Reverb11: Five Guilty Pleasures

Today’s prompt was simple to understand.

Describe 5 guilty pleasures.

Easy to understand, perhaps. Yet not so easy to execute. For my usual position is that if it gives one pleasure, one shouldn’t be guilty about it. Yes, some sordid types do take pleasure from criminal acts, and my view would not apply in such cases. But by and large I am pretty close to the Wiccan edict of “If it harms none…”

The very concept of the guilty pleasure seems to me to be rooted in peer pressure. The notion of enjoying that which may not be deemed cool or admirable by those by whom we are surrounded in society. And I have never been one to sacrifice my preferences, tastes and tendencies at the altar of social popularity and acceptence.

In the spirit of the prompt, however, I will list five pleasures that, while not eliciting straight up guilt in me, probably would not be enjoyed by the more discerning or wise elements of my consciousness. Maybe. (Give me a break here, I am trying to shoe horn a pretty free spirit into these confines for the sake of blogging.)

In no special order:

1. Soda.

Soda is shit, let’s face it. A mild sugary acid with zero nutrional value. It is fattening, dehydrating (so they tell me), eats away at teeth and is particularly bad for someone like me who has had to deal with two specific medical conditions in the past. (Kidney issues and stomach ulcers.)

Yet if it were not for its unhealthy nature, I would have soda all the time. Coke in particular. (I used to have soda all the time…which is why I think the above mentioned issues occurred. Well, one of the reasons. Maybe.) If someone told me today that ice cold cola had no deleterious effects, I’d go out at by a 48 pack tonight.

The bubbles. The taste. The thirst quenching refreshment that would seem to fly in the face of biology. There are times when only a soda will do for me. Times even when only a Coke specifically will do it. (I want to hear nothing about them all tasting the same. They don’t. Period.)

And somehow, it makes me feel better when I am fluish. I was told once it was the caffine. I don’t know. I just know it works.

2. The movie Strange Brew

Despite borrowing certain elements from Hamlet (yes, that one), this movie about the misadventures of the Mackenzie Brothers, two idiot Canadian stereotypes based on characters that originated on SCTV is not what one would call high brow comedy. While it does have a few clever references during its occasional moments of satire, it is mostly a goofy farce revolving around misunderstandings, over the top theatrics, and beer. Lots of beer. It gives beer drinkers, Hamlet, and most certainly Canada a bit of a bad name. It is Three’s Company with a bit of accuman. It’s too adult to be a cartoon, but not by much. It elevated being inane and clueless into an art form. Everything that in theory Adam Sandler tries to do in all of his movies today, and I hate his movies.

Yet Strange Brew has been one of my favorites anyway-ever since my mother, in an ill-advised moment picked it up at the video store for me to watch as a child, based mostly on the cover art. I am sure she didn’t know what she was getting into, though she never objected thereafter.

I laugh at this movie even after all of these years. They say it takes more talent to play stupid than to play anything else as an actor. That being the case, Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas should have been Oscar contenders for this one.

3. Fantasy Football

As I type this I am only hours away from the final game of this, my second fantasy football regular season. I will once again, odds are, end with a losing record. And be pissed about it. Just as I have gotten pissed, royally pissed several times during my lackluster season this year, and royally pissed during my disappointing season last year. Luck is always against me in this game. Players that are sure things break a thumb on the bus, and can’t play. People I put on the bench have the game of their careers. Those players on my oppoonant’s team that have never done a thing suddenly become the biggest thing in the NFL, and beat me in the process. In the final two minutes of the week.

Second guessing. Indecision. Consistently bad, dumb luck. What-ifs. And all of the frustration that goes with those things. There is a reason they call it “football bingo”, as 60% of it is total chance, and getting pissed or depressed about it is almost as bad as cussing out a slot machine.

Yet I play. Despite threats to not do so again, I play. I am not as intense as I used to be, usually, but when a victory is close I still get antsy and excited. Especially when the player I need to excel appears on TV, and I can watch him live, upping my point totals towards an all too infrequent victory for me.

