Guilty Pleasures

Today our guest post comes from Steve.

The difficulty of talking about guilty pleasures is that people have such different notions of the concept.

Many women will purr and confess that a chocolate delight from Just Truffles is their guilty pleasure. I’m sorry; that is not a guilty pleasure! That’s an indulgence . . . and a particularly aristocratic one. People who try to pass that off as a guilty pleasure are suggesting that even when they succumb to a sybaritic craving they have exquisite taste.

Nor is it a guilty pleasure when your two-year old daughter expresses her adoration for “macky cheese,” painting her face and torso with what comes out of those boxes, including powdered ersatz cheese in a shocking shade of orange. She can’t have a guilty pleasure because she just doesn’t have informed taste.

No, a guilty pleasure is something that you know is schlock, and yet you find it irresistible. It is some kind of compelling treat we are ashamed of enjoying. Some remarkably cultured women are suckers for bodice-ripper romance novels. A liberal who enjoys “Gone With the Wind”—with all that Southern claptrap and racial stereotyping—is slumming in ways that reek of a guilty pleasure. And there are so many more: Karen Carpenter’s music, gossip shows on TV, vampire novels and any Hostess or Little Debbie pastry treat.

I have several authentic guilty pleasures. The one I can talk about (with some blushing) is the TV reality show, Survivor. I’m currently following the twenty-third season of it, and I have scarcely missed an episode from those earlier twenty-two years.

Don’t lecture me about how awful that show is. I know, I know! I’m the guy who has watched over 200 episodes! All that stuff about the “tribes” is painfully cornball. The jungle music is gauche. The shows are heavily edited to control audience responses, so you can’t trust your eyes. When Jeff Probst reads the Tribal Council votes, the order of the votes has been carefully arranged for dramatic effect. Most contestants are immature peacocks. The shows are as phony as an email from a Nigerian prince.

And yet I watch. Every week. Why do I watch? Three reasons.

First, Survivor episodes are mostly unscripted. So much TV is stale and predictable that I thrill to something that has a touch of real life to it, even if “reality” is as hokey as it is here.

Second, the challenges are almost irresistible watching. Under the pressure of challenges, cool contenders sometimes melt down and habitual losers occasionally find grit that nobody would have guessed was in them. Challenges that feature an ability to deal with pain often produce the most unlikely heroes. As silly as the Survivor game is, it showcases people performing under stress, and that always has the potential to be interesting.

Finally, while it is not ethical to conduct many kinds of experiments with human beings as subjects, that happens on every episode of Survivor. The show is like a fiendish laboratory where people are put under cruel pressure and tested weekly, with results that are as instructive as they are unpredictable.

The single salient lesson I draw from all those silly shows I’ve watched is that most of us are our own worst enemies. Over and over, contestants fail in the game because they cannot escape their essential personalities. The bossy woman proud of being a leader offends everyone and gets voted out. The accomplished liar gets tangled up in his stories. The guy who sees himself as a “warrior” in tune with his own primal energy becomes an object of derision. The calendar model with implants assumes her looks will reward her, but she inspires seething hatred among other women and is given the bum’s rush.

In the exit interview, contestants always claim to be proud of the way they played the game, never mind that they just lost. What they say is, “I had to be true to myself.” They apparently don’t see that they have stuck with their usual strategy for dealing with the others, even when that wasn’t working for them. Those who do well in the game usually are able to pick and choose the way they interact with others. So the game isn’t entirely silly. I think it instructs me every week about effective and dysfunctional ways of pursuing one’s life goals. But still, it is a guilty pleasure!

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

163 thoughts on “Guilty Pleasures”

  1. Morning all!

    Wonderful piece, Steve, although I have to take exception to having Karen Carpenter on the list. (She had an extraordinary voice and if you don’t like what she sang, then blame Richard – he controlled her career almost entirely.)

