Friday, July 20, 2007

Sinning Pretty with Ashley Lister

by Alison Tyler

Anyone who’s visited the Erotic Readers and Writers Association is familiar with Ashley Lister’s witty reviews. Two thumbs up from Ashley Lister is something every writer strives for. (Peek in the sidebar, if you think I’m lying.)

We’re extremely pleased to have Ashley with us today! As Ashley is the author (under pen name Lisette Ashton) of Original Sins (as well as more than twenty other novels), I thought we’d focus on the seven deadly sins for our questions—I have to admit, I had to look these up. I could only come up with four on my own (LUST, SLOTH, ANGER, VANITY). I’m guessing the others are SERVING DECAF COFFEE, WATCHING YOUR ROOMMATES HAVE SEX, and DRINKING MARTINIS WITH FEWER THAN THREE OLIVES. But I could be wrong.

So I asked Ashley to clarify what the sins are and to tell us how they fit into his own life. He poured me another four-olive martini and leaped to the task.

The Seven Deadly Sins

Let’s face it: the seven deadly sins are out of date. They’re not, and never have been, deadly. Since when are sloth or pride ever likely to prove fatal? It’s stretching credulity to believe lust alone could be a “deadly” sin – although it’s probably one hell of a good way to go.

And, now we’ve established that they’re not deadly, can we all agree that they’re not really sins? I think it’s more accurate to consider them as foibles or character traits. Surely we’ve all succumbed to one or more of these peccadilloes at some point during our daily routine? I think I’ve been through most of them today, and it’s not yet nine o’clock in the morning.

ANGER: Do I ever get angry? Why would I get angry when I’m watching the days fall off the calendar as I’m waiting for an editor to get back to me? Or when I read an Amazon review where some halfwit has publicly dumped on six months of my creative efforts? Or when the PC flat-lines half an hour before I’m about to perform my monthly back-up regime? Why the hell would I get angry about those damned things? Under the circumstances mentioned above, is anger really a sin? Or is it a wholly justifiable response to 21st Century life?

GLUTTONY: Oh dear. If this is a sin, it’s one I commit on a regular basis. I write most days, sitting in front of my PC, but I take lots of breaks for strong black coffee. And you can’t drink strong black coffee without chocolate. Or biscuits. Or a slice of cake. Or a ham, tomato and lettuce (with mayo) baguette. Or all of the above. With a couple of extra biscuits. And I do need that strong black coffee. I’m a glutton for strong black coffee.

SLOTH: This (alleged) sin used to be called sadness, which strikes me as a bit of a cruel judgment on the part of the person compiling the original list. To condemn someone as a sinner, just because they’re not jumping around, laughing, smiling and singing “I’m Walking on Sunshine,” is pretty harsh, and unlikely to brighten their mood. Am I guilty of sloth? Between watching Buffy DVDs, Angel DVDs, and keeping up-to-date with all that’s happening in the latest reality TV shows, I don’t have time to be guilty of sloth.

GREED: Isn’t this the same as gluttony? The distinction is supposedly that greed applies to material wealth whereas gluttony is for those of us who drink too much strong black coffee. The truth is, if I were greedy for material wealth I wouldn’t be a writer. I’d be doing something that paid money.

ENVY: This one’s mine. I’m such an envious person I could be a stunt double for Shrek and not have to use any make-up. I envy other writers for their talents. I envy writers who aren’t lazy or gluttonous and spending their days in either the kitchen or the TV lounge. I envy JK Rowling for her bank balance. I envy Eliza Dushku’s boyfriend for being Eliza Dushku’s boyfriend. I embrace envy and claim it as my own. But I don’t consider envy to be a sin. I like to think of it as a motivational tool.

PRIDE: Originally pride was claimed to be the worst of the sins. The punishment reserved for this alleged sin (in hell) involved being broken on the wheel. Tied naked to a wheel? Pain? Discipline? Severe retribution? I can think of worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. I think I’ll embrace this one as well as envy. And gluttony. And all the others I’ve mentioned above that aren’t really sins.

LUST: Lust is neither a sin nor a virtue: Lust is a vocation to which we all aspire – and a stepping stone to much better things.

All of which seems to suggest that the original seven sins are past their sell-by-date and in need of replacements.

Which is why I’ve compiled the following list of contemporary sins that are far, far worse than the originals.

Spammers. We live in a fantastic age of computers and chemically enhanced erections. Yet spammers, bombarding us with offers for Viagra and Cialas and every other damned penis pill on the market, have sullied this utopia.

