By Natalie Steers

You know how on every microwave there is a “Popcorn” button? And you know how on some microwave popcorn bags the instructions say not to push that delegated button? Why have a button that will supposedly pop your popcorn to perfection with a single push if you can’t USE IT?!?! It’s as if the microwave and microwave popcorn companies are conspiring together to see just how lazy the American population is. The answer is: Very lazy.

    Why would I push the FIVE buttons it takes me to set my microwave to the perfect time of two minutes and fifteen seconds (a time that I have found to be the safest to ensure unscorched popcorn goodness), when I could just push ONE? If I use the thoughtfully provided “Popcorn” button programmed for two and a half minutes, I simply have to remember to stop the microwave a few seconds early. So there, microwave and popcorn companies! Being the reasonable college student that I am, I have created a wonderful solution that allows me to successfully prepare my snack with minimal effort.

...As we all know the attention span of the average adolescent is woefully pitiful. So, 2 minutes and 30 seconds later…

    The room smells like burned popcorn. There is gray smoke unfurling from what used to be a bag of kernels waiting to be popped to perfection but now simply resembles a scorched mass. I run to throw the bag away down the hall. I leave the door open to my dorm hoping to let the smell dissipate. Two days later my room still smells like burnt kernels and microwaved salt; a depressing reminder of the night I destroyed my last bag of popcorn. And weeks later, as I’m warming up a cup of tea, a faint smell of burning popcorn emanates from the microwave- mocking me.