Sun Lakes Writers’ Group

The Pursuit of Pleasure

Lee Murray

There are those who would argue the best pleasures in life are ones that involve a little guilt or shame but not enough to stop us from engaging in them.

Okay, full disclosure. I love chocolate ice cream. Especially the ones with chunks of dark chocolate mixed in. So much so, that I stopped buying it. At least not as often. The reason? Once I start with the first spoonful of the pint, many times I don’t stop until the spoon hits the bottom of the container. The number of calories in one pint of Haagen-Dazs will make you gasp. But is it worth it? Absolutely!

So what’s your guilty pleasure?

Are you a closet smoker who hides a pack of Tareytons away from the prying eyes of your spouse to whom you promised to quit only to grab a smoke and head outside when the coast is clear?

Like Christmas movies in July? You have lots of company. So much so that the Hallmark channel runs a litany of holiday programming in the middle of the summer. Or maybe you like listening to Mitch Miller and the Gang belt out “Deck the Halls” when it’s 115 degrees.

Gambling is another popular pleasure. Millions like handing over a few dollars to the clerk at the convenience store each week, hoping to cash in on the Lotto jackpot that will deliver them from their humdrum job to a resort in Tahiti. With the proliferation of sports betting sites online, more than a few folks like studying the latest odds and betting on their favorite teams or the daily double at the horse track. Let’s face it. The thought of having a stake in a bet with a big payout is exciting. It’s also the lure of easy money.

How about that extra glass of wine or whiskey at the end of a stressful day? Those first two went down so easily and the bartender is only too glad to pour you a third Chivas on the rocks. Or maybe you secretly keep a flask in your desk drawer that comes in handy when you want a little nip after a conversation with a rude customer.

How about those junk food cravings? You promised yourself this was the week you’d start your diet and you were so good all week long. But then Friday rolled around and you discovered that Rosati’s coupon in your kitchen drawer and decided one little sausage and pepperoni pizza wouldn’t hurt. One little 16-inch pizza with extra cheese that you swore you would stop eating after a piece or two, but turned into three or four along with a couple sugary drinks or beers. And let’s be honest. When facing a pan of freshly made brownies, who can say no and stop at just one?

In my case though, I have a wife who makes Toll House cookies that are heaven sent. And when I know she’s stowed away a few dozen in the freezer, guess what beckons to me the first thing in the morning with my coffee? Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins but I make an exception for two or three of those cookies before the sun comes up. No apologies!


Carrie Bonello

Last week we enjoyed a romantic candle lit dinner. No special occasion, it wasn’t planned, just sort of spontaneous; okay, the power went out, but still.

I was busy warming up leftovers when the lights flickered, hmmm that’s odd. No big deal, then a longer S.O.S. sort of thing. Hmmm, do we have a flashlight? Too late, it’s dark as the inside of a cow. I say the first thing that comes to my mind:

Where are you?

Looking for a flashlight. The flashlight is always in this drawer, why isn’t it here?

There is one in the bedroom nightstand. Don’t trip over the dog.

Where’s the dog?

I have candles, brand new ones, well this is a waste, no one uses new candles when there isn’t company.

Do we have matches?


How ’bout those lighter thingies for the grill?

Aren’t they in the garage? I think so. Where’s the door?

Try the junk drawer,

Which one is the junk drawer?

The one on the end.

Good I found one, oh, it won’t light, wait here’s another one, where are you? Do you have the candles? Let’s light one and I’ll use it to find the flashlight in the bedroom.

Shouting from the bedroom, I found it, boy these batteries are going.

The batteries are always going.

I have to tell you, from my experience, the man of the house will complain about batteries for weeks. There will be absolutely no changing the batteries because there is still a breath of life in them. No battery shall be put aside while there is even a dim glow emanating from the device, it may look like something from an alien spaceship, but it’s never bright enough to light the way to the mailbox or find the spider under the bed. It’s a guy thing and I don’t get it.

We buy batteries at Costco because you can get 14 D cell batteries for the price of four at Walgreens. Understand this is considered a lifetime supply, simply because we will never change the old batteries until the last dim light has faded away.

Strictly from a woman’s point of view, why own a flashlight if the stupid batteries are so weak it might as well be a candle in the wind?

How many nights have we sat in front of the TV while Monty mashes on the remote because the batteries are going? I’m not exaggerating here, folks, we might go through this exercise for two weeks before Monty gives in and rips open the pack of 40, yes 40, AA batteries. We could have new batteries in the remote on day one and save all the stress, swearing and lamenting, “These batteries are going.”

It’s a guy thing and I don’t bother trying to change it.

The ambiance of dinner by candle light was nice, we’ll have to do it again sometime; after all, the candles are used now.

Guilty Pleasures

Ruby Regina Witcraft

Since I don’t do much physically, my body seems to require much less food, therefore, one meal a day seems sufficient.

However, that meal is the complete works. A protein, starch, greens and bread with a dessert at the end, consumed by noon-day.

The best part of this routine. That dessert is called my guilty pleasure which is a cookie and a heaping bowl of Turkey Hill black cherry ice cream. Now this sounds like overkill but keep in mind that toast and coffee for breakfast at 4:30 in the morning was my last meal. Believe me this is a very healthy way of eating, at least, for me as all of the food has been digested by bedtime. Was I hungry? You bet-cha! I could eat my arm off but need it to hold my fork. What a pleasurable morning.

This hearty meal is somewhat forgotten thanks to my next pleasure, and it is a pleasure, to swim laps at the Michigan pool. Thirty minutes of swimming laps at 7 in the morning, takes care of the exercise needed to keep me going the rest of the day.

Gardening is another pleasure that fills the rest of my morning, although not much can be done this time of the year. Looking forward to very limited planting such as annuals, with their pretty faces, in a bed on the patio. I don’t glow, mist or get dewy, I sweat buckets, so am looking forward to cooler weather to get started.

After all of this activity I am ready for a “sit down” and this is done in the recliner with a good book and a quick nap or two. This pleasure starts about noon and ends around 4 in the afternoon.

A little TV and then it’s off to bed. As I lie down I can almost hear my body say, “AAAH!”

All of the mentioned activities were called pleasures and none of them were thought of as guilty.