I should have been prepared for this day to come, but it is a sobering turn of events, nonetheless.
This is my faithful air pop popcorn popper, which my Grandma gave me when I was about 7-8 years old when these were pretty trendy*. Without revealing my age, I'll just say that this was at some point in the mid 80s (which is an important piece of information to help prove the longevity of this amazing appliance).
At one point I thought that since I used it so much I should invest in a more modern one. But, as it turns out, the technology behind air pop popcorn has remained virtually unchanged- below, you see a modern version available on Amazon:
A little shinier, maybe, but all in all, basically the same. So, I stuck with my trusty old one for a few more years.
Unfortunately, while trying to make a little something to get me through the final hours of grant writing this weekend, the little popper literally went up in smoke. While I'm sad to see it go, at least we had 20+ glorious years together. It is such an elderly popper I almost feel like I should send it back to PopLite for some kind of formal ceremonial burial. At the very least, I can recommend getting one of these things- it's apparently a lifetime investment!
RIP, little popper.
*As a side note, this popper was also the way I first realized the that Santa might not exist- my parents used to put all the presents under the tree after we went to bed, but my Grandparents came by and left some a few days early. My Grandma wanted to be cute and have Santa send me some popcorn to go with the popper. So, under the tree, days before Christmas, boldly sitting there in broad daylight, was a present from Santa. I remember distinctly asking my Mom while she tucked me in about how it got there, and I don't remember what she said, but the seed of doubt was planted. The seed was soon to fully flower when my next door neighbor educated me by accident by saying "your brother doesn't still believe in SANTA does he??" Oh, you're supposed to have 'flashbulb memories' for major historical and tragic events, but that exact moment of that afternoon, standing outside their back door, trying to pretend like I was also too cool for Santa even though I was secretly devastated, was absolutely one for me.