People who say, “…but, at the end of the day…” This cliché means the speaker is saying, “I am a moron, with nothing left to contribute to the conversation, but some insecure need compels me to continue talking and talking and talking…”

Snipers on eBay. I admit, this has nothing to do with erotica or writing, but these irritating bastards should either be reading or screwing or doing something better with their spare time than trying to execute a last minute bid on eBay.

People who say, “I don’t like erotica…” and then go on to admit that they’ve never actually read any erotica. I used to work with someone who said this quite regularly. Once is irritating. Twice is infuriating. Three times and they should have their lips stapled.

Amazon Reviewers. Specifically those who start off their review with the words, “Amazon’s review system is flawed because I have to award this book one star, although I didn’t want to give it any…” As my mother always used to say, “If you can’t say something nice, then keep your damned mouth shut.”

Of course, this is only my list. If you’re reading this and think I’ve overlooked anything more egregious let me know what I’ve missed.


Post a comment, or a sin, for a chance to win a signed copy of Original Sins, as well as a set of super-swell seven sin bracelets for yourself. And ask Ashley any question that you'd like. He'll be popping in throughout the day.



Nikki H said...

Sin 8 - Rude drivers. Especially those who don't have a millisecond to spare to thank me after I've let them out of a junction.

Sin 9 - Interruptus horribilis. Those people who interrupt when you're speaking as if what you're saying isn't important enough to be heard because what THEY'VE got to say is just so much more interesting....

Oh God, I could keep going all day here. But first I need a strong black coffee and some chocolate.

Portia Da Costa said...

What a smashing post, Alison! Those bracelets are so pretty... they look good enough to eat.

And eh up, Ash, me old mate! Nice to know that all the things I felt slightly worried about as my own worst character traits aren't really that bad at all!

I am now a smiley, happy person because of you! ;)

Madelynne Ellis said...

"LUST: Lust is neither a sin nor a virtue: Lust is a vocation to which we all aspire – and a stepping stone to much better things."

I think I'm going to tape that to my desk!

Hi Ashley, thanks for joining us, and supplying a pre-breakfast giggle. I think that's seen off most of the cobwebs, and I'm sure the black coffee will see off the rest, assuming I ever get as far as the kettle.

As for modern day sins, I'd like to nominate Barney of big purple dinosaur-ness fame. Really, I'd like to punch him.

Ashley Lister said...

Nikki - I agree with you about the rude drivers but I have to confess: I am one.
I honk at learners.
I know everyone has to learn, and usually I try to be tolerant, but we live on a driving test route, so we're constantly beseiged by learner drivers and my sympathy has evaporated.
Consequently, I get quite a lot of pleasure from driving close behind learners and then leaning on the horn until I've watched them jump in panic.
I guess that could also be classed as a sin.

Ashley Lister said...

As you know, my wife is guilty of the sin of envying you for meeting David Boreanaz and James Marsters. The poor lass goes green and just glowers whenever I show her a pic of you embracing them.
Good to see you smiling.

Ashley Lister said...

Barney is a sin? That sounds like you've got the joy of kids for the remainder of the school holidays. You'll be grey by August.
I always thought Barney should have made a guest appearance in Jurassic Park. Not, necessarily as a dinosaur. Maybe just being placed in a pen with the velociraptors.

Ally said...

Great Article.
I knew I should have waited till morning to read this. 2am and time to go to bed, but all I'll be able to think of is sinning, (already fantasizing about lust). The funny thing about these sins are that they are based on human feelings... something I never understood about, you know, that "book".

I can and do experience most of these so called sins on each day of my life.

I only have to watch the news and I will be filled with...
Anger: Rage
Sloth: Sadness

Watch a commercial and experience..
Envy: I want what some too.
Greed: I want it all.
Gluttony: Those burgers look so yummy.

Pride: Isn't this something all our parents tried to instill in us?

Lust: Hey I obtained that all by myself. Guilty, guilty, guilty, and loving every moment!

I think the new age sins should be sins that we as humanity and our governments are guilty of, should be ahamed of, and need to fix, like:

1 Famine
2 Poverty
3 Racism
4 Violence
5 Bias
6 Profit over the cost of human lives.

And just because it pisses me off:
7 Stupid drivers.

Good night all, see you tomorrow. I am off to have greedy, gluttonus, lustful sexy dreams.

Yes Ally sins.

Janine Ashbless said...

Chewing with your mouth open.

Artistic and literary genre snobbery (I have a set of friends who mock any form of popular music, and assume I share their disdain as any reasonable person must - that's what drives me nuts. Actually they mock my erotica too. Why the hell do I hang out with them?).

