Little did I know when I innocently bought a box of microwave Kettle Corn, it would result in a: Hidden Splenda Expose, A Destroyed Microwave, A $43 Auction, and A Cross-Country Trip for my little popcorn meteor...

Lying Sacks of "SU" (A PopCornspiracy)

Our microwave broke the other day. Technically it still worked, but I couldn't get it to turn off. That's not good because most foods don't need to be cooked forever.

I purchased a brand new microwave and to break it in I also bought some microwave popcorn -- Orville Redenbacher's "Kettle Korn." If you've never had real Kettle Corn, it's kinda salty and kinda sweet, and more than kinda good.

The microwave version tasted okay, but there was something just faintly off about it. I looked at the ingredients and I saw that it wasn't sweetened with sugar, but with "sucralose." Sucralose also goes by the brandname Splenda.

I was a little annoyed by this because I'm not a big fan of artificial sweeteners. I don't avoid them at all cost, but I still don't fully trust them. (You may remember when I wrote about that freaky Nutrasweet Lady.)

By the way, the name Nutrasweet is hilarious to me. NUTRA-sweet. Like it is somehow a combo of "Nutritious" and "Sweet." It might be sweet, but there ain't nothin' NUTRA in there. And the company that makes Splenda likes to tout that their product is "made from real sugar." Guess what: dog crap is made from real food, too. I still don't suggest you sprinkle it on your cornflakes, but I digress...

Back to the Kettle Corn-- you'd think they might have given me a little heads up on the box that this product (which is traditionally made with sugar) wasn't sweetened with sugar at all. But it says nothing about that.

The next time I was at the store I wanted to see if I could find a brand of microwave kettle corn that didn't use sucralose. I saw a box of ACT II KETTLE CORN -- "Old-Fashioned Sweet & Salty Popcorn." It even had a pleasant illustration of a kettle with big burlap sacks of sugar and salt behind it. Awesome. I read the ingredients: SUCRALOSE. What the F?!

I looked at the illustration again and saw that the word SALT was clearly in full view. But the word SUGAR was blocked by the kettle, so all you could see was "SU." How convenient. I suppose their argument would be that the kettle is actually blocking the word "SUCRALOSE." And we all know there's nothing better than the ol' fashioned flavor of a giant sack of sucralose. Sneaky popcorn bastards.

Instead of the "SU" they should just change it to "F. U." I think that's what the illustration is really trying to say to me, anyway.

(Incidentally, every brand of microwave kettle corn I checked used sucralose, whether it was low-fat or not. Not one acknowledged it.)

For more adventures in questionable food don't miss the "Steve, Don't Eat It!" section.

By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive

Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Popped

The other night my wife decided to make some microwave Kettle Corn. She set the timer for 2:45 (more than a minute LESS than the recommended time) and hit start. We were talking a few feet away, and two and a half minutes later I turned to see BROWN SMOKE BILLOWING OUT OF THE MICROWAVE.

This was not like your ordinary slightly overcooked popcorn. This was a bag about to burst into flames.

I shut off the microwave and opened it. Thick, gross, choking smoke poured out and quickly filled the kitchen. My wife carefully got it outside while I tried to get the blaring smoke detector to stop before the kids woke up.

For some reason, the bag had exploded-- spraying disgusting brown LIQUID all over the interior of the oven. It smelled horrible, the microwave is ruined, and the kitchen still smells two days later.

Click on picture for a better view.

Opening the bag did not reveal burnt popcorn, but a bizarre rectangular carbon brick of I'm not sure what. I would like to stress, the bag didn't pop full and then burn, it popped a tiny bit and then went straight to the burning.

Click on picture for a better view.

I don't know what happened, but I do know this. A while back I wrote a popular post about the secret Splenda hiding in microwave Kettle Corn. I believe this evil box lay in wait plotting its revenge against me, and finally took action.

If you have Orville Redenbacher Microwave Kettle Corn in your house, BE CAREFUL. It is a naughty, spiteful treat.

