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It’s National Popcorn Day

Today is a day that I would have looked forward to with greater anticipation if I had just realized what day it was — National Popcorn Day.

Is there a greater food than popcorn? Don’t answer that.

Popcorn is awesome. I love it. I could eat it every single day.

The discovery of popped grains of corn is attributed to the Aztecs, who wore the white flower-like grains in their headdresses as they honored Tlaloc, their god of maize (corn) and fertility. Spaniards thought it looked cool. Then they discovered it tasted alright, too.

I think the Aztecs discovered popcorn when somebody accidentally set the corn field on fire, but that’s just me.

Popcorn started becoming popular in the United States around the mid-1800s, and really took off toward the end of the 19th century when candy store owner Charles Cretors developed a steam machine to pop it more easily. He soon had horse-drawn carriages selling the hot and tasty treat all over Chicago.

In my mind, one thing goes best with popcorn. That’s right — butter, and lots of it. But the second best accompaniment to the popped treat is a cinematic masterpiece playing across the screen in front of you.

Ideally, the lights are down or off, the movie is a highly-anticipated new release (or something never seen by you, the viewer) or a beloved and familiar favorite, an ice-cold refreshing soda is within reach and the popcorn bucket is very deep and filled with warm, exploded kernels.

We’ll have to be careful celebrating National Popcorn Day in this way, you and I, because the power grid that serves the lower half of the United States that we call home has been extremely taxed and maxed these last couple of days by the attempts to keep things, pets and people thawed during this incredible cold wave that has washed over us all.

You don’t want the power to go out right as Forrest Gump gets to see Lt. Dan’s new legs (spoiler alert) or just as Rhett is about to tell Scarlett at the door about something he doesn’t give. More importantly, you don’t want your electric stove to pop off (see what I did there?) when your corn is only half-popped. Although half-popped kernels are some of the best.

Combine all this with the fact that the moon is in its waxing crescent phase, offering only five percent illumination at best, and you’ve got the makings of a dark, cold night if the grid goes down.

Better make that popcorn early.

Get out the blankets and the generator, the hand-warmer packs and thick socks, flashlights and earmuffs, jackets and scarves, hats and ugly Christmas sweaters that you know you haven’t packed up yet.

I’m wearing my Santa T-Rex ugly sweater right now. And I am toasty.

Make sure your smartphones are fully charged, too, because you know you’ll be Snapchatting and Facebooking and Twittering and Instagramming your way through the chills if the world goes black. You’ll need to post pics of the popcorn.

It would probably be a good idea to check on your family and neighbors if you haven’t already, making sure they’re sufficiently bundled and prepped. Share your corn.

I’ll be propped up at home in my chair, popcorn in a bowl, “Band of Brothers” or something like it on the screen, wrapped in a blanket if necessary. I’m not worried if the grid goes down.

Like my dad used to say, “Don’t worry if the power goes out. We’ll just watch TV in the dark.”

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com or 601-265-5307.