After we showed our ticket stubs and took our seats, my date asked me for a Diet Coke. So I left the theater and stood in line to buy one for her. I opted for the “Reel Deal” combo, which includes drink and large popcorn for a paltry eleven dollars and sixty-five cents. The popcorn “topping” (we used to call it butter) is obtained from a solitary self-service pump at a crowded counter at the edge of the concession stand. I waited in line again; younger, virile men darted forward, procuring napkins, straws, relish and ketchup for their dates. Eventually I reached the front of the line. I started pumping this popcorn topping, then realized: This is the largest bag of popcorn I’ve ever held in my life. (Enter a small dilemma.) The uppermost layer of popcorn was fully saturated with topping by the first squirt. But to reach those kernels at the bottom of the bag, who knew how many squirts it might take? A seventeen-year-old ran his elbow across my face as he reached for a pack of mustard. “This sure is a funny world we live in,” I thought as I stood there, pumping.