"Hmm something about this popcorn is odd" George Costanza mused to himself.
"Something is very odd", he repeated.
He looked into the bag and to his dismay only about 1/4 of the kernels had actually popped.
"This is RIDICULOUS! What kind of cheap and gay product is this? I didn't spend $1.47 on CORN! I spent $1.47 on POP corn! You can't call it popcorn if it doesn't POP! That's it, I'm getting a refund!"
He stormed into the kitchen and pulled the discarded box out of the garbage bin. He scowled when he looked upon Orville Redenbacher's smiling face.
"Yeah yeah, yuck it up. You won't be so happy when I'm through with you" he muttered as he punched in the customer service printed on the box.
"Thank you for calling the ORville Redenbacher hotline, my name is Mary how may I help you?" and overly cheery voice responded.
"Yeah, me talk to your boss. The goofy guy with the big glasses and bowtie."
"You mean Mr. Redenbacher? I'm sorry but I-"
"Listen, hun, you asked me if I wanted help and I'm asking for it. Let me talk to that jerk. He needs to know just how cheap and gay the product he is selling is.Y'know what?
Just at least let me talk to your manager."
Afer twenty minutes of hearing Feliz Navidad on a loop, someone finally answered.
"Hi, this is Micheal Sherridan, VP of customer Relations. I understand you had a problem with one of our products Mr...?"
"Costanza! George Costanza. And yeah I gotta problem. And I won't back down til I get a chance to tell it to himself!"
"I'm sorry Mr. Costanza, but I'm afraid that-"
Someone in the background interrupted the representative. George could hear another male voice bantering. Then, to his surprise, someone else took the phone.
"hello, George. I'm Orville Redenbacher. I heard you were unhappy with my delicious homestyle popcorn. I like to keep all of my customers happy and I'd like to know what I can do to make your popcorn experience more enjoyable"
"well for starters, it would be nice if this popcorn actually POPPED! I followed the directions just like it says on the bag and when I opened it, all I was was kernels! No popcorn, just CORN!"
"I'm very sorry to hear that, George. I appreciate you as a custmoer choosing to spend your hard earned money on my brand of popcorn. If you'd like I can make it up to you by talking about it over dinner. It's always good to have face time with customers and get their true honest feelings about my popcorn."
George was delightfully surprised. Not only was he going to receive a refund, he enjoyed the prospect of a free dinner. The sound of Orville's voice was now beautiful music to his ears.
"W-well..yeah, sure. That sounds pretty great."
"Alright. is Friday at 7pm good for you? I was thinking we could go to Mendy's"
"Mendy's? Great, I love free fo-I mean I love Mendy's"
"Ok, so then it's settled. Mendy's, 7 pm, Friday. Can't wait to see you there!"
All through work the next day, George kept staring at his watch every few minutes. The day just couldn't end fast enough so it seemed and he was looking forward to a free dinner and a refund. Finally, it was time to punch out. George rushed home and ran straight to his closet.
"Gee, what should I wear? This isn't just Jerry or Kramer taking me out to dinner here! This guy's a millionaire..."
Finally, he just resigned himself to his usual: a blue checked shirt and brown slacks.
"Eh, whatever. I doubt a guy that wears hornrimmed glasses and a bowtie is really concerened about fashion." He looked at his watch again. 6:45 "I better get goin, if I don't want to miss my 'date'" he snickered at his own joke.
The cab pulled up in front of Mendy's and George stepped out. He immediately spotted Orville near the door. No one could miss him in his trademark gettup. George couldn't help but smile. He walked up to Orville.
"Hi, I'm George," he said, shaking the popcorn mogul's hand.
"oh, Hello George, nice to finally meet you in person," Orville said cordially, giving George a warm, friendly smile to go with his warm, friendly handshake.
"Wow, this guy is a lot nicer than I expected," george thought as they walked into the restuarant.
"And a lot better lookin than the box led me to believe," he begrudgingly admit to himself.
They were soon seated at a nice and private booth. George looked over the menu and instinctively his eyes fell on the most expensive thing on the menu. He wasn't quite in the mood for veal but he figured he might as well make the most of Orville's generous offer.
"Would you care for some wine?" Orville asked. "this is finest Chianti they have to offer, it's on me," he added with a playful wink.
George wasn't sure why but he flushed a little.
"S-s-sure...why not" His hand shook a bit as he held out his glass.
Orville let out a good hearted chuckle as he poured his guest some of the intoxicating liquid.
"No need to be shy, now. You can have as much as you'd like. Well, now..we were here to talk about my...popcorn?"