    Anyway, I’m sitting here and can’t think of anything just yet. Maybe it’s just that I can’t imagine that anything I really like is schlock or that I’m awfully immune to guilt? Maybe the rest of the baboons will inspire me today.

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  2. what are hostess items doing on this list. twinkees are fine dining. roma pizza the ones that are 5 for a dollar when they are not on sale, have been a staple of life for me for 40 years now. i quit eating meat because i was appalled at the viet nam war and it was such a spur of the moment deal i had no time to think avbout alternatives. i was 16, weighed 165 pounds and promptly lost 30 pounds. it was roma pizzas that saved me from becoming a whisp in the wind. there was a convience store by my house that was the only pace i could get them and i ordered them by the case 24 at a crack. after a while that became the weekly order and i had to race my brother and sisters to get to them before the disappeared. the crust is cracker like the tomato sauce is nondiscript and the cheese is tasteless. together it is the best gut bomb on the planet. try it you’ll like it. or maybe you’ll say its ok at least. today the are the 6 for 10 dollar specail at cub and rainbow regularly. at my house we cook them 3 or 4 at a time and eat them like chips witht he sauce already on them

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      1. What appalled me was the disregard for life. My response was an effort to show that life is too valuable for me to have something killed to satisfy my hunger. Health was not a consideration

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      2. I didn’t lose 30 lbs when I tried being a vegetarian either. tim might be appalled if he delved into the ingredients in some of his favorite foods! 🙂

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  3. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Hmpf. Some I tell, some I do not. A woman just cannot divulge some things for fear of losing her mystery.

    One of my favorite guilty pleasures I had to indulge before I could post. I love to go onto Overstock.com or Costco.com jewelry section for a “bargain shopping” binge. I particularly love the “over $30,000” diamond rings. Today Overstock is pretty modest, with only one ring at a cost of about $20K. I say why bother with that little thing. But Costco has many to choose from over $30K–glizty, blingy, shiny things which in real life would only interfere with gardening and art work.

    Then there are the Bonanza reruns if I am at home, sick. But I think I’ve revealed that one before.

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    1. net flix or u tube them if they are not available on tvland, i am a bonanza, gunsmoke leave it to beaver andy of mayberry dick van dyke junkie. channel surfing stops when one of these show up. my kids groan but they know its time to settle in or head for a i different tv set

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  4. Steve, AS a Survivor guru can you answer the question that my single viewing of Survivor invoked? Under what conditions do the camera men and other crew members live during the filming?

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    1. That part is actually authentic. They just have a LOT of cameramen all over the place filming the group or individual conversations. Very quickly the participants ignore the presence of the cameras, or naturally begin talking to them. This is a natural thing. The very first reality show I remember (some PBS thing about the Loud family, if anyone remembers it) showed that people come almost instantly to living normally even though there is a movie camera stuck in their face.

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      1. There was a ‘This American Life’ episode about this on August 26th – subject ‘Gossip’:

        “Chicago writer Rebecca Makkai bring us the story of a reality television producer attempting to gossip love into existence—and just how complicated that gets. This fiction story originally appeared in the journal Crazyhorse. Rebecca is the author of the novel The Borrower, and “The November Story” is part of her collection-in-progress Music for Wartime. (18 minutes) ”

        Even as fiction, it’s interesting to imagine it’s how the shows work.

        http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/444/gossip

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  5. by the way steve. excellent wordsmithing on the post today. its fun to ge tto see you spin those silver threads through the typewriter keys and make the words dance like tiny litle slivers of honey into my brain and out into the pictures that you make in my head. nicely done

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  6. I can’t even read a book in the tub without it getting all soggy. Wouldn’t dream of bringing my laptop anywhere near a tub full of water. How the heck do you type with wet fingers? tim, you’re an enigma to me.

