Archive for the ‘Annoying’ Category

JMC Jamboree, Johnson Memorial Hospital, CT

Monday, May 25th, 2009

We decided to try another spot and see what happens. This gig came about from our Springfield farmers market location. A person who had bought our kettle corn wanted us to pop at their hospital employee event. We were kind of skeptical because we’ve done events like this and you don’t get the kind of traffic you need to make it a worthwhile day. I guess we weren’t skeptical enough.

The people running it were certainly nice, but this was their first time doing it. When I first arrived, the woman in the video just pointed me to the far end of the parking lot. I’m standing there in the middle of all this asphalt, wondering exactly where I’m supposed to pitch my tent. I’m looking at this large group of tents all bunched together, figuring I’ll be on the end of them, but she then PLACES me on the outer edge of everything. I’m thinking, “wow, this event must be huge, since I need to leave all this room in front of me.” I then get crap from a bikey guy who thought I was cutting into the motorcycle parking. He was trying to get me to move into the dirt. Cripes.

Maui Kazowie Kettle Corn – Maui, Hawaii

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

We were trying to find groceries and we stumble upon the Pukalani Superette near Makawao in Maui, Hawaii. We notice that they were selling kettle corn next to all the other cool Asian foods that they had. This has got to be the most crappy bag of kettle corn I’ve ever seen. I would’ve thrown out this load if I had made it. Velma insisted that I buy the bag so here is our review. To see more Hawaiian related videos, go to the Dacrons Travel Blog.

Feedback from Fenway Park

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

On 11/25/08 5:32 PM, “s***.p******@yahoo.com” wrote:I did find your website and although that may be what I am thinking I have nothing to gain by saying either way. If you think writing this stuff helps you sell then good luck.

LOL! Hey look..ya found me! Well yes, in fact writing this stuff *DOES* help me sell kettle corn. Did you notice that I’m the top non-sponsored link on Google for the keyword “kettle corn”? Or did you search for “Fenway Park kettle corn”?

[after checking with Google and typing in "Fenway Park kettle corn"]

Doh!! I show up at the top, right after the company that makes your popper. Your Palumbo Kettle Corn, right? Down near the middle of the page.

The next time you are at Sam’s club have a look at the ingredients label on the “vegetable oil”. You can type so I assume you can read- it says 100% soy.

Aaahhh…OK. I guess soy oil is more appetizing than vegetable oil.

After selling over 45,000 bags at Fenway this year and another 20,000 – 30,000 at our other events/ locations I tend not to concern myself with what other people think. Happy Popping.

Now…if you’re not concerned what others or what *I* think, then why did you send this email?

[going back and re-reading what I wrote in the blog]

Fenway kettle corn

Now, the comment “I wouldn’t feed this stuff to the squirrels that come to my porch” was referring to the Popcorn Indiana crap, right? I hope we both can agree on that.

I’ve tried making kettle corn with the oil you’re using. *In my opinion*, it isn’t as good as corn oil. It certainly costs less. I’m sure some drunk in the bleachers would never know the difference.

I also thought your popper wasn’t making kettle corn as fluffy as I like. *In my opinion* I’m sure the Boston fire department would have something to say if you had upped the temperature with propane.

In fact, I’m jealous that your sales numbers kick my ass *AND* you got other people to make the stuff (like as dope, I personally make every bag that I’ve sold) I think you’ve got a great operation. If I see you at SAM’s club again, I’ll make it a point to hide behind the wide screen TV’s.

Update: 11/27/08 – Steve wrote back! Here’s what he had to say. (He seems like a good guy about all this.)

The reason I responded to your comments was, as you noted, I actually met you. If you check on the web for blogs and other comments, you can find and endless amount of “stuff”. Yours was the first that I read from someone I actually knew or met which is why I decided to write.

I agree about the Indiana Kettle Korn (Dale and Thomas). It is a company that has way too much money and is using it to push their way around. Good for them. It is obviously working for them as they sell despite of their quality. At least there is still room for guys like us.

You are right about the temp. Being indoors, I had no option at Fenway. Electric was the only way they would let us go. You have to admit- the bat was a pretty clever idea…

We get, like I am sure you do, some people that want the kettle korn more salty, some want more sugar, some less… we stuck with what works. The whole Fenway experience helps sell anything, not that I think we put out a bad product.

This was all in good fun. I have thick skin and do not get exited about what other people think (as I mentioned). Being at Fenway for the last 3 years has been fantastic. Our contract ended at the end of last season. We will see what the future brings. Good luck with your business and if you do see me again at Sams, you should hide…. kidding. It would be nice to say hello again after having this exchange.

Good luck.

Iowa: Land of James T. Kirk

Friday, September 12th, 2008

OK, this was very silly. I was cruising around the internet, looking for more pictures of kettles for my kettle corn popper machines page. Since I’ve done a ton of research on this, I might as well toss it all onto one page and hopefully get some Google Adsense clicks. (Yes, I’ve sold out, I’ve now started putting Adsense ads on this blog. Aren’t they annoying?) I discover this shot:

Google images info

I’m thinking, “boy that sure looks like MY Northbend kettle..and MY blue long sleeve t-shirt with dark gloves…and MY blue cooler…and MY yellow tent.” The image was prominently displayed in the center of www.kettlepopper.us. I grab the image and do a screen capture of everything. The photo looked very familiar, but I couldn’t figure out who took it. I fire out this email to them:

And I couldn’t help noticing in the photo you have shown – that *I* too have a North Bend Originals popper, pop under a yellow tent (you can see it in the corner and by the color balance of the photo), use dark gloves with a blue shirt, BOLTED A PIZZA SERVER TO A POLE to stir kettle corn, and have the same color ice cooler.

