The screaming came shortly after the the first kernel popped. As I sprinted toward the sound of my crying daughter the walls of the house echoed out with the words of Isaiah 28:8.
"For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place."
I arrived to witness Allison's best impression of misplaced biblical revenge. Puke buckets should really come with back-flow preventers. But I digress... The cleanup required a change of clothes for Allison, the installation of a floor drain in our living room, and an act involving one of our cats and a wet-vac that I'm pretty sure is illegal in Alabama. Not a short list of tasks by any means.
By the time I was done all of my effort was going into scrubbing the entire experience from my memory. So it was with a fair bit of surprise, when I made my way back to the kitchen, that I discovered someone had started cooking something resembling ash in our popcorn pot. I lifted the lid on the pot and smoke billowed out in a way that suggested that immediate action was required to avoid damage to the kitchen.
Alex chose this time to poke his head in the kitchen to check on the status of his popcorn request. "DADDY, is that the popcorn?!?" His surprise wasn't lost on his siblings who, shockingly not vomiting at that moment, ran into the room. Squinting through the smoke filled haze they saw enough to render their standard constructive criticism. "DADDY! YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!!"
I ran the pot out to the back deck and put a fan in the window to vent the residual smoke. The kids made due with SmartFood brand popcorn and I declared another culinary victory. That was a few days ago...
Tonight at dinner we noticed that my cooking has not gone completely unappreciated. I'm glad to see someone around here has the taste buds for my delicately refined talents.
We named him Sam the Squirrel. The kids lined their chairs up at the back window and joyfully watched him feast on my popcorn masterpiece.