Bobbing for Popcorn

Picture four or five girls in their late teen years sitting around playing a board game and eating potato chips.  There was a lot of giggling going on.  We were having a good time, but it seems there is never a wrong time for a bit of OCD embarrassment.

My fear of germs was already well developed by my late teens.  I would rather not eat than touch food with unwashed hands, but I tried to limit the number of washings because they were so stressful and my hands were extremely dry and cracked.  One compromise was to eat something such as a potato chip as close to my fingertips as possible and then discard the bit that I had touched.  That was the method I was using that day with my friends, and as we sat there I began to accumulate a small stack of chip bits on a napkin.  Sooner or later it was inevitable that the stack would draw attention, and finally someone asked me about the uneaten bits.  I explained that I hadn’t washed my hands and did not want to eat the parts that I touched.  That seemed reasonable to me; I knew plenty of non-germophobes that washed before eating.  Nevertheless, the jesting came.  One of them asked me if I were stranded on a desert island and had to eat bugs to survive, whether I would hold the bugs by the legs and then throw the legs away.  Laughter ensued at my expense, but looking back, it was truly funny.  At the same time I could see both the absurdity of the situation and the logic, and logic prevails every time.

This week I was reminded of another peculiar instance and was glad that I was not observed this time.  I was eating popcorn at work when my spoon (have I mentioned that I eat it with a plastic spoon?) hit the outside of the bag, so I threw it in the garbage.  I was almost done with the popcorn, so I didn’t want to get out another spoon.  For a fleeting moment I considered pouring the popcorn on a napkin and bobbing for it.  I had done it before when I didn’t have a utensil.  When my nieces and nephews were little, I tried to convince them that it was fun.  There was even a time when I dared to do it in front of a friend (long after the potato chip episode).  It didn’t catch on.  I used to eat popcorn with my dead cat Zed (he wasn’t dead at the time).  I would toss a few pieces on the floor and he would bob his little head down to eat it.  I suppose that’s not an argument in favor of my sanity.

Suffice it to say, my bobbing days are over.  I don’t need the ridicule; I get enough of that just for using a spoon for popcorn.  I try to act like an adult when I’m at work, and for good practice, at home also – most of the time.

About admin

I am a female in my early 40's who has been dealing with OCD since age 10 and a fear of germs since 14.
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2 Responses to Bobbing for Popcorn

  1. Eli says:

    Throwing out the edges of potato chips can be good practice under certain circumstances.

    Some chips still have bits of the potato peel attached. That’s a part of the potato that was in contact with soil and fertilizer. Yes, it’s been soaked, scrubbed, and cooked, but the skin is still the skin. I break those parts off and discard them. Some packaged potato products have the skin totally left on. I don’t understand why folks would eat potato skins. They don’t realize it’s a scam by the food companies. The companies save huge amounts of money by fooling people into eating a part of the potato that is basically garbage—they eliminate their potato-peeling equipment and disposal costs.

    Some potato chips have a green edge. The green is an indication that the potato was exposed to the sun, which causes potatoes to produce more chlorophyll, which is harmless, and glycoalkaloids, which are not. The toxic glycoalkaloids, solanine and chaconine, are part of the plant’s natural defenses against pests and fungus.
    While there isn’t enough of the poisons in the edges of potato chips to cause toxic symptoms unless a prodigious amount is ingested, it’s better to avoid the poisons. So toss out the green chips or at least break off the green edges, especially if they have peel attached or have been touched by unwashed hands!

  2. Odin says:

    I do that with chips too, in fact i did with the poppadoms at an Indian restaurant the other day. I just ‘accidentally’ dropped the contaminated bits on the floor. Pizzas are good – i just pretend I don’t like the crusts!

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