Despite the fact that I grew up Catholic and shoulder my fair share of guilt, I don't believe in the Guilty Pleasure. Do I indulge in them? Abso-stinkin-lutely. I just don't feel guilty about it.
Most of my guilty pleasures are of the TV variety. I'm an avid reader, and admittedly, some of my books have been known to score high on the pseudo-intellectual scale, but I also love most typical beach books. I read Stephen King in the 90s like he was going out of style (oh wait...he did), some of my favorite books have definitely topped the NYT bestseller list, and yes, I'm looking forward to the screen version of The Da Vinci Code (and no, I don't think Tom Hanks is right for the part, but who does? As usual he will pull it off, because he's Tom Hanks and I'm not. But I digress...) I'm also not much of a bodice-ripper fan, at least not in the sense of reading about it...wink wink nod nod knowwhatImean?
TV though, that's a different story. While I like to maintain that I only watch the sharp, smart shows on tv, and I do love those, I became a huge fan of Desperate Housewives almost on a dare. I watched American Idol religiously for the first three seasons, even participating in an office pool (which I lost in like the 2nd round--damn that Frenchie Davis for baring her chest earlier in life which prevented me from watching her win). Despite the obvious drawbacks of being offensive to well, everyone, Family Guy makes me laugh so hard I lose brain cells (a distinct danger--I've lost too many to begin with). And Sex and the City? Let's just say I'm in denial, 15 months later, that the show ended. I still TIVO every episode, and I still get mad if the last 2 minutes are cut off. Despite the fact that I think I've seen every episode by now. Twice. Especially the ones with Baryshnikov. Please stop. I shook that hand once and I haven't washed it since.
But I guess if I had to name one show that I wouldn't exactly advertise that I love, that I wouldn't shout it from the rooftops or discuss its relative merits over latte at Starbucks, it would be Wildboyz. On Mtv. Aimed at adolescent boys. For the uninitiated, it consists of two original cast members of Jackass, (that other classy MTV show) traveling around the world, basically being nuisances of the highest order to any and all members of the animal kingdom (and more than a few indigenous tribes). The more ferocious the beast, the better. I think the episode that clinched their utter insanity for me was when they were in Africa, on safari, scouting out lionesses, and they decided to sleep in a hammock to which they had affixed many large pieces of raw meat. Then they trained a videocamera on themselves with night vision (because it's not funny unless there's an audience..."Dammit! He got his head ripped off by a wolverine! Did we catch that? No? Is it possible to reshoot?") I've never had the best of luck staying in a hammock longer than two minutes to begin with--add to that some hungry lionesses who have just grabbed ahold of a porterhouse which up until recently had been hanging from a string directly under my lower back, and I'm like Gilligan falling on top of The Skipper in the middle of the night; limbs flailing, red shirt riding up, white floppy hate askew.
It wouldn't be pretty. But inexplicably, it makes me liquid-shoot-out-my-nose laugh every time. I'm not proud of it, but there it is. I'm a twelve year old boy with a potty sense of humor, trapped in the body of a 34 year old wife and mother of two.
The other thing is, it makes John giggle like a schoolgirl. And that is worth the 30 minutes of reduced-neuron-firing on my part, because he giggles so uncontrollably that no matter what hideous scene is playing out on the show, I have to laugh. It's kinda like canned laughter on shows in the 50s--they thought no one would laugh unless they had a laugh-track. In my case, I have my own personal laugh-track and I laugh in spite of myself.
And I will continue to watch Wildboyz, and not feel guilty about it. Hey, I'm a grown-up. Mostly. Unless some guy catches it square in the junk, then all bets are off. I'm that inner twelve year old boy again, and I don't care who knows it.
Except the local barista at Starbucks. Let's just keep it from him, shall we? I wouldn't want him to spit in my latte.