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  7. gal with umbrellas is always out with fellas
    in the rain or the blazin sun
    but a man never trifles with gals who have rifles
    no you cant get a mans with a gun

    ahhh im in heaven

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  8. Good morning to all,

    I’m sure there are a number of guilty pleasures I could mention. I can only think of one, watching too much TV. It isn’t any one TV show, just too many hours watching shows that really aren’t especially good and just a little entertaining.

    I watch a long list of those police and/or lawyer shows. Many years ago I even watched soap operas. Of course, lots of sports, mainly basketball and baseball, as well as an assortment of others. Unlike Steve, I have managed to not watch very much reality TV. I have enough other bad TV shows on my list, so it is a good thing that I have not added a lot of reality shows to the list. Watching TV is usually a family activity. and I guess that is a good thing to some extent. We should try to find something better to do together. The sports watching is not done as a family, I do that by myself. . The only other benefit that I think of that comes from my TV watching is that it gives me some time to relax.

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      1. There is at least one reality show that we have watched, although I’m not the one that was most fascinated by it. That show was the one featuring Ozzie Osborn and his family.

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    1. good point jim
      my kids all know katherine hepburn bette davis fred astair humphry bogart, jimmy stewart bing crosby and while you wouldnt think that was remarkable they all have friends ver who nnow nothing of these mainstays at our hosue. holiday inn, white christmas, its a wonderful life, harvey, to kill a mockingbird, monkey business , treasure of the sierra madre, casablanca. it goes on and on…. baseball basketball and football are a guy thing but i have guys so thats ok. packers vikings this week with the new quarterback has renewed my boys interests in the tired old vikings, st louis and texas in the world series without the big money jerk teams is of interest too. last nights game was a honey. my wife is a law and order, csi, freak and has that channel on. i find them interesting but its like an elmore lenoard book when you are done it was snappy like daschal hammit but about as satisfying as a bowl of popcorn

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      1. Agreed. Butter and a little parmesan cheese. And you have to kind of wolf it down unconsciously, eventually reaching satiation.

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      2. i am the butter king, a stick or two in a bucket is the deal. i buy popcorn in the 50 lb bags at sams club and fill peanut butter jars every week fr a relaod. my wife just informed me that the yellow popcorn doesn’t taste as good as the white but i for one cant tell the difference. parmesian, pepper, sugar, tried em all, i am going to begin a salt taste test extended deal soon i listened to the food lady on saturday lynne rosetta casper and there was a show about salt and it was fasination. morton and kosher are tasteless like white bread acording to the salt guru so i will check it out and let you know the findings. a big splurge for a 3 dollar jar of salt i can handle. thats where i will start my popcorn tweeking next week
        oh yeah that is a dysfunctional pleasure that fits todays topic isnt it?

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      3. Linda, you are right. One of the most famous female baseball fans, I’ve just learned, is Emmylou Harris. She has some special sort of electronic device that beeps to tell her every score in every baseball game in the country.

        This is charmingly presented on a wonderful documentary, “Down From the Mountain.”

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  9. Oh, I guess I have many guilty pleasures, especially reading murder mysteries. I also came upon these books about simple English village life in the 1950’s and 60’s by Miss Read, a pseudonym for the author. The books are full of simple tales with some minor conflicts and happy endings. They are nice to retreat to when the world is just too nasty and complex. Not great literature, but soothing. I love to read in the tub while eating popsicles.

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    1. I also like murder mysteries. I think some of them are very well writen and actually are as good as any of the other types of top quality fiction writing.

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      1. There are a couple of mystery authors I like who tiptoe into “good literature” (Jo Nesbo being one of my current faves), and then there are those that are just perfectly awful, bloody, gory mysteries (Kay Scarpetta novels being one series I have read). Although some of the science can be fascinating when I’m reading the ones that have a forensic anthropologist protagonist (say it three times fast, I dare ya), they are, I think, firmly in the camp of “guilty pleasure.”

