Actual or mental popcorn. --Knitnan
They were sitting together on the couch, with buckets of butter-flavoured popcorn, and watching an archived entertainment as part of Ambassador Shayde's greater day job.
Rael gradually acquired the sensation that this particular entertainment had little worth.
"Is there a message behind this?"
"Eh... no' really."
"Is it art?"
"I think it's s'posed'a be funny," she said, dripping popcorn into her waiting mouth. "I don't get a lot of it."
"Me neither." He frowned at a joke that was insensitive even in the era that this entertainment had been made. "What was the aim?"
"Stuff tae fill half an hour, I reckon."
Well, on that count, it was fantastically effective. He pondered the actors capering on the screen. "Do we have to watch all of this?"
"And classify, summarise, and file," Shayde rolled her glowing eyes. "I'm tappin' out after this one an' watchin' a cartoon."
"Isn't that swapping popcorn for more popcorn?"
She shrugged. "More like swappin' popcorn-flavoured jellybeans fer jellybean flavoured popcorn. It's a break from this noise."
"I'll reserve my judgement. What do you have?"
He should never have asked. He had a fifty percent chance of getting an answer he could understand.