"Yeah, yeah the popcorn..." George had forgotten about it for a moment. He had been watching Orville's face intently. He felt a bit self conscious, hoping his host hadn't noticed. He downed his glass of wine and spoke. "well you see, the problem is, I put it in the microwave for 2:30 just like it says on the bag, but not even half the colonels popped! It just doesn't make any sense"
"Did you remember to make sure the power was set on high?" Orville asked wryly, his left eyebrow raised playfully.
"W-w-well yeah, I'm pretty sure I did everything right" George stammered, wringing his napkin in his hand nervously. For some reason he couldn't look Orville in the eye anymore. He drank another glass of wine.
To his relief, the food arrived just in time to interrupt the tension. Slowly, they began to talk over their meals. Orville truly was a most generous host. Another glass of wine, another appetizer, more wine, a dessert, more wine, another dessert topped off with another glass of wine. They were laughing all the while. Giddy from the alcohol and each other's company.
Finally, they were waiting for the check.
"You know..." Orville confided. "I had a lotta fun tonight. I'm glad I answered that phone call. At first I was just gonna apologize and issue a refund..but..but..." He drunkenly grasped for words.
"I dunno..something about your voice just told me 'youve got to meet this guy' ya know? Maybe it's crazy...I'm not sure but I'm glad I met you, George."
Deep inside, George felt flattered by this. Come to think of it, Orville's voice was also quite pleasant, as was his company. In fact, despite his goofy glasses and bowtie, he wasnt' half bad at all...George stopped his thoughts there,it must just be the liqour,
he told himself.
"yeahh I'm glad I met you too. A free dinner and a new friend isn't a bad deal. And of course, my refund" George said.
"Haha you really got some sense of humor!" Orville said, placing a friendly hand on George's ever so slightly leaned into his touch.
Soon the bill was paid and they stumbled out of the restaurant together.
"Guess..I better...catch a cab..." George said, swaying a bit.
"A cab? I can't let my new buddy take a cab! Come on! I'll give ya a ride!" Orville offered.
"Dinner, drinks, a refund,and a free ride home? Gee ya really know how to treat a lady hahahaha"
"I suuuuuuure do haha" Orville joined in Georges laughter. Soon orville's black limo appeared. Orville opened the door gallantly, allowing George to enter first.
"Ladies first, he said with a flourish.
"Oh Mr Redenbacher, keep that up and I just my fall-" George stumbled as he literally fell into the plush leather seats. "for you," he finished then promptlly burst into laughter.
Orville laughed as well as he took a seat next to his new and very drunk friend.
"So George, you got any other plans for the night? I was thinking we could head to my house so you could taste test some of the new popcorn flavors I'm thinking of selling"
George couldn't believe it. This must be the best night of his life. It wasn't just the free dinner or drinks or refund. He had really enjoyed their conversation at the restaurant.
They laughed at each other's jokes, it seemed like they trully understood each became lost in his thoughts, could he really feel-
"So, how about it, George," Orville interrupted his thoughts. "You want to come over?" he scooted himself ever so slightly closer to Costanza.
"Uh-uuuhmm s-s-sure..." George stammered nervously and blushed. He nervously scratched the side of his nose. His hand accidentally brushed against orville's leg as it came down.
"Oh, oh I'm sorry..." George was beet red by now.
"No need to be sorry," Orville said in a reassuring town, patting George on the leg gently.
George couldn't help but enjoy the physical contact. "This is wrong,' he thought to himself, "no way is he coming on to me..is he? I don't want him to come on to me!
Do I want him to come on to me?" As he argued with himself in his head, Orville quietly watched Georges facial expressions.
"Oh, I'm sorry, George...did I...make you uncomfortable?" His hand pulled away.
"N-n-no..it's not that...it's just that I've never...well...I don't know..are you..
are you...umm..." George gave him an awkward sideways glance.
"Am I what?" Orville gently grabbed Costanza's face and tilted it towards him, making George look him in the eyes. "Am I what, George," he asked again, in a seductive tone.
"Are you gonna give me that refund?" George blurted.
A look of anger and disappointment flashed accross Redenbacher's face. He ordered his chaeffeur to stop the limo. "I bought you dinner, I bought you the most expensive wine in the house, I even offered you MORE popcorn and that's ALL you can think of? I can't believe it! I can't believe I wasted my time on you!" he flung the door open in a fit of rage.
"Get out! Get out of my car, George costanza! I never want to see you again!"
George meekly crawled out, Orville pushed him onto the sidewalk and he fell backward as the limo sped away.
"Wait! I'm sorry!" He cried out, his arm extended toward the disappearing vehicle.
"I'll never forget you, Orville Redenbacher..." As he pondered the things that might have been, a single tear hit the pavement.