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    2. When I worked in a bookstore, every one of the employees had a guilty pleasure. A group of very intelligent and highly educated people, but with weaknesses. One read Harlequin Super Romances – not just the regular Harlequins, they had to be the Super Romances – one read People magazine religiously, one read Star Trek novels, one read anything and everything that was ever written about Princess Diana. I always had a weakness for those books that start you off with a quiz and then tell you what kind of person you are and why. Books on Myers-Briggs personality typing are among the more respectable of this genre, but there are thousands.

      I also like science fiction in small doses, but I tend to like books by the more literary sci-fi authors like Gene Wolfe. Not really a guilty pleasure but a near miss.

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      1. Oh, LInda, have you discovered the Enneagram? That’s personality typing based on a system based on the Seven Deadly Sins! It is a wonderful system, rich with possibilities! I can give you books about it to acquaint you with the system and take a test to find out what “Type” you are!!

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  10. Well, well written.
    Never seen survivors. A niece had a friend on it. She would argue with the unscripted part, except you see you sign stuff.
    The person who invented TV wrestling in the 50’s as “staged truth” is owed millions. Billions.
    Sleep might be my GP, if I were allowed any of it.
    Two of my disgusting displeasures comes to visit today. Won’t be on much.
    Hmmmm? Know I have them. ?? I haven’t watched any network TV for 25 years, or NFL, except Letterman every now and then. No news, nothing. So that’s a void, unless Letterman counts.
    I see many many chick flicks. Do not really mind them, but not really a pleasure. See few other movies.
    Hmmmm?
    Been to Branson many times for various reasons. Hated the Branson part of Branson from the first.
    Food?? Do not think I have any real taste. Just sort of over eat. I like “Posh Nosh.” I think that counts.I like all junk food the first three times then gag after that.
    Just read a Louis LaMour out of curiosity. I did not for a minute think you could make that much money being that trite, banal, stupid, illiterate, etc. But I like the Rabbi mysteries, the Caedfael books (do not think the TV shows count, but the books do).
    Wow, am I dull.
    Have a good day all, know I won’t.

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    1. “Wrassling” on TV . . . excellent example. My sweet little grandma from northeastern Iowa used to watch that stuff, which amazed me. She even went to a wrassling match in Minneapolis on one of her visits. I could never tell if she didn’t know the contests were rigged or knew but didn’t care.

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      1. i loved my friend who loved rassling. his little boys would hoot and hollar. it was a riot. then a bunch of them went down to the arena with blackberry brandy in their back pickets and got liquored up and ito the spirit. i had kenny j who was one of the perrenial losers on vern gagnes rasslin on one of my football teams one year. he would get so excited every year or two when they would let him win one it was pretty funny.

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      2. we watched wrestling on tv when we were kids. we knew it was made up but watched it anyway – my dad had a story about a coworker who was a neighbor of vern gagne and this guy went to vern’s house one day and all the wrestling guys were down in the basement together. practicing, maybe? i don’t remember. and after we moved up north, one morning my mom told us that in the middle of the night she pumped gas for a vanload of all the wrestlers (on their way back from thunder bay? or something) – all those mortal enemies riding together.anyway we used to laugh hysterically at mad dog vachon.

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  11. Although I would much rather be taking a long bath with a cup of tea, I am off to the dentist to have a cavity filled. I am not sure how the decay finds a spot to settle that isn’t already paved over, but once again it has. I’ll ponder this one today.

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  12. While I do feel the occasional pang of guilt for one reason or another, I can’t really think of any guilty pleasures unless listening to John Denver and Celine Dion count. There’s something about both of them that attracts and repulses me in equal measure, not sure why.

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  13. Hey, I’m a science fiction fan–I live for my guilty pleasures! Mystery Science Theater 3000. Classic Doctor Who. Tournament shonen anime series with lots of speedlines and yelling “I need to get stronger!”. Wuxia films. Fanfiction (oh ghod, the fanfiction!). And the list goes on and on. My newest fandom, thanks to a very large, shaven-headed, tattooed and pierced male friend of mine, is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It’s true, I am now a Brony, because ponies are 20% cooler.

