Friday, April 10, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Vices

The Ancient Romans had a wonderful little term which meant “failing or defect”: They called it “Vitium.” It’s modern English entomological great, great, great, [insert many more “greats” here] grand baby is a noun called “vice.” Most people know that vice is a generally deplorable practice or habit. I think today I want to discuss a few of mine.

What can I say? Acknowledgment is the first step.

Carbonated Caffeinated Beverages-
I seriously know better. Soda pop, in general, causes too many health problems to list—honestly; it offers not one healthful quality. But every time I even smell a Pepsi these days, I want one. Even the pop of a tab gets me excited. It’s so wrong, and yet it feels so right. Well, maybe not when it keeps me up until 3:00 am, but otherwise, very artificially stimulating and tasty. I’ll probably give it up again in a week. I go through “on the wagon” and “off the wagon” cycles.

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches-
In the olden days, when I had no real job and was still in college (Oh, wait. Not much has change.), I used to “treat” myself to one bought lunch a week. It was usually something simple. I’d spend no more than three dollars for a sandwich and an apple beer. Not much has changed. Except now I’ve upped the “steaks” (I just kill me.). There’s a sub sandwich shop a few blocks away from work that makes Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches. For every ounce of beef in these things, there’s at least three ounces of grease. Occasionally, I have to pound my chest to get the last bite of the sandwich down. Another problem with them is they’re 7 bucks a pop—more than twice as much as my old habit. I’m pathetic.

Ellen DeGeneres’ Productions Posted on You Tube-
I don’t think I’ve ever loved a comedian more than I love Ellen. Well…maybe I loved Lily Tomlin as much once. But let’s be honest, in some ways, Lily was just Jane Wagner’s highly expressive puppet for most of the seventies and early eighties. Ellen, on the other hand, is the one holding all the strings. She’s a “real boy”…er…girl (She has a wife. It was an honest mistake.).

Bad Pinocchio allusions, puns, and cheap gay marriage shots aside, I think I owe everyone an explanation. I’ve taken to watching Ellen’s old stand up and postings of her show on You Tube, and I am completely enthralled. I waste hours watching some nights. She’s just incredibly hilarious, and she gets all the good guests (George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Mc Dreamy, Mc Steamy, and many, many more.).

I have just two justifications for my behavior. One, she keeps it clean. She’s not Robin Williams, and more importantly, she is NOT Rosie O’Donnell. Tangentially, Rosie is a complete disgrace to what it means to be a woman. I don’t care if she’s gay, I don’t care that she has her own political views, but I do care that she cannot say one thing these days that doesn’t involve a string of distasteful vulgarities or something that will result in her imminent firing or a lawsuit. What happened to her? She’s disgusting. But back to Ellen…

And secondly, Ellen is a gay, liberal, vegan, in her fifties, and I am a straight, conservative, meat-eating, Mormon, in my mid twenties, and yet I still find myself disarmed and enthusiastic about what she has to say. That says something, no?

Okay, so she’s good. Everyone can acknowledge this fact. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure any amount of You Tube-ing over ten minutes is a substantial waste of time, and therefore a vice.

Some people are under the false impression that it’s charming to be a gossip. It’s not. It’s just addictive and mean. The biggest problem with this vice is it makes you feel artificially superior. Count how many times you’ve smiled, either inwardly or outwardly, when you’ve passed on negative information about someone else. Have you even stopped to gloat to yourself, “I’m too good to ever be caught up in something like that.” I’m sorry, but a person who conducts themselves this way is not charming: They are a particularly despicable breed of Bitch.

I shouldn’t have put this one so far down my list. It’s really the first one I should be eliminating from my personality.

Potty Language-
This one needs no explanation. I’m not sure I’ll ever fully be able to give it up, but I will say I only use it selectively. It should NEVER be used in a moment of flippant anger. Expletives should be used to emphasize a strong point; they should never be the point.

Cards or on a Windows Powered PC, I can’t help myself. It is mindless, and yet I still find myself almost nervously playing it at times.

1 comment:

Marissa and Scott Bunker said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss.