Our Guilty Pleasures this year included for the first time. Judging from the e-mails, our readers have some equally strange appetites.
You suggested no shortage of your own guilty treats, along with indulgent TV shows, movies and more.
Some of your suggestions:
The sweet ...
Baker's milk chocolate mints straight out of the freezer. They're the best because you tuck them in your cheek and drink your Starbucks and they melt at a lovely leisurely rate, prolonging the pleasure like a talented lover. -Janet, Omaha, Neb.
Edys Orange Swiss Frozen Orange and Chocolate melts in your mouth. And it has Vitamin C! -Judy, Dartmouth, Mass.
Boardwalk caramel corn. Forget new fangled kettle corn, movie theater popcorn, and Cracker Jack. Heaven can be purchased at a seaside tourist trap in a crinkly plastic bag. Brown sugar and butter coated, sweet and crunchy, and now imported from the beach by my local food coop, caramel corn is purchased when I'm shopping ALONE and remains hidden in the minivan, where I eat it ALONE, feeling guilty for the ridiculous price I just paid, for the calories racking up with each mouthful and for not sharing with my family, but somehow I manage to finish the bag. -Cordelia
My favorite guilty pleasure is fudge. I don't care what kind ... dark chocolate, milk chocolate, peanut butter, with nuts, without, the list goes on and on. And the best fudge comes from Gatlinburg, Tenn. When I go, it's not unlike me to purchase a few pounds of it under the pretense that I am buying it for people at home. Only, it doesn't make it home, usually. -Reann, Pascagoula, Miss.
I could eat a whole bag of Tootsie Rolls by myself in an hour. I have been known to even pick them out from one of those huge bags of "100 kinds of Halloween candy." Dig, dig, dig ... I will kype every single brown, orange and white wrapped chocolate stick in the office candy dish (even if they are as hard as rocks, doesn't matter), knowing I will get my hand slapped! Then I take my hands-full stash back to my office, enjoying every bite into oblivion! -Judy, Tulsa, Okla.
You mentioned , but DOTS have those beat hands down. DOTS are never tooth shattering hard, and even warm they remain very chewy. They are best because after you initially 'eat' them, you spend the next ten minutes using your tongue to get the remains off you teeth. A dentist's worst nightmare, but a movie goer's best friend. -Jeff, Vancouver, Wash.
... and the cheesy ...I still love Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese, or shells and cheese for variety. It's all about the gooey Velveeta in the foil packet. (I always take a little taste when making it.) I love good (read expensive) cheeses like Pont-l'Évêque, Époisses, Chèvre, Brie, Camembert or Double Glouchester, but those experiences have not affected my enjoyment of Velveeta. Recently a co-worker brought in a cheese dip for tortilla chips which I loved instantly. I raved until it embarrassed her; "All it is is Velveeta and diced Ortega chilis, Alan!" Today for lunch I had leftover mac 'n cheese, along side my home-made sloppy joe-style ground beef. No greens. I'm ready for a nap. -Alan, Seattle, Wash.
Who can resist the orange-fingered goodness of a bag of Cheetos? I love to find the most heavily coated ones and roll them around in my fingers before popping them into my mouth and rolling them around on my tongue. The beauty is that after about ten of those your fingers are cheesy confections themselves. No matter how hard you suck the cheese off, your fingers remain Cheetos orange for the rest of the afternoon. There's no hiding this guilty pleasure, you've been marked. -Kristin, Tulare, Calif.
... and the bizarre
When I lived in Germany many years ago, there was a soft drink called Lift which tasted like really strong lemonade with a healthy dose of baking soda added to it. Gross, right? Well, it was an acquired taste. The first time I tasted it, I think I spit it out, it was so bad. But it was very common in Germany and hard to ignore. Every so often I would have another Lift. Before I left Germany (lived there from 1978 to 1981) I grew to like it, and even crave a Lift now and then! -Karen, Arlington, Va.
"Yes Dear," mostly for the gal who tried to seduce Mr.Holland in Mr.Holland's Opus. -Bill, Hoosick Falls, N.Y.
"Dog the Bounty Hunter," because it's great to watch him catch the bad guys but even better to watch him give the bad guys life lessons, like the one where he told the young kid that if he did his time and cleaned up his act he'd help him find a job. Then everybody, even Dog, cries and gives hugs and it's just great. Plus it's fun to count how many time he says "bra" (apparently Hawaiian for "brother"). -Jasper, Spokane, Wash.