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    1. I lead too sheltered (dull?) a life, I have no idea what you’re talking about, Crow Girl, except for Doctor Who. Time to do a little investigating.

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    2. Isn’t My Little Pony those pink, long flowing mane/tail toy ponies with stars and flowers that are marketed to 8-12 year girls? It’s always been my feeling that guys who wear pink and purple are men who are secure in their masculinity and have a good sense of fashion expression. Is that the case with your big, tattooed friend? I have a lot of respect for a man who is in touch with their inner femininity.

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      1. Yep, that’s them, except this is the contemporary rebooted cartoon produced by Lauren Faust, who was the creative impulse behind “Powerpuff Girls” and “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.” She says she tweaked the show as much as Hasbro would let her to make it more empowering–for instance, the ponies have jobs, friendship is more important than anything, and there’s no competing for male attention. As for my friend, he’s bi, so security in his masculinity is not a problem. No pink or purple, but he looks great in a Utilikilt!

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    3. I wouldn’t consider MST3K a guilty pleasure – the original movies as filmed would be. When you add the commentary by Crow and Tom Servo and their human pals, however, that elevates them to a different plane. There’s way too much intellectual engagement in an MST3K episode to consider it schlock.

      Doctor Who is another matter. I used to watch those a lot, especially during the era when Leela was the Doctor’s sidekick.

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      1. Peter Davidson, sigh…..
        Tristan Farnon that was.

        Can one man’s gulity pleasure be another’s high culture? I have the s&h watch classic Dr. and MST3000 as a matter of culture. ditto tim’s movie list.

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      2. Linda and Clyde, you have very salient points. My roommate and I watch B-movies and spork them ourselves upon occasion, but the SOL crew’s commentaries turn drek into art. I will elevate MST3K to the same level as Terry Pratchett novels from now on. Doctor Who actually had some great actors show up, and the crew tried their best under terrible conditions, but it was the underfunded production values and some wonderfully bizarre scripts that made it special. In all senses of the word, including the Minnesotan.

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      3. I’ve mentioned that I recently have been watching the whole “All Creatures Great and Small” series. I’m almost done with it now. Early years of the show had a lot of fun with the Tristan Farnon character, showing him foolishly fond of drink and the ladies. But there was one bit of dialogue in one show that caught my eye. For the most part, Tris is treated with indulgent smiles. You know: boys will be boys. But in this one show, Tris has returned from a stay in Scotland. As a prank, someone (Siegfried maybe?) arranges to have a call made to Tristan from someone pretending to be the doctor of the girl Tris dated most in Scotland. Tris jumps to the conclusion that he might have fathered a child. That was a surprising escalation of the image of Tristan as a bon vivant to a womanizer!

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      4. Verily, no I don’t. Sorry. There are MANY shows, including many that never aired in the US. I’m watching them for free on my computer on Netflix. Right now I’m in the seventh show in the sixth year of the series.

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  14. Greetings! Guilty pleasures are such fun — nicely done today, Steve. I’ve been known to enjoy a few bodice-ripper romance novels, even though I see right through them they’re still such fun to read. When I take my son to the library, I usually pick up a Star Trek novel or two. Not great literature, but I so enjoy reading about my favorite characters in new adventures since they aren’t on TV or in movies anymore. And despite my knowledge and love of nutrition and wholesome foods, a part of me still pines for that soft, squishy Twinkie with the creamy center. I haven’t eaten one in a decade or so, but I find myself looking at them longingly when I see them on sale.

