Skip to content

Basketball game smoked out by rogue popcorn machine

Jan 31, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Comments Off

A repeat offender popcorn machine wreaked its signature havoc on Friday when an attempt at making caramel popcorn at an Iowa high school basketball game turned into a mass evacuation. Spectators and players had to shiver in the cold so the administration could put down the troubled machine.

Valley High has most recently struggled with a malfunctioning popcorn machine twice in the 1990’s. Why someone keeps track of these things I have no idea.

A faceoff between West Des Moines (Ia.) Valley High and crosstown rival West Des Moines (Ia.) Dowling High was delayed more than 20 minutes after halftime because a malfunctioning popcorn machine filled the gym with smoke, setting off smoke detectors and forcing some 2,700 fans to go outside into the bitter cold.

Naturally, the smoky machine was unplugged, the building was aired out and the teams returned to action … eventually. Still, the delay may have provided a bit of an edge for Valley, which walked back in to the still mostly warm gym and got hot on the court, racking up 45 points in the second half en route to a 78-67 victory.


I have no idea why the person working the machine didn’t just unplug it when it showed signs of smoking. Maybe he or she thought popcorn machine were supposed to work like that, like a steam engine. Or maybe they were all like, “Smoke? PANIC! RUN! IT’S OVER IF WE DON’T! THE POPCORN MACHINE IS COMING FOR US ALLLLLLLLL!”