Wow! Small world isn’t it?

Eric Bickernicks
Velma’s “Wicked Delicious” Kettle Corn

Iowa kettle corn website Later that night I’m arguing with Velma. I tell her that’s me and our tent in their photo. She thinks maybe it’s not. No, I tell her, that’s definitely me in that shot. I explain (once more to her) that I’m a guy and I’m a VISUAL creature…I can recognize my greasy torso and gloves anywhere. Maybe you’re wrong she says. It then hits me. I go searching for this newspaper article that Steve had mounted on a plaque. That was it! The Springfield Republican newspaper had done a little article on us for their September 13, 2006 issue. It matched perfectly! I quickly run upstairs and fling the now moldy plaque onto our bed while Velma was reading. Everyone please take note: I clearly WON that argument with my girlfriend on the night of September 11th, 2008. Next case your honor.

Steve got the same email and sent this out to them:

On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 2:30 PM, <steve@somewhere.net> wrote:
Time for a cooler inspection…. if the same drinks are in there, this is getting freaky, Man.

We get this back for a reply:

From: “Dan Somebody” <kettlepopper@somewhere.com>
HELLO ALL! LOOKS LIKE YOU NEED MORE BUSINESS IF ALL YOU WORRY ABOUT ARE OTHER PEOPLES WEBSITES!

That’s pretty funny. Now…wouldn’t you be concerned if you saw yourself on the front page of a competitors website? What kills me is somebody in Iowa needs to steal a shot from an East Coast newspaper to put on their website. They obviously MAKE kettle corn. How hard is it to pull a camera out and take a lousy shot of themselves making it? On top of that, I went back and found the embedded text info within their picture. It had my name in it! (I could’ve won my argument even sooner if I had known.) I guess they only recently got computers out in Iowa, since they haven’t figure out how to turn off the ALL CAPS button. And why are their votes considered so important every 4 years? What gives?

The Rabbi

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Jewish kitty OK, this got MY panties in a twist. Velma and I are popping away in Springfield, having a good day when this little man walks up to me with a petulant look on his face. He doesn’t identify himself or tell me his name. “I understand you’ve been telling people that your product is kosher,” he says. I tell him that we’ve never told anyone that our kettle corn is kosher. In fact, when someone ASKS, we’ve always done a long-winded spiel about how rabbis have come by and told us that we COULD be kosher with the ingredients we’re using, but need to cough up some money and get certified. So we’ve always told anyone who asks, that our product is NOT kosher.

He then fires off a tirade about how this could lead to legal action against us and lawyers will be involved. At this point I assume this little nettlesome character is a rabbi. I tried to repeat what I had just told him…more slowly this time. He abruptly cuts me off and says that TWO people have told him that we’ve been telling people that it’s kosher, and we better stop saying it and that’s IT. (Including a curt little hand gesture.)

dumb sign At this point I’m thinking how could anyone have thought that we told them this? Then it occurs to me–Steve has a funny satirical riff where he explains what our kettle corn ISN’T. (Free range, organic, low-fat, boneless, dolphin-safe, fair trade, kosher.) Click on the graphic on the main page called “Steve’s not quite true sales pitch” to hear his spiel.

You’ll notice on our website we blatantly spell out that what you’re hearing is NOT TRUE. Anyone with a flake of gray matter would realize that kettle corn CAN’T be free range, nor can something made with white sugar be organic or low-fat, there are no BONES in kettle corn. It has NOTHING to do with dolphins and nothing to do with imports, fair trade or otherwise. Therefore, it isn’t kosher either.

We thought Steve was being painfully obvious in his intent. It’s kind of like being sarcastic to someone, but they take what you’re saying to be literally true. Apparently, when some nitwit online listened to Steve’s silly riff, their little brains filtered out the part where we mention our kettle corn has no BONES or DOLPHINS in it and just heard the word “kosher.” Ah ha, now I think I got it. I start to explain all this to my diminutive antagonist. He doesn’t want to hear any of it, reiterates his threat, and gives me the curt hand gesture one last time, driving his point home.

Dumb happens When I told Steve all this, he couldn’t believe people could be so thick. He agreed that he’ll alter his spiel for the completely dim out there. It pains me to no end that I now have to put another “Velma sign” up saying our kettle corn is NOT KOSHER. What’s a “Velma sign”? Little notices that we hang from our tent telling the public FUCKING OBVIOUS things, just so we can’t be held liable. (There are un-popped kernels in it. Our stuff has sugar in it. It is made fresh.) I kind of scoffed at Velma for putting them up, figuring people in general can’t be THAT stupid. *HEAVY SIGH*

Velma here: Ha! I told him so!

Didn’t get a change to shoot any video this week. Both Springfield and Framingham turned into a record days so I was going nuts on both days.


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