Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

So, has anyone out there ever watched the show Wipeout?  It airs on ABC on Thursday night.  It is, perhaps, the guiltiest of pleasures for me.  The premise of the show it to put a collection of odd-ball average Joes on what is perhaps the most outrageous obstacle course ever.  And, it is done completely over water.  It is ridiculously funny.  Because, honestly, there is nothing funnier than watching someone get pummeled with a 10 foot tall foam padded mallet.  The piece de resistance of the course are the "big balls".  Contestants try and mostly fail to jump across 4 giant red dodge balls which are grounded and, of course, over water.  Recently the show has added the "motivator" which is a large scoop-like device that pushes them onto the big balls so as not to allow them time to think before making their way across.  I have only ever seen 2 people make it all the way across.  Usually they bounce onto ball #1 and are flung maybe onto #2 and then their contorted bodies are sent flailing into the air and they land face first into the water.  It is pure genius!  It kills me every time.  But, what makes it even funnier is watching it with my boys.  They fall apart every episode, laughing until they cry.  I can't decide which is funnier, watching the poor schmucks on the show take a pot shot to the groin or watching my little boys laughing hysterically at the expense of strangers.  Then, to top it off, one of the commentators closes the show by saying, "Good night and big balls", to which my 9 year old ends up on the floor, barely able to speak and holding his stomach.  Every time.  And, it never gets old.  Who knew a person could get so much joy from such a silly TV show?

I realize that there are some out there who consider soap operas such as All My Children to be silly shows.  But, it is, indeed, a very guilty pleasure of mine.  I love it and I am so sad that it will be coming to an end in a matter of weeks.  What will the world be like without Erica Kane and Tad Martin and Ryan Lavery?  As the show is winding down they have been bringing back characters who either moved or went to the nut house or even died. Today they are rerunning the episode that aired a few weeks back and brought back the character Leo Dupre, otherwise known as actor Josh Duhamel.  I am in absolute heaven.  I am snuggled under a blanket on the couch and am completely glued to the TV.  I am feeling guilty about not being outside on such a gorgeous day, but, I mean, how could I possibly not watch?  Even though I have already seen it, I am absolutely mesmerized.  He is a feast for the eyes and I adore that he came back to the show that gave him his start.  Big, HUGE, sigh.....

My list of edible guilty pleasures is embarrassingly long, however I would like to point out a few highlights.  In Ludington, MI there is a gas station that houses a small bakery and there you can find their famous Smiley Face sugar cookie.  It is a soft sugar cookie about 6 inches in diameter topped with a thick layer of bright yellow buttery icing and then decorated with red eyes and a smile.  They may sound horrific, but they are nothing short of decadent.  In fact, rarely does one manage to consume a whole cookie.  Well, I have managed. But, I rationalize it by telling myself that I only get to eat them in the summer so I should enjoy them while I can.  Right?

Giordano's famous stuffed pizza is at the top of my list.  It is also another reason I had to move away from Chicago. It was more than a little convenient to be able to pick up the phone and have a 12 inch pie of layers upon layers of meaty, cheesy, crusty goodness arrive at my house in an hour or less.  But, if you have ever tasted it then you know exactly what I mean.  It is pure heavenly evil brilliance. My roommate and I would order a pizza for dinner, sit down to eat and not speak for the next 20 minutes.  The first sound to come out of our mouths was usually "oof", which translates to "I am so disgustingly full but it was totally worth it".

I used to treat my boys and myself to Dairy Queen every once in a while, usually to celebrate something like good grades or good behavior.  They have a dessert called the Oreo Brownie Earthquake.  It is all that and then some.  And, I'm certain, it has somewhere around 5 million calories.  But, it was a rare treat for me until we moved basically down the street from DQ.  It's proximity mocks me.  I guess we'll have to move again.

Every rare once in a while some of my girlfriends and I will take off on a very indulgent shopping trip to the windy city.  We will stay at a downtown hotel, peruse the magnificent mile and eat at fantastic restaurants.  I can't help but feel guilty because it is such an extravagance, but, I have to admit, it is so fun to play fabulous city girl who shops and dines out at leisure, even if only for a couple of days.  Most recently I had to miss out on the trip, but my friends were kind enough to make sure that I was there in spirit.  They posted a photographic journal on Facebook of the virtual adventures of "iJulie". They pulled up my profile picture on one of their iphones and attached a paperdoll body to it and carted me all over town!  iJulie had her picture taken with all kinds of new friends and at several hot spots.  Who knew you could have so much fun in the city without even being there?

I think guilty pleasures are a necessary evil. Without them we would simply consume at will and watch reality and completely unrealistic TV without consequence.  But, really, what's so darn bad about that?  I think that it's important to allow ourselves some pleasure.  In moderation, of course. Because, let's face it, you can only watch Bachelor Pad so many times before you just start to feel dirty.


  1. Rachel Zoe. Not to mention Real Housewives! Love love your blog. And in Ludington, coconut Kilwins!

  2. Oh I could go on and on about my lack of taste in quality television! I prefer to dumb it down. I did forget to mention People and US magazines!

  3. You have to have your guilty pleasures every so often. We spend the rest of the time being responsible adults; moms, dads, workers, and so on.