And the prize is nothing. I am in a free league. No money changes hands. It is not very temperate of me to delve so head long into such a luck based activity, knowing how unlucky I continue to be, just for bragging rights. In fact, it may be foolish. But I do it and probably will next year as well.

4. Power Ballads

Some are good and some are lousy. Like anything else. But my musically and artistically inclined aquaintances have for years pointed out that power ballads, like much pop music, follows some kind of formula of math, notes, and tempo, and hence all of them are, without my realizing it, exact replicas of one another.

“Play something at 3/4 time, start in an A or a G, include are high reverb guitar solo in the bridge, and end with a crescendo. People eat it up every time.”

Yeah, that’s all Greek to me. (I had to make up the terms to prove my point, don’t correct them please.) While I am not willing to concede that all power ballads are the result of a predictable formula moreso than other music, and while I am also not willing to accept the idea that in order to be good a song must always do something that nobody else has ever done, I will acknowledge similar elements among some of my favorites. That is what I am supposed to be guilty over, I guess. That it’s too easy, or caters to the masses. Or something.

But slow dance to Can’t Fight This Feeling with someone you find at least somewhat attractive and see if you don’t fall in love for a minute. Or at least in bed for a minute.

5. Perfume

It’s an antiquated, superficial, misogynistic remnant of a less informed past that appeals, in theory, to the more reptilian, less evolved parts of our brains. Not to mention the fact that much of it makes me sneeze. Perfume is like the soda of hygiene, having exactly zero to do with the person wearing it. Totally unnatural.

Yet there are certain fragrances that I find appealling when worn by a woman. In some ways certain personalities suit certain fragrances more than others, and when the correct combinations show up, they will increase the attractiveness of the woman.

I’ll never fall in love with a woman over perfume. But I could see myself choosing to sit a bit closer to her at a party because of it, and who knows what from there. (Bearing in mind I am still an introvert, and not going to let perfume trump my hate of small talk.)

And of course, I myself use cologne at times, completing the guilt factor.

So there are some pleasures over which many would feel guilty but I do not. What are yours?


  1. Beth

    Dude… I do so adore power ballads.

  2. Strange Brew! Love that movie. It was a running joke in a previous job that only the elite appreciated Strange Brew. And could recognize quotes from it instantly. 🙂

    I get you about the power ballads. I always found it interesting too that the heaviest of rock and metal bands could come up with amazing power ballads.

    What kind of fragrances, or does it depend on the combination of person and scent?

  3. Oh power ballads, yes!! They take me back to Jr. High dances and riding in cars with boys I wasn't supposed to be in the car with. Guilty pleasure indeed!

  4. Ha. I love this list. I'm not familiar with the movie you reference, but I have my own movie guilty pleasure: bad disaster movies – especially if you're likely to see it on SyFy on Saturday afternoon, and even more especially if it has one of the lesser Baldwin brothers in it.

    And you can keep your Coke. Yuck. 😛 But to be fair, you're right. they don't all taste the same. I don't drink Pepsi either.

    I am SO with you on the power ballads. Totally. Guilty. Pleasure. You know what song I absolutely love? It's not a power ballad, but it's still a guilty pleasure. Shhh, don't tell anyone… I love To Be With You by Mr. Big. Yep. I just said that. 🙂

  5. Beth-You just can't beat them, can you? Do you have a favorite?

    Becky-That is true about the metal bands. They often claim they are forced to record them to be more mainstream, and hate singing them. I wonder if that is true, or if they just feel they have to say so to be cool.

    We talked about perfume on Twitter, and it's nice to meet someone else who knows Strange Brew. =)

    Random Girl- They do tend to make many appearences at school daances don't they? And I am sure many can relate to all kinds of, shall we say, unsanctioned car “rides” where power ballads were the accompanying music. 😉

    Jennifer- I know the sort of movies you mean. I watch those on occasion when i don't want to think, lol. And I know the song you are talking about. It's on my Monster Ballads CD.

  6. Yes, mindless sci-fi movies… it's so easy to waste an afternoon watching them. And I love that you have a Monster Ballads CD haha.

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