Everyone has things that they enjoy which they feel they shouldn’t. I don’t know why it is that people are sometimes embarrassed to be seen reading a Harry Potter book if they’re over the age of 13, or grabbing a sneaky Big Mac when they should be having a feta and anchovy salad or watching Dawson’s Creek when they really must watch the History of the Modern World on BBC4. But they do.
It’s association and a lifestyle indicator if you are seen reading a fantasy book or comic. Namely, the cliché is is that you are a lonely, socially inept dweeb with skin problems and a sexually repellent selection of character duvet sets. There is obviously some truth to the former statement but the reality is that most readers of fantasy books or graphic novels are normally functioning members of society who probably read them in isolation so as to not become associated with the latter fraternity. In France, people who read comics and fantasy don’t give a monkeys and read them on the Metro or the bus because there is not the association. Sometimes you’ve gotta love the French.
That was a very difficult sentence to write.
So, I started this post a while back and just didn’t get around to finishing it, but then another blogger Not Like Paris Hilton got there before me in a spooky kind of way and it spurred me on to finishing it. She is obviously related to Mystic Meg or has psychic powers but whatever the case, here are my guilty pleasures:
- Stephen King Stephen King was the writer who really got me into books. Without him I wouldn’t have read any Austen, Descartes or Hemingway – because I just wasn’t that into books…then I read Salem’s Lot and all that changed. But, he is perceived as the grand master of the occult and King Tut of the horror mountain and so reading his work classifies me as a sub-human blood craver of the lowest order. You know what the kicker is? He writes really well.
- Burn Notice I read a study once (google it, you lazy mofos) that professed that the human brain is a bit like a car engine and when you run it for a few hours it gets warmed up and has a ‘peak’ period when it is at it’s most efficient. For most people, this is about 7pm – which is most inconvienient as this is when The One Show is on, so all that intellectual verve is wasted. No matter. For the remainder of the time I like to use my brain to watch something very untaxing, something that requires my brain – like a car engine – to remain in neutral, using zero petrol. Step up, Burn Notice. Burn Notice is a low rent, by-the-numbers, American TV series about an ex-spy making good in Miami. It’s like a cross between McGyver and The A-Team – but cheaper. Somehow, though, it works. The lead is awful, the support actress has the worst Irish accent ever and the locales are flimsier than Sunblest…but, it just works. Oh, and Sharon Gless is in it. Seriously!
- Snooker When Americans come to England and The Snooker World Championships are on they must think that the world has been taken over by aliens, because all you ever see on the BBC is a big rectangle of green with brightly coloured balls on it. Where I grew up it was all betting shops and snooker halls and since I had zero interest in the bookies my brother and I would play snooker. Snooker is Golf for poor people. You still have to get a ball in a hole using a stick and you have to become a member of a club – except they’ll accept anyone apart from people under active police investigation or people who drink G&Ts. I got rather good at snooker and subsequently I am a shit-hot pool player (I can also play with either hand). I even like watching snooker. I find it strangely hypnotic.
- Instant Coffee I love coffee and Switzerland is a great place to be when you love coffee because the Swizzers love coffee almost as much as I do. I can taste the difference between a Starbucks and a Costa (shit and shitter); I love the smell, the taste – everything. But, I do like a nice instant coffee. Now, lets be clear about this: instant coffee is a different drink to coffee. It is a hot beverage (don’t you just love that word?) that alludes to coffee – waves at it across the street, if you will – but is not actually coffee. But I still like it. I have no preference to brands or types because as far as I can tell they all taste exactly the same. But I do love the ads; out of contract character actors smelling cups of instant coffee as if they have just been squeezed out of a 20yr old Gaggia coffee machine in Naples. I mean: fuck off.
- Brothers and Sisters Brothers and Sisters is officially helium tv – it is so light that it is practically not there at all. It follows the trials and tribulations of the Walker family who fight like teenagers about everything and it is like a walking, talking Bennetton advertisement – token gay couple, token black (silent, unmoving) baby, token Iraq veteran – all worrying and fretting about various maladies that they really shouldn’t worry about too much because they are completely loaded and the matriach of the family – played by the glorious Sally Field – lives in a mansion. They grapple with normal family problems: childcare, sibling rivalry and work / life balance; but none of that should matter because they are completely loaded. It’s basically Dallas and I love it.
- Hot Dogs I know that hot dogs are supposed to be made out of pork, but I don’t believe that – I don’t know what they’re made from, I’m not sure I want to. Probably something worrying…like fish arseholes or Llama tongues or the scrapings off the floor of a chiropodists clinic. But you get to eat them in bad bread, with terrible mustard (Frenches; which is a kind of culinary lubricant, not mustard at all) and overcooked onions. That’s all your food groups right there: proteins, carbohydrates and vegetables in one meal. Also, no packaging required – so it’s eco friendly – and you can eat it one handed. The best ones are made at IKEA because they cost so little money that not eating them would be counterproductive.
- Glee If you haven’t seen Glee then you must get your tv mended because Glee is freakin’ awesome (as they say in American re-dubs of shows containing the odd fucking swear word). Glee is High School Musical for grown-ups with great songs and no thinking required. I normally hate musicals. Like: hate. I can think of nothing worse than watching a film and then the main characters break into song. That. Is. Just. Bloody. Stupid. Oklahoma, Evita, The Sound of Music – the lot of them should be wiped from the digital archives for the good of mankind, music heritage and human self respect. Glee is different because it has a proper context. They still do sometimes break into spontaneous song, but I counteract this by repeatedly hitting myself in the face with a frying pan (non-stick).
So, I am gonna tag a couple of other bloggers and see what gives:
Angels and Urchins Blog – I predict cheap chocolate and drinking Tia Maria whilst watching Deal or no Deal.
Slouching Towards Thatcham – I predict Cadbury’s Moments, re-runs of ‘Allo ‘Allo and cans of Hoffmiester
Slummy Single Mummy – Listening to Gary Barlow’s back catalogue and eating Wispas washed down with Blue Nun
Dr Angels World of Sheds – She’s always a great taggee. I predict: Meatloaf CDs, Findus Panckakes and Bacardi Breezer / Bailey’s cocktails
Mummy Has a Headache – Could be too hard to predict but: Choco-dips, mailbox baseball and the collected works of Heart
Driving Ms Miranda – I predict: dough-nutting golf carts, playing Forza on the Xbox and eating Twinkies.