Has a mystery novel ever made you do something, buy something or changed your beliefs in any way?

I'm posting this because...well, I finally did it. I went to tastykake.com and ordered a GIANT box of Butterscotch Krimpets, all because Janet Evanovich has Stephanie Plum inhaling them in every book, and also because the giant box was the smallest quantity I could buy.

It's the first time I can ever recall in my entire life that a book made me do something that I really didn't want to do. I KNOW those things are loaded with chemicals, not to mention artery-clogging hydrogenated oils. But Evanovich's repeated descriptions of them just broke me down, so there are 72, count 'em, 72 Butterscotch Krimpets headed to my house as we speak.

Now, I haven't totally lost my mind. Two days after the projected arrival of said Krimpets, there will be about 20 people in my house all night while we complete a movie for the Houston Film Race. We have 24 hours to write, shoot, edit, score the movie and turn it in, and I'm betting that by the time the 24 hours have flown by, the Butterscotch Krimpets will have flown by, too.

At least, that's my plan. and yes, I do plan to eat at least one, and pray that I can stop at one.

So how about all of you? Has a mystery novel ever made you do something against your better judgment, or made you buy something you would not have otherwise purchased, or has one somehow fundamentally changed your beliefs about something?

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That's why I feel so ashamed of myself. I know better, but still gave in to temptation. On a day-to-day basis, I eat a healthy diet and am not even tempted to eat foods that are bad for me. I'm not a vegetarian, nor do I have any health-related food restrictions, so my restrictions are ones I place on myself...the food must be local, organic, from animals fed naturally, raised humanely and allowed to roam freely and enjoy their lives; it can't be anything from Dr. Frankenfood's chem lab. Those are my parameters, but I willingly violated them to get my hands on a Butterscotch Krimpet. I am completely aware of how irrational that is.

I do love butterscotch and this obsession has had hold of me for so long I finally decided the only way to stop wasting time on it was to taste one of the disgusting things and have done with it. if Tastykake products were sold here, I would have been able to quash this particular problem long ago, but they're not, so I couldn't do anything about it until now. I got a 20% off coupon from the Tastykake online store (probably for lurking there so frequently) so I went for it.

And yes, one of the the ingredients in Krimpets, hydrogenated oil, has been clinically proven to trigger heart disease, diabetes, obesity and maybe even cancer. It's almost impossible to avoid in the grocery unless you only shop the outer aisles. It's in everything, along with high fructose corn syrup, which I'm sure is in Butterscotch Krimpets, too.

In Denmark, adding hydrogenated oil to a food intended for human consumption is against the law, and yet here in the USA, the FDA says, "Add away! Add hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup (which appears in totally bizarre places, like turkey sausage), add anything you want that makes foods cheaper and less nutritious. It's hard some days to convince myself it's not part of some planned eugenics campaign to reduce the "less desirable" population, because our government is culpable in many practices that compromise our food supply, and they make it damned hard for folks trying to grow or raise healthy, nutritious food to stay in business.

Finally, I totally agree with you about the underwear scene. That about did me in. I prefer boxers with the men already in 'em, not as an article of clothing for myself. I put up a post about #15 a while back. Still can't bring myself to read it, primarily because of Stephanie's behavior. I heard a recent interview in which Evanovich said Stephanie had really grown as a character since the beginning of the series and I thought, "Huh? She still can't use a gun, still relies on her mother's cooking, and still keeps two men on the line because she can't figure out which one she likes better."

My confusion is about the men. Why are guys who are supposedly as "hot" as Evanovich describes them, guys who could have any woman they wanted; why are they hanging around pining for someone who is disorganized, impulsive, thoughtless, occasionally cruel, an emotional eater, can't cook, and actually prefers the company of her hamster to either of them? Why?

If all I had to do to attract a great guy into my life was stop cooking, get a hamster, and pretend I didn't know how to use a gun, I might actually go for it.

-beat-

Naw, I couldn't. Besides, I'm already feeling too guilty over the Krimpet thing.
My confusion is about the men. Why are guys who are supposedly as "hot" as Evanovich describes them, guys who could have any woman they wanted; why are they hanging around pining for someone who is disorganized, impulsive, thoughtless, occasionally cruel, an emotional eater, can't cook, and actually prefers the company of her hamster to either of them? Why?

Does she have any other, um, talents?

I've been giving this some thought: I don't think I could eat anything called a crimpet, no matter how good it tasted. Unless it came in bacon flavor, that is.
She mostly gets "does to" instead of doing, so I don't get that part, either. She describes herself as fairly ordinary looking, but I'm not buying it. She's got to be walking sex on a stick the way all the guys react to her. But generous lover? No.

Speaking of bacon, adding it to any dish, I mean ANY dish, improves it immensely. I like the idea of Bacon Krimpets. Why don't you give Tastykake a call? Then I could have something else to pine over and feel guilty about. :-)
Hm. You're right--it's a tough one to figure out. Professional admiration, or whatever, only goes so far.

Krimpets with a "k"? Holy krap.
No, no. What this is is every woman's wish fullfillment. Any ordinary woman who is a slob, unattractive, overeats, is inept, unreliable, a sloppy dresser, and has zero housekeeping talents or interests, and wrecks every car she has ever had would normally drive all males away. In this instance (wish-fullfillment) she gets two hunks panting after her. Women read this stuff because they figure if Stephanie can get away with it, there's hope for them, too. Along with Krimpets. :)
I. J., I think you just hit upon the real secret of Evanovich's success, although I would argue that it's not every woman's wish to be like Steph. I went along for a while, thinking something would happen...Stephanie would grow up, learn to use a gun, take down a skip, and figure out which guy she really loved. But it never happened. I'm worn completely through on this series because of that.

I guess the series really is aimed at women who watch soap operas while lying on the couch and stuffing Twinkies into their faces. Ack! And for those of you who think I'm being a bit harsh, I'll confess I lie in my bed eating made from scratch Ghiardelli chocolate brownies while watching The Food Channel, so I'm not looking down my nose at anyone, except maybe for their choice of snacks.

It's all too bad, because Evanovich has a real gift for comedy. I do laugh out loud at many of the situations, particularly if Lula or Grandma Mazur are involved. But Evanovich keeping her characters stuck in NeverNeverLand finally killed the Plum series for me.
Lindt Truffles.
Butterscotch krimpets were never as good as Tastykake's tandy cakes so that one isn't a problem for me--although I don't usually see Tastykake in stores since I live in Colorado. But who hasn't been reading a book, and gotten to a scene where the characters are eating something wonderful and realized, "hey, I'm hungry!" On that score, I'm guilty.
Oh, and the gun thing....couldn't the tide wash a gun in? I gotta know--I might want to use that one.
The guys might know this. There are guns made of plastic. They might float a bit better. Otherwise you'd think the gun would go to the bottom and move very little.
Glocks have a polymer frame, but many coated steel parts. They're lighter than a standard .45 or nine millimeter, but no floating, and very unlikely to wash-up anywhere.
That's the best possible effect I can think of! Thanks for pointing it out, Dan, and also for reminding me that monogamy makes the best furniture!
He's not a crime writer, but Hunter S. Thompson convinced me to switch my major from business to journalism. I then got involved in the college paper. That's where I met my fiance. I would've liked to thank HST for the favor, but he, well, shot himself. But I suppose all the greats go out that way, from London and Hemingway to Cobain.

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