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Et tu, popcorn?

Our office hamburger-and-onions man seemed a little more shaken than usual the other afternoon. In the morning he saw a new sign in Harvard Square advertising the opening of a gourmet popcorn store, with flavors too numerous for him to remember. At noon he saw a peddler in Copley Square advertising gourmet hot dogs, presumably all the same exquisite flavor.

Is this, as the song says, all there is?

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The rise of things gourmet has been no secret in America, where upscale diners are providing a market for more and more varieties of food, fresher and fresher off the farmer's wagon, better and better cooked, preferably in a wok without animal fats.

But is it possible to go too far? If popcorn that is merely glorious with salt and butter has to be raised to an apotheosis of popcorn, what will be next? Gourmet chewing gum?

Putting gourmet ketchup on his hamburger and onions, our man put his head in hands.

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