First, let me hit you with the bona fides: I have a Film Studies degree. But it’s from Arizona State University, which is the Olive Garden of colleges. It’s cheap, anyone can just show up and get in, and there are unlimited breadsticks (if I had gone to a better school I would have been able to think of a third thing there). I call Holy Mountain “that Jodorowsky one where Jesus has a cake face”, so I’m not the guy to come to for hard-hitting cinematic insights.
I have, however, been shoveling overpriced theater munchables into my cake-face (callback!) for 30+ years. I’ve put in my 10,000 hours like I’m the Malcolm freakin’ Gladwell of trans fats. So, as summer fast approacheth and the season of blockbusters begins, here’s a quick refresher on what to eat so you have something to distract you from the fuckin’ Transformers movie you wasted your kid’s school supplies money on.
1. Sno-Caps Fun fact: did you know Sno Caps only exist in movie theaters? It’s a kind of Schrödinger’s Cat situation. If you lay eyes on these lil’ poop nuggets somewhere outside of your local AMC multiplex, they literally cease to be. Chunks of less-sweet-than-you’d-think chocolate covered in tiny, teeth-shattering white balls (apparently called “nonpareils”), Sno-Caps have been bumming kids the fuck out since the 1920s. Buy them if you want a tiny Matterhorn in your mouth, ya weirdo.
2. Swedish Fish Swedish Fish were put on this Earth as proof that God loves us, and I will fight you with my fists if you say otherwise. I don’t know why they’re in a fish shape and I don’t care. They’re even good as hell when they’re a little bit stale; when super fresh, a handful of Swedish Fish has the power to make you forget every embarrassing thing you’ve ever said at a party right when the music got quiet. According to their Wikipedia page, they are made with something called “wine gum.” SO THEY HAVE FUCKIN’ WINE IN THEM, TOO. What more do you need?
3. Junior Mints Junior Mints are what happens when one of Santa’s Elves jerks off into a little dark chocolate shell. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; Junior Mints are fairly unique and kind of refreshing, so I’m sorry for putting that elf cum image into your head. Enjoy. They’ve been on the scene since 1949, and apparently the name is a pun on the title of a play called Junior Miss. Look for my hot new candy “Glengarry Glen Mints” coming to a theater lobby near you soon.
4. Dots Dots finally answer the question “What if unicorn droppings tasted like sweetened cardboard?” They’re not the worst substitute if Swedish Fish are unavailable, and according to PETA, they’re vegan. Mention this if you want to feel slightly better than your friends whilst simultaneously achieving a sugar high during Thor: Ragnarok. They’re made by Tootsie Roll, and apparently the plant in Chicago makes more than 4 billion Dots per year. That’s one Dot for every person Donald Trump saw at his Inauguration. OUTDATED JOKE ALERT.
5. Dippin’ Dots See how I made this transition?? That’s why I am a professional television writer and you are…also maybe a professional television writer. Dippin’ Dots are the youngest treat on this list, and their short history has already been fraught with ups and downs. We’re talking bankruptcy, lawsuits over rivals stealing their copyrighted creation process, and weirdly drawing the ire of current White House Press Secretary and human freezer burn Sean Spicer. Speaking of, Dippin’ Dots are made by flash-freezing ice cream mix in liquid nitrogen. That’s right, Dippin’ Dots are made with SCIENCE. Some movie theaters have a vending machine where you can watch the frozen fruit balls get shot out of a hose that looks vaguely like the thing that lifts R2-D2 into the X-Wing in A New Hope. Dippin’ Dots are unfailingly disappointing.
6. Popcorn with Peanut M&Ms Listen, you’re a creative person. You don’t have to rely on just the candies that The Man peddles like corn-starched crack rock. This isn’t A Brave New World; you’re free to play snack alchemist to your heart’s content. Snalchemist? We’ll work on that. I’m not blowing your mind here by suggesting that the grandaddy of self-made theater food is popcorn with a bit of fake butter, and a bag of PEANUT M&Ms liberally sprinkled throughout. Have a peanut allergy? Too bad, ace, you’re missing out on mana from heaven. This one is for sharing, and should be your go-to movie date choice. Your greasy little fingers will meet while fumbling around for the right kernel-to-confection ratio, and bam, next thing you know romance is in the air and you’re smoochin’ through the post-credits scene in GOTG: Volume 2. ALSO: you think all the Peanut M&Ms are going to sink to the bottom, like dimes in your change jar, but somehow they don’t because when Sir Isaac Newton invented gravity he left some sort of loophole for this snack. Get some.
7. Booze Welcome to the 21st century! The world is a smoldering Dumpster fire, but at least more and more multiplexes are selling sweet sweet hooch. And, oddly, they don’t seem to have figured out the price gouging on this one yet. Here in Los Angeles, the same theater that sells tickets for $17.50 and Reese’s Pieces for $YourPinkyFinger will pour you a decent glass of wine for like eight bucks. That’s no worse than you’d pay in most bars, and it’ll certainly help you get through The Fate of the Furious. Why is it not The F8 of the Furious? I don’t know. Wrap your lips around a bourbon on the rocks right there in your seat and contemplate these mysteries during the pre-preview commercials. Just drink responsibly, by which I mean don’t run for a refill during the denouement.
The End That’s it, kids! I’ll be back with more of these penetrating insights, and feel free to sound off in the comments with your hot takes on Hot Tamales, or whatever your preferred candy is.