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Lies My Father Told

July 17, 2019

John, you make the BEST popcorn.

My dad didn’t give complements easily. He was a man who did not suffer fools.

But, he loved popcorn. And he appreciated the way my little brother made it. This was in the years before microwave popcorn.

My parents owned one of the first microwaves I remember anyone having. We did our own popcorn experiments. We got some popcorn and put it into a big red plastic bowl. We weren’t sure how long to set the timer to. We set it for five minutes and waited.

The corn didn’t pop. But, it did get hot enough to melt holes in our plastic bowl. I now know based on experience that we could have put a 1/4 of corn into a paper bag and it would have popped up nicely.

We didn’t know that then.

But, like I said, microwaves were new. The idea that we could place glass, plastic and even paper into a box and the food would cook without destroying the container? That was a revolutionary idea and it took us awhile to get used to it.

One night when I was about 16, my mother made a cassarole. She made it in a glass bowl. She then covered the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the oven.

Not the microwave oven.

The REGULAR oven.

Mom? What are you doing?

Rodney, I don’t want to hear it! Just leave me alone.

I was probably pretty obnoxious as a kid. I probably deserved to be told to quiet down on many occasions. So, I did what she asked. I left her alone. I didn’t say a thing.

An hour later, dinner was ruined. The bowl, now covered with melted plastic, was ruined. Even the oven was in bad shape.

Why didn’t you stop me?

You told me you knew what you were doing.

We had pizza that night.

Making popcorn was a chore. We typically cooked it on the stove, in a frying pan. You added a little butter or oil, you put in the popcorn and then you shook the pan. . .forever. Or at least it felt like that.

Yep, my dad loved the way my younger brother made popcorn. And he wasn’t shy about complementing him on it. It wasn’t until I was older that I started to realize that typically my dad complemented my brother on his popcorn skills right before he asked my brother to make him some.

And my brother never failed to rise to the occasion. Or, more accurately, he’d rise from the coach and head into the kitchen.

Was my dad lying? No. He did love the way my brother made popcorn. Mostly, because my brother was making popcorn. Did he make it the best?

Well, he made it and my dad got his popcorn.

I think that was enough to qualify as “the best.” At least it was to my little brother.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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