I don’t know about you, but I’ve been thrilled to get back into movie theaters. From indie arthouse films to IMAX blockbusters, there’s nothing like a story on the big screen. My favorite moment, though, is when the lights dim, the audience settles and I eat my first handful of pissy shitties.
Sure, you could make pissy shitties at home, like this guy did — but purists understand that the treat is best prepared by filling up a proper popcorn bucket with Pepsi from a soda fountain. You could also, in theory, use a different soda, if you wish to break with a winning tradition. Just don’t be surprised if your movie-going companions raise an eyebrow at your choice of Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper. It’s a little bit gauche, is what I’m trying to say here.
More importantly, you must not doubt the custom of mixing some pissy shitties, nor their prevalence in the U.S. From the day in early 2016 when the snack was spoken into being by Tumblr user bighuge, this has been a contentious point — whether Americans actually eat mushy, Pepsi-soaked popcorn. Well, we do. And saying otherwise can get you kicked out of the Facebook group “Pissy Shitties Are a Real Thing,” where Rule 4 clearly states: “Never deny the existence of pissy shitties.” Doubters are cast out, presumably to join the rival group “Pissy Shitties Aren’t Real, Sorry,” a place without honor or, it has to be said, any sophisticated palates.
Why can’t we stop eating pissy shitties? There is the pleasure of concocting the soupy stuff — since they only sell the raw ingredients at concessions, you make it personally, to your exact liking. Movie theaters are places of ritual, and this is no exception. However, pissy shitties also speak to who we are as a people: radical, fearless, innovative and willing to shatter any taboo. We love knowing that even if the staff at AMC would prefer us not to stir up pissy shitties, they are powerless to stop us. Every batch of salty-sweet slurry is another successful rebellion. And while corporate lobbies like Big Nacho push “normal” junk food on the public, we resist. It’s hard to imagine a more noble use of the democratic freedoms we regularly take for granted.
The best thing about pissy shitties, however, is that they’re now a permanent part of the culture. Skeptics and deniers have no way of returning us to the time before this transcendent discovery, much as the gods of antiquity could not rescind the knowledge of fire that Prometheus gave to humankind. The movement is immune to defeat, because once you start thinking about it, the phrase “pissy shitties” is forever stuck in your brain. It is so striking to the imagination, in fact, that you already know how they taste, what their texture is like on the tongue, without sampling them at all. They are a delicacy distinct enough to outweigh experience itself.
Can any chef in the world claim to have cooked a dish like that? Not a chance. They daren’t attempt one, either.
It’s pointless to ask what twist or turn in our evolution gave rise to pissy shitties. Perhaps, if there is an afterlife, we will come to a greater understanding there. While living, we are left to simply give thanks for the miracle of this union. Fizz and crunch, fructose syrup and melted butter — the ordinary transmuted into the divine.
I’ll have an extra-large, please.