    While Steve’s grandma enjoys TV wrestling, I did attend a match about a year or so ago. The owner of the karate school I attend had a booth at a wrestling match in Monticello, so he had a bunch of free tickets. I got tickets for my boys and I to attend. However, they did not want to go — which surprised me. It was just beneath them, I guess. Well, I went anyway. It is pure theater and it was absolutely hysterical. These guys on steroids strut around like peacocks, trash talk opponents, pick fights with the rowdy audience members and do some great stunt work in their wrestling “matches.” I rather enjoyed it as an observer of people and just the pure spectacle of it — similar to gladiator matches I guess, but more tame. It’s a true confessions day on the trail!

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  15. OK, maybe we’ve hit on mine. Holiday movies, but mostly just the old ones. Miracle on 34th Street (original only), It’s a Wonderful Life, Bishop’s Wife, Christmas Story and every version of A Christmas Carol ever made (including the American Christmas Carol w/ Henry Winkler). Can’t get enough of them and despite the fact that I’ve seen It’s a Wonderful Life at least 100 times I still cry when Harry shows up at the end and says “To my big brother, George.. the richest man in town.”

    But I don’t feel guilty about this… so maybe it doesn’t count.

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    1. And The Grinch Stole Christmas, but just the original one (& I know all the words by heart). I don’t care for the newer incarnations in which they’ve invented a backstory to explain the Grinch’s psychology. Seuss already explained it… his heart was two sizes too small.

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  16. My guilty pleasure used to be “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” – alas, that show ended. I have it on DVD and pull those out to watch from time to time, but it lacks a bit when you know where the story arc is going…still, Spike totally rocks. None of that “nancy boy” vampire stuff like in the “Twilight” series, Spike is the real deal, Billy Idol bleached blonde, leather duster and all (and he gets to do some great comedy too – like playing poker for kitties).

    Will have to think more on other truly guilty pleasures…since Abba seems to have had a bit of a Renaissance with “Mamma Mia,” I don’t think that counts as guilty (at least in some circles). Frozen Thin Mints?…again, arguable (and yes I do still have a green box of those crunchy minty cookies in my freezer). A weakness for WordGirl (a PBS Kids show)? I might get a “by” on that one since I watch it with my daughter…

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  17. I am adding stuff via phone and IRS not inserting as directed mike Nichols is a sea hunt reference and the rhyme was for pink as a nursery

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  18. I think I sit around too much when it’s dark and cold outside. I could ski, hike or practice yoga, but I tend to hit the couch and either read or crochet. One guilty pleasure is watching NCIS on Tuesday nights. When I watch a show like that, it’s because I like the characters – I don’t really care about the plot (or lack of plot). I’m a fan of Abby. I can watch out of the corner of my eye and work on crocheting or embroidering at the same time. That’s my rationalization and I’m stickin’ to it. My favorite shows are the Masterpiece Classics and I don’t consider that a guilty pleasure!

    OT, but not really – I have to lay off the Little Debbies, pizza and beer and get more active. One of my friends died of complications from a triple heart bypass at 60 years young in September. Another old friend just went through an eleven-hour ablation procedure for atrial fibrillation at 57. Guilty pleasures like sitting around eating pizza and drinking beer are starting to look pretty dangerous!

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  19. Great discussion, guys, and I think we can agree this is a slippery concept. It isn’t so much that something is or is not schlock . . . it depends on us and how we perceive that thing.

    But then there is food that is just plain garbage, if irresistible garbage. There is a food item I adore so much my knees go weak at the sight of it. I don’t dare buy this thing because I can’t control my consumption of it. My former wife and daughter associate this item with the finest possible meals in our home, what we would serve to Barack Obama or Emmylou Harris, if they were to come to dinner. But it is garbage! Tasty, tasty garbage! I refer, dear baboons, to that paragon of corrupt food: the Tater Tot!

    They say of some tasty delights that “you can’t just eat one.” Dear me, I’d be proud if I could stop at 16 with the Tater Tot. Eat one, and you want four more. And I know how awful it is. The Tater Tot is a potato chip trying to pass for a vegetable!

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      1. i eat like that all the time. just skip the steak. tater tots and broccli with wonderful hollandaise sauce and a bottle of wine is fine good eatin for me. give me extra of all three.

