Pollyanna Takes a Walk on the Naughty Side

Lyda here. Good morning, ya’ll.

In my copious free time… as I “consider offers” to put it delicately – or wait for the next temporary assignment, to put it accurately. Did I mention that my assignment at Huge Corporation ended? Oh. It did. But I digress… I completed another of the books for Pollyanna’s Reading in Wonderland Challenge.

#2. Read a non-fiction or how-to book about a new topic. Choose something that you are curious about, something that is really far from your current life, work, college major, and hobbies.

So, I read “The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things and How to Do Them” by Peter Sagal, the host of National Public Radio’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me.”

What? Vice is very far from my current life. Really! Well, mostly, anyway.

vice is different from a sin. The author says, “As soon as sinning starts to be fun, it becomes a vice.” A vice may be a sin or may not, but it is done for the thrill. Drinking diet soda? Maybe a vice, but not a sin. Eating a second piece of chocolate cake? Possibly a vice, possibly the sin of gluttony.

Feeding off the brains of the living? That would definitely be a vice and a sin. Yet another reason not to become a zombie. Or hang out with them. Although I’m safe from their attentions, as I’ve mentioned before.

This book explores – carefully, because the floors are sticky – strip clubs, swinging parties, pornography, and gambling. It also looks at lying, conspicuous consumption, and eating.

But not eating as in “Let’s go grab a sandwich” or “I want more CAKE!” Eating in a way I didn’t even know existed: molecular gastronomy. Or, as some of the chefs object to that term, experimental cuisine. Skimming through various websites, like this one and this one, it doesn’t seem they are even talking about food.

This cartoon will give ya’ll the idea.

As Peter Sagal says of his evening at one of these restaurants, “My host for the evening… is insane.”

Ya’ll will notice, I didn’t write about the chapters on sex or gambling or lying – all of which were interesting and funny chapters equally worthy of discussing. No, I wrote about food. I guess we know what my vice is. CAKE!

Ya’ll, this is a seriously funny book. Interesting and informative, and a quick read. But most of all, funny. The kind of first book that has me hoping the author is already working on his next one. I highly recommend it.

Vice was never so much fun.


2 thoughts on “Pollyanna Takes a Walk on the Naughty Side

  1. annaliza

    I think you would also enjoy Dan Savage’s “Skipping Toward Gomorrah”, in which he investigates (personally, to some extent) each of the seven deadly sins. It’s also funny and fascinating, and he learns some really interesting things about himself, “sinning” and “sinners”, and humans in general.

  2. lyda Post author

    Sounds good. Reminds me of George Carlin’s old routine about confessing as a teenager “… and covet, heavy on the covet, Father.”


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