do?
I hesitate bringing up the subject of Trump when talking to friends or relatives as, once the ridicule has subsided, it becomes too heavy and depressing.
I have downloaded the knitting pattern for the ‘ Pussy hat’ but as I live in the sub-tropics there is little chance for me to wear a bright pink woollen hat out in public to show my solidarity with the protesting populace.
What more can I do?
His lies worry me. He denies facts (‘fake news’) and substitutes ‘alternative facts’ and his followers believe every word he says.
There’s a saying somewhere from someone I can’t remember, that goes: ‘A lie that can be passed off as truth becomes truth.’
That’s a worry!
This week, in The Guardian, Nick Cohen wrote:
‘Compulsive liars shouldn’t frighten you. They can harm no one, if no one listens to them. Compulsive believers, on the other hand: they should terrify you.’ (My emphasis)
As much as I did not agree with everything in Cohen’s opinion piece, I think he is right about this.
But, as for now, I will have another attempt at putting my head in the sand as I try to ignore the scary Trump ‘thing’.
Apart from anything, it’s taking up too much of my time when I could be doing something pleasant.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.