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  20. Ah, a great day on the Trail – thanks Steve.

    1. The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter by Susan Wittig Albert (Best-selling author of the China Bayles Herbal Mysteries) – I’m up to The Tale of Oat Cake Crag.
    (I’m definitely going to check out Miss Read, mentioned above…)
    I don’t mean the writing, which I find actually good – but these charming tales have a side story with the animals of the region. Like Rita May Brown’s series with Sneaky Pie, the cat, the animals help solve the mysteries and talk among them selves to do so. I love it, but don’t bring it up in serious book conversations…

    2. Car Talk – for pete’s sake, it’s two guys with Boston accents laughing at themselves for an hour at a time. I’d like to say I listen for the puzzler, but that’s available online.

    3. Deadwood, the HBO series – Last winter Husband and I got started watching the first season. It’s nasty and violent and full of blood and brothels and foul language. Maybe it doesn’t count, as the acting got awards, maybe the writing too. But there are a lot of people to whom I don’t mention how the minute we were done with one set of discs, it was off to the video store for the next set. If they ever make a movie to make up for the fact that they left everyone hanging by not doing a 4th season, I’ll actually go and see it at full price.

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    1. Last winter, when we were in Kino, everyone went to bed early most nights except my husband. He’d sit and watch Deadwood till the wee hours. When we returned to St. Paul, he went out and bought the whole set. I have yet to watch a single episode. Maybe I should take a peak.

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    2. Just fyi – Miss Read does not write murder mysteries. They are gentle tales of English village life. Subtle humor (I especially love the stories about Mrs Pringle) but no murders that I know of.

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      1. There is an author Barbara Pym and one of my recent excessive book buying trips netted me a nice hardcover copy of Civil to Strangers that was published after she died. I enjoyed the story, I was chuckling all through it.

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  21. two – one is like Deadwood (which we loved also) – Dexter – we watch all the discs for the season in one weekend usually. after all, he only kills people that need killing, right? most of the time.
    and computer card games – Steve iSP has said he does these also. i use the Hoyle version installed on my computer. i have three i like – canasta (always with the same players – Hedda, the abusive German woman, Elayne the Queens queen, and Chloe, the Minnesota fitness trainer. Then spite and Malice and Klondike solitaire. always in that order. i think it is a little OCD as well as guilty pleasure.
    but i deserve some slack. this morning i sawed poor T’s big old “scur” (a horn that grows weird and threatens to grow into his skull – lucky his brain is at the other end of his body). this procedure is always very traumatic to him and to me – and to poor Steve who has to try to hold him while i saw with a deer-carcass wire saw. fei da. so a double round of cards is in order.

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    1. Uh, oh… I didn’t think about my online card games. FreeCell, Spider Solitaire, Hearts. I had to make rules for myself a few years back… no more than 2-3 games of each of these per day or I have to delete it from the computer. Works most of the time.

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      1. I was very delighted and annoyed to find out that I could play Pac Man on Facebook. That’s a time sucker. For some reason, I am not as good at it as I was when I was 20. And pushing buttons to change directions isn’t quite the same as moving that big lever.

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      2. ah darcy gets suck in on hte guilty pleasure computer card games issues. we knew you were out there darcy now that we know about your pac man issues tell us the rest of your secrets

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      3. Once in a blue moon I’ll play Tetris. If I don’t stop in time, I’ll see those little shapes descending in my minds eye while I’m desperately scrambling to fit them in. No doubt addictive, so I limit myself to two games.

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      4. I wonder if that would work for me. I’ve had to give up Klondike because if I play, it has to be every time I get near the computer. Maybe if I started with something reasonable like 12 games/day…

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      5. Tetris. I’m not sure what exactly it would take to make me swear off public restrooms, and would rather not think about it.