“Pia Zadora: Fiesta in Mexico,” a 1979 TV special in which the utterly untalented, chipmunk-cheeked Pia "sings" (lip-syncing her little heart out), "dances" (bouncing around like a Nerf ball on Ritalin) and welcomes her "special guest" Mexican cowboy singing star Julie Aleman ("Who's starred in nearly half-a-hundred films!"). I happened to videotape is when it aired in L.A. in the mid-1980s, and have made countless dubs of it for friends and fellow RAZZIE Award members over the years. It is, quite simply, the Best Hour of Bad TV ever made ... -John Wilson, founder/Head RAZZberry, The RAZZIE Awards, Hollywood, Calif.
Sci-Fi's "Who Wants To Be A Superhero?" I love Stan Lee as the Professor X-type leader. I just know he's trying to stifle his laughter while he's telling his costumed crusaders the rules of being a superhero. What crocodile tears from them when he voices his disappointment! Bad acting at its finest — it's foolish and funny. -Marji, Coplay, Pa.
NBC's "Days of Our Lives." I started watching it 21 years ago, when I was 9. It was captivating. The living, the dying, the kissing! ... I watched all the way through college, and then stopped for several years when I got out into the working world and was almost never home when “Days” was on. On a whim, I started DVRing it earlier this year, and you know what? The same stuff was still happening to the same people. The characters were all still played by the same actors from 21 years ago! Some characters have died and come back from the dead four or five times, others have broken up and gotten back together just as many times. -Sara, Seattle, Wash.
“Roadhouse.” I don't drink, and I don't fight, and I don't even like Patrick Swayze that much...why can't I turn it off?? Why???!!! -Matthew, Seattle Wash.
"Red Dawn", directed by John "Conan the Barbarian" Milius. ... I saw this movie right after a stint in high school Junior ROTC, yep I was being groomed to be a soldier early on. ... This movie kicked major booty at the time. I mean, clean cut all-American boys and girls mixing it up with not only Soviet commies, but Latin American and Cuban commies. Ron O'Neal, yep "Super Fly" himself leads the invasion, along with some Russian baddies. Come on, Swayze, Howell, Sheen, Grey and Thompson defending the homeland, all I can say is "Wolverines!!!!" -Scott, Austin, Texas
“Airport.” Helen Hayes — enough said. She is just hilarious as the stowaway. Not only is this my favorite guilty pleasure, but it is my favorite movie of all time. -Lori Kay, Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
“Popeye,” with Robin Williams in the title role and directed by Robert Altman. Great dialogue and characterizations. And who could forget those sweet Harry Nilsson songs? -Roger
“Death Race 2000.” My favorite scene: when a government bureaucrat tells Machine Gun Perturbo (Sly Stallone) "I happen to hold the power of life and death," Perturbo says, "Well, I happen to hold the clam dip," and slings a handful of said dip onto the bureaucrat. -Andrew, Huntsville, Ala.
“Bram Stoker's Dracula” is by far my most guilty pleasure. ... Everybody looks like they would rather be somewhere, or someone else. Keanu Reeves is desperate for a surfboard, Cary Elwes really needs his princess bride. As for Gary Oldman and Wynona Rider; they're like Romeo and Juliet for the Goths. Is this what Stoker had in mind? I think not. -Kate, Ridgecrest, Calif.
“Rock Star,” with Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston. It's cheesy, but funny almost knowing that it's bad. My spouse and I watch it whenever it's on cable AND we own it. Sad but true. Our friends make fun of us for it but we never tire of this movie as it tries so hard to be serious but who can be serious with big rock hair and tight leather pants?! -Vicky, Woodbridge, Va.
Shannon Tweed movies — for the same reason as only with a lot more sexiness. -Ro, Cleveland, Ohio
“Remo Williams: the Adventure Begins.” Half-James Bond, Half-Karate Kid — Remo Williams is America's Secret Weapon against evil ... oh, the heck with it! It's 90 minutes of fistfights, daring escapes, martial artistry and male bonding. Fred Ward, best known for his role in ... well, he's been in a lot of movies ... plays a former cop being trained by Joel Grey's Chiun — a Korean Master of Shinanju, or something like that. The acting is passable, the story line impossible to follow, and the plot ever so plotty — but it's a rollicking good time. Wait'll you see how Remo disposes of the bad guy with the diamond encrusted tooth! It's classic guilt at its pleasurable best. 1980s cheese doesn't get any better. -Gary-O, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Hammer Horror Films — they're bloody and melodramatic, the women all wear 60's eyeliner and have beehives even though it's supposed to be the 19th century, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing rock, and the Technicolor is delicious. -Kris, Denver, Colo.
"Mommie Dearest." Do you have to ask why? -Kurt, Baltimore, Md.