By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive

Popcorn Disaster Update

I spoke to the Orville Reddenbacher people about the Kettle Korn disaster. They were very nice and are "considering" replacing my microwave.

They are sending me a pre-paid mailer so I can send them the box, the popcorn meteor and pictures of the microwave and then they'll decide if they want to replace it or not. But I'm not so sure I want to send them the actual meteor.

Should I?

The comment board is NOW CLOSED.

(And on a food company sidenote, I have notified the Terra Chip people of our dramatic findings. Still waiting to hear back.)

history for sale

A few people have emailed asking me what's up with the popcorn meteor.

I decided I'm going to send it back to the company as they requested, and we'll see what happens. I'll be doing that this week.

But before I pack it all up, I thought I'd auction off a piece of it. The smoky little guy even comes with his own display case. The bidding starts at a whopping 49 cents.

The winning bidder also gets a free mousepad and bumper sticker. You can view the auction and track how rich I'm about to get right here.

By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive

popcorn's big trip

A few of you have been asking what's up with the remains of the popcorn meteorite. The chunk that was auctioned on Ebay is safely on its way to the winner.

As for the rest, I'm sending it all back to the Orville Redenbacher people today, as they requested. (They even sent me a pre-paid mailer.) After much debate on the comment board, the charred bag of kernels, the box, pictures of the splattered microwave are ready to go to the post office. It should be interesting to see what happens.

It's funny that my little meteorite will now be taking its first big trip all the way to Omaha, Nebraska! I think I'm gonna miss that little guy. Luckily my microwave still bears his personal stink for me to remember him by.

By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive

Tanna Blattler Appreciation Day!

From infected corn to burnt...

I hereby declare today international "Tanna Blattler Appreciation Day!"

Tanna was the lovely lady who won the eBay auction for the popcorn meteor. In addition to receiving the mousepad and bumper sticker, Tanna had also asked if my son would write a joke for the winning bidder -- which he did. (He actually came up with two - both popcorn themed.)

If you're out of the loop, I have posted a few of my son's "jokes" before, like here, here, and here. They seem to have developed a bit of a following.

I had created a special secret password protected webpage just for Tanna to enjoy her personal jokes, and then received the sweetest email:

Hey Steve,

Thanks for sending the meteorite package so promptly!

I also loved the jokes as well, and feel too selfish to keep them to myself-if you would like to share them with the masses, please be my guest!

The first joke is particularly spectacular-worn out! Har hoo hoo hee! I just absolutely dig it! The second joke is also a classic-I'm thinking my 4 year old nephew will appreciate it immensely!

The meteorite arrived safely in one large, crispy, stinky chunk. Thanks so much for sending it with so much care. I'm also happy to boast about being the proud owner of my very own bumper sticker and mouse pad too-and I can now say to the masses, "HA! I have a mouse pad, and you don't!"

Life is good :)

Have a great day, and thanks again for making me so happy,


Here are the two jokes specifically "written" for Tanna, which she would now like to share with the world:


Q: "Why did the popcorn get worn out?"

A: "Because nobody ate it!!!"

And here's a free bonus joke since he was on a roll:


Q: "Why did the popcorn get in the khakis?"

A: " To make the flies go away!"

If at any point today you are given thanks for anything, feel free to say "Don't thank me. Thank Tanna Blattler!"

By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive

popcorn timeline

Who would have guessed that way back when I innocently bought a box of microwave kettle corn, it would give birth to:

- an expose on hidden Splenda
- a microwave disaster
- 144 thoughts on what I should do
- a $43 auction for a charred hunk of popcorn
- a cross-country trip for the popcorn meteor remains
- Tanna Blattler Appreciation Day

and now... sweet resolution. As Jen predicted, the fine people at Orville Redenbacher have bought me a new microwave. The check arrived the other day.

I should go spend it all on bitches and crack. Who's with me?! (Don't tell my wife. She totally frowns upon bitches AND crack.)

All the popcorn posts can be found in chronological order right here. (And for the record, the microwave really does still reek.)

By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive

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