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  22. Guilty pleasures – this is a hard assignment. I can think of things such as playing too much solitaire on the computer – but that is not really a pleasure, it’s just a deadening of my mind and emotions while I waste incredible amounts of time.

    But I am prone to reading sentimental stories and even crying over them. I’m not big on the bodice-ripping stories, but I like a gentle story that brings tears to my eyes. I feel like I’m starting to lose my taste for them lately, though, so maybe I will start on some bodice-ripping stories next. Anybody have any recommendations?

    I don’t watch much TV so I can’t really think of much in that realm – although I do watch The Office occasionally and I find it amazing that watching people be so incredibly stupid is so much fun.

    Would buying too many books be a guilty pleasure? If so, that would be my top guilty pleasure. I just love poking around thrift stores and used book stores looking for good, cheap books. And if I am book-shopping when I’m hungry, I invariably buy cookbooks, sometimes when I see just one recipe that I want to try.

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  23. Hello! I keep forgetting to stop by and see what’s going on with you people! I remembered today and have been very entertained! I only watch one reality t.v. show and that’s my guilty pleasure. GHOST HUNTERS! I love those people. They are my friends. I get irritated when they curse and get bleeped, though; not because I am a prude, but because the bleeping is annoying. I sit on my couch with my knitting and say, “I DO believe in spooks, I DO believe in spooks, I DO, I DO, I DO believe in spooks!”

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  24. Thank you, Steve, for making the distinction between a “guilty pleasure” and an “indulgence”. I’ve gone on for years believing that my high-flow shower head (the one that feels more like bathing in a waterfall than in a fiberglass box) was TOTALLY something I should feel guilty about. I conserve in all areas of my life, but have stood firm on the shower head. Now that I know it is merely a glorious indulgence, my guilt has been removed. I can’t wait for my next shower… I think I’ll take an extra long one!

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      1. And why do I think the Twinkie would survive, Barb? I used to throw Peeps in my dog’s water dish every Easter… leave ’em there for days at a time… they were barely fazed. I’m one of the few who is not smitten with Twinkies… but a slice of cheesecake just might push me over on the guilt-o-meter. I’m enjoying all of the confessions here today!

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      2. Peeps…there’s a guilty pleasure I admit to. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about a Peep. It’s all chemicals and coloring. But I have to have a few every Easter. Tried the “chocolate” Peeps once…the only resemblance to chocolate was a vague brown color. I was unimpressed. I will stick to a white interior and shocking pastel exterior, thank you. Bunnies are the best ‘cuz you can bite off the ears first 🙂

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  25. Rustic flute music of all kinds, Andean, Navaho, etc.
    Greasy, over-salted Old Dutch potato chips, but I haven’t eaten them in years. But I would love to.
    In the right context, gummy white packaged bread.
    Tootsie Roll Pops. Milk Duds. All-Day Holloway Suckers (do they still exist?).
    Orange Crush.
    Any version of Robin Hood in any form, as long as Kevin Costner had nothing to do with it.
    Lone Ranger TV shows.
    Raman noodles.
    Any memoir about a farm childhood.

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  26. Evening–
    You are all very busy writing today. I haven’t had time to read them all yet.

    And If I wanted my guilty pleasures to be public knowledge they wouldn’t be so guilty.

    Anyone know what’s the record number of responses to a post? We must be getting up there.

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  27. Ramen noodles are a guilty pleasure? Didn’t know that. Guilty as charged. I agree on the Tootsie Roll pops, too. Also banana Turkish Taffy. Old Dutch potato chips if they are BBQ.

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      1. LOL. Actually I have a history of fainting episodes. The doctors tell me to eat more salt, but it doesn’t help. I’m not salt-sensitive.

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    1. Is there a connection, do you think? If so, I want one, no matter what it is. Got to be cheaper than blood pressure meds.

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    2. I know this tidbit. In fact, when I saw a commercial on tv a couple of weeks back, it made me proud to know that I know the owner of a Robostir!

      Like

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