2. The television show Criminal Minds. Want to freak me out? Put me in a house all by myself at night and tell me there's a serial killer on the loose in town. Serial killers terrify me. I constantly have to remind myself that the statistical likelihood of my being the next victim of the "Blue Bonnet Butcher" while I'm out walking the dog just before bed is next to nil. Criminal Minds was a fun, thrilling, interesting show when I first discovered it (being way behind the times when it comes to television viewing, this was only last fall), until someone told me that every episode is based on a real serial killer. We have had enough creepy killers in this country to be able to highlight one per week on a show that has been on the air for something like seven years? Those comforting statistics on which I used to rely are, somehow, not quite so comforting anymore. Does this mean I'm no longer addicted to the show? Of course not. Why would I stop watching something that gives me nightmares and adds to late night fears, while telling everyone how it's the only show on TV that I really watch?
3. Chick lit. When I was a teenager, I shunned all those romances my sisters and mother read, preferring to spend all my time with other favorites of theirs, like Agatha Christie, when I wasn't hunkered down with Stephen King and John Irving. Today, give me a candy-colored cover, and I'll happily breeze my way through it, egregious typos and grammatical errors and all. I can't live off this type of work, but I certainly find myself craving it from time to time, most often just after I've read, yet another, grim contemporary "masterpiece" all the critics have hailed to the moon and back that has left me thinking, "This is what qualifies as 'great literature' in today's world?" I don't know, I guess it's just nice, sometimes, to pick up something and know that it will end with the girl getting the boy, no matter how formulaic it all is. And, at least, it never pretends to be anything it isn't, which is much more than I can say for "The new Huck Finn" or "This century's War and Peace."
4. Oysters on the half shell. I would like to know whatever possessed the first human being who ever ate one to look at it and think, "That looks like it's going to be delicious." There's probably a lot I wouldn't eat if I went by looks alone, but this has got to be way up at the top of the list. They don't merely look unappetizing; they look gross, like something some kid in a biology class would take from a dissected pig and use to frighten others. I don't just like them, though, I love them, and I can't explain why. It's not as though they're loaded with flavor (in fact, half the reason to eat them is the lemon and cocktail sauce typically served with them). It's not as though they have great texture. But I crave them sometimes. I miss them living where I do (even though we're not far from the Chesapeake Bay, the restaurants around here tend to cater to a meat and potatoes crowd, so they're not standard items on most menus). When I go to Maine, I don't eat lobster nearly as much as I eat oysters.
5. Craft shows and fairs. I know: what could be less inspiring than booth after booth of people desperately trying to make something out of nothing? And yet, tell me there's a craft show coming to town, and I'll pen it in on my calendar. I don't think it's because I necessarily care for much of what's being sold (although I do. Some of the jewelry I find at craft fairs is gorgeous, and I like anything that's hand-knitted, but most of that stuff tends to be out of my price range. Then again, I often don't: highly-shellacked, wooden plaques with "cutesy" sayings on them, anyone?). I think it has more to do with a certain sort of fascination: look at all the people who flock to these things, look at all this creativity, look at all the things I could have thought of to make and sell, look at all the things I could never, ever make, even if I spent every minute of every day trying to make them. On the other hand, it may just be the food.
What about you? What are some things you inexplicably like?