Popcorn Tins Jan09


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Popcorn Tins

Dawn wrote in from her new life in Philly to teach us about popcorn.

As far as I can tell, sosovelo began with three friends who liked cycling, loved laffing, and sort of knew how to use the internet. All came from very different backgrounds and were drawn to different aspects of bicycling culture. Yet this motley crew managed to maintain high-endurance blogging for several years, and are still going strong today.

What made sosovelo such a success (it’s been referred to as “the google of blogs”) was the different perspectives its three founders brought online with them. These different personalities, or “flavors” of writing, can best be categorized by using an analogy of the standard holiday popcorn tin. (For those of you unaware of what I’m talking about, the holiday popcorn tin is a large aluminum cask, trisected, and filled with butter, caramel, and cheese flavored popcorn…one flavor to each section).

In terms of sosovelo writers, the popcorn breakdown goes as such:

Editor: Butter
Cait: Caramel
Dawn: Cheese.

But this isn’t the only way that popcorn categorization can be used. No, no, avid reader, you can categorize ANY group of three things this way! Another easy one is the popular brands of bicycle components:
Shimano, Campagnolo, and SRAM.

So far, everyone I have asked has come up with the same answer. So take a minute to make up YOUR mind.

Done? Well of course Shimano is butter, Campy is Caramel, and SRAM is cheese.

When Cait came to visit she woke up one morning popcorn tinning the Holy Trinity. This wasn’t as cut and dry for me, having been raised in a godless family, but she is fairly sure this is how it goes:

Father: Butter
Son: Caramel
Holy Ghost: Cheese

Basically what I am getting at is that sorting out any group of three things into popcorn flavors is something we can AND SHOULD all be doing all the time. Or at least that’s what I thought until a certain fated day in early December when I discovered the new Trader Joes QUADRISECTED popcorn tin. In adition to adding another section, TJs also switched up the flavors, adding the crowd pleasing Kettlecorn, but also including two more “mature” flavors: White Cheddar and Olive Oil. Butter was dropped, but caramel was kept on, leaving us with two savories and two sweets. A safe decision on their part…but did it hold up when used to categorize everyday things?
The answer isn’t as easy as you might think. First of all, after purchasing and consuming this tin with Cait, we can both confidently say this it is a bullshit popcorn tin. The Kettlecorn and Caramel were great, but the white cheddar is way too serious for our festive moods. The Olive Oil flavor tasted like a rotten pile of nothing. If nothing could still have a bad taste to it, this is what I would say the Olive Oil popcorn was like. Maybe like the taste of a bad smell? Something like that. I don’t think it even had salt on it. That section remained full as the others diminished, I assure you.

Yet despite its failure in the overall popcorn tin category, the new flavors still held up in some scenarios.

In bike parts companies, Kettlecorn is Chris King and Olive Oil is suicide brakes. In the Holy Trinity, Olive Oil is purgatory and Kettlecorn is free will. Do you see what I’m getting at?

In bike racing:
1st: Caramel, 2nd: Butter, 3rd: Cheese, Prime: Kettlecorn, DNF: Olive Oil.
This is only related to race placement, it does not reflect my actual popcorn preferences.

Do you understand what I’m saying? If you’re more of a visual learner, I’ll use diagrams:

In closing, even though Trader Joe fucked up his popcorn tin, don’t feel like you need to live within the rigidity of the three-flavor system. Make your own way through the world and pop your own corn. Put nutritional yeast or cayenne or Braggs or cinnamon and sugar on it. Just please always use salt and always compare the favors to other groups of things completely unrelated to popcorn.

Thank you for your time.
Dawn Riddle