One of our guilty pleasures (as you may have guessed) is posting on the AOL message boards.( It wasn't always a guilty pleasure. It used to be a real pleasure, but then it just became a habit ... and then a bad habit ... and now it's a guilty pleasure.)
Like many guilty pleasures, the AOL message boards have an addictive quality. Like penny slots, they take a lot and give little. Like True Crime paperbacks, they're as compelling as they are repellant. Like junk food, they appeal to your least sophisticated tastes while being, not only void of nutritional value, but actually bad for you. After you've indulged in them for awhile you feel sort of sluggish and dull-witted. They leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. They are the cyber equivalent of Pretzel and Cheddar Cheez Combos.
I remember well my first taste of Combos. My co-worker had left an open snack-sized bag on the counter and casually offered me one. I had politely declined. Combos have always looked suspiciously like dog treats to me, and while I'll eat a lot of varieties of junk food, I really felt that Combos were my line in the sand. Still, as the morning wore on and it began to look as if we might not get a lunch break, I started to weaken. I noticed one little Combo with it's pretzel-y head poking out of the bag to show off it's light sprinkling of powdered cheddar cheez flavoring. It didn't look that bad. It aroused my curiosity. Hmm. "What the hell," I thought, "I'll just try one."
The next thing I knew, I was digging through my pocket for change to put in the dixie cup next to the employee snack box for my own little bag ... and then another. Inside of a month I was buying them three economy-sized bags at a time from WalMart, sneaking them into the grocery cart where their $1.88 price tag would get lost among the bags of dog kibble, cat litter and cheap-ass bulk cereal.
Now I have a love/hate relationship with the Combos. I know there's a possible coronary event waiting for me in every bag, and that they'll spoil my supper, and that I could save all the money I spend on Combos in a month and buy a nice nutritional chicken or something ... and eventually I'll get so sick of Combos I won't want to see one again for a long time. Same with the AOL message boards.
In the meantime, we decided to feed our discriminating dinner guests a higher quality menu here at Nowhere,IL and our rowdy friends can come and pig out on Combos in the rumpus room!