Mixed Smoke Signals

Emergency Caller Confuses Popcorn for Smoke

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    A 911 caller reported whiffs of smoke, but all they smelled was Garrett's popcorn.

    As that old saying goes, "Where there's smoke, there's popcorn."

    At least, that's how the phrase went Wednesday morning, when someone confused the smell of popcorn with the smell of a burning fire.

    At about 9:30 a.m., someone called 911 and reported the smell of smoke outside the Ford Center of the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre.

    Fire crews and ambulances raced to the scene, prepared for a full high-rise fire. The corner of Dearborn and Randolph filled with the sounds of sirens blaring. Loop visitors stopped to see what was going on.

    But nothing was going on. The genius who called 911 had been standing outside the Randolph Street Garrett's Popcorn and had not smelled smoke. He (or she) had instead smelled the warm scent of popcorn, butter, caramel, and cheese.

    Considering that anyone from the Chicago area is quite familiar with this wonderful, heavenly scent, you know the 911 caller had to be a tourist.

    A tourist who has never smelled popcorn.

    Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, has a fire in his belly ... or maybe it's just popcorn.