Tribute to a Popcorn Maker

September 26, 2022
Dave O'Connell
Ever have a product that became such a part of your life that it no longer felt like a “thing” but more a part of your family? Your life? And a very positive part; something you could count on to bring smiles?

That was my family’s Proctor: Silex Popcorn Pumper. That sucker lasted for 30+ years…in fact, my wife and I had a 30 min discussion on when exactly it was purchased? Adamant it was not a wedding gift, we kept going further and further back until its origin became shrouded in mystery…was it an impulse K-Mark buy? An original Bed, Bath, and Beyond wander through the aisles until we can find something we want (read, can afford) purchase? Still don’t know.

But what I do know is this: that basic, no frills, get the job done in 2 minutes appliance became a part of our family. On Friday and/or Saturday nights, we’d line up the bowls, get the butter ready to nuke in the microwave, and throw a cup of popcorn kernels into the built-in measuring scoop cap – brilliant design – and start the low, and later in life, increasingly desperate whir of the machine that delivered our much-anticipated movie night snacks. And it worked. Every flipping time. Even when it sparked about 4 years ago…which, yeah, might have been a warning, but we ignored it. Even when we had to tilt the container to make sure the popcorn didn’t come out a little darker (burnt). And you know why? Because we loved that machine! It was a part of the ritual, a part of our house, and brought nothing but smiles and enjoyment. The movie might sometimes have been lousy - the popcorn was NOT.

Last night our faithful friend suffered an electrical coronary. No sparks, just stoppage (thank goodness!). And we had a moment of silence. I took it out this morning and before depositing it in our bin for pickup, I gave that appliance a small kiss – silly? Sentimental? Absolutely. But it deserved that, for all the hours and hours of consistent enjoyment, laughter (and sometimes groans – why did you screw up the Hobbit, Peter Jackson, WHYYYYY?!), and sheer squish together in the TV room fun it brought my wife, me, and my four children.

So, when you find a product, find a service, find a resource that makes you feel that way. Keep ‘em. They are worth it.
Fairfax, VA 
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