Coming back from a fortnight's holiday abroad and giving your daughter-in-law a blow-by-blow account of every single meal you ate for two weeks. I realise this is probably a minority complaint as not everyone has Yorkshire inlaws, but believe me it is blight upon the face of humanity.

Alison Tyler said...

Morning all... Or something. (Don't know what you say when you greet people at 3:15 a.m.) Awesome to see that everyone is now up and sinning!

I have one to add and then off to bed to dream up more: Writers who sub a story and then say: "I suggest you write an imaginary bio for my story. Anything you could write would probably be just as good as whatever I could."

Is it because it's 3:15 a.m., or will that count as a sin? I mean, I have enough trouble trying to make my own bio seem exciting. How am I supposed to write an imaginary one for somebody I don't know?

Hmmm...maybe PISSY EDITORS should have been one of the sins.

Portia Da Costa said...

Ash, almost everybody envies me that moment... And if I wasn't me, I'd be envying me too!

And now I envy any ladies who've been next to a certain Italian American gentleman... :)

Ashley Lister said...

Ally - can we modify your "stupid drivers" sin to include all stupid people?
For example the people who write those labels for children's medicine. I read one once that said, "Do not operate heavy machinery after taking." That's advisable for adults but I don't know many four year olds that take their junior Asprin and then go out to operate JCBs.
Or those dimwits at parties who say, "Oh! I think I should write a book," as though it's as easy as sitting down and (metaphorically) squeezing one off.
Or the original compiler of the list of seven deadly sins. Why wasn't murder mentioned? What kind of oversight was involved there? I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that murder is a tad more sinful than say sloth or pride.

Ashley Lister said...

Janine - My mother comes from Yorkshire and every anecdote she produces involves a bite-by-bite breakdown of the meal she had, along with a detailed synopsis of the menu including all prices and applicable discounts.
It may sound cruel, but there are times when I wish she was anorexic. At least that way she wouldn't spend two hours telling me what she had to eat.

Ashley Lister said...

Alison - PISSY EDITORS! Why didn't I think of that one? Not that I've encountered many editors who are pissy (he adds quickly, fearful of who might be reading this) but that should have been Number One.
What punishment do you suggest for pissy editors? Please let it be something that involves that evil blue pen that they all wield. Or maybe something vaguely masochistic with chains and a heavy volume of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Ashley Lister said...

Portia - An Italian American gentleman? Which one? Tony Curtis? Dean Martin? Frank Sinatra? Joey from Friends?

Portia Da Costa said...

Ash, I'll only get teased about my obsession. And a lot of people have probably never heard of him...

Just a rather good actor in a cop show who I've made into a variety of different heroes in my books and stories. :)

You've 'met' him in Entertaining Mr Stone and Suite Seventeen - in two different guises.

Madelynne Ellis said...

Aw, look Ash, you've set her off again.

Hey, Wendy, aren't you supposed to be sweating? :-)

Deanna Ashford said...

Hi Ashley,

What a great post and it has really set everyone thinking.

Can I add something which isn't really a sin but it me off. Size zero and the media's compulsive desire for us all to be skinny as rakes. What is attractive about a female who is so thin that her bones stick out all over the place?

Be fit and energetic by all means but unfortunately even after endless dieting many of us can't reach even a reasonable size let alone anything remotely approaching thin.

Why can't it be okay for women to be considered attractive regardless of what shape or size they are.

Jeremy Edwards said...

What a witty, read-bits-out-loud-to-your-wife-and-laugh-together-before-she-has-to-leave-for-work post! Thank you for giving us such a fun start to our morning.

I think the problem, in our fast-paced society, is choosing which personal foible to celebrate on a given day. One can wake up on a Monday and spend half the morning just deciding whether to be narcissistic, or solipsistic, or egoistic, or or self-absorbed. So many choices, so little time.

Janine Ashbless said...

Oh Ashley - we should start a Yorkshire Relatives support group!

Janine Ashbless said...

BTW, when I was at primary school all the classes would take it in turns to put on a play at Friday Assembly.

I remember us doing a play about somebody finding the 7 Deadly Sins in a box. And at age 9 or whatever it was, I got to play ... Lust!


Ashley Lister said...

Deanna - Size Zero has to be one of the most puzzling phenomenon of our times, only overshadowed by Size Double Zero.
I've recently been reading about the rationale behind language and gender, specifically the "invisibility" that has traditionally been thrust upon women by various societies throughout history (i.e. the absence of a right to vote, societies that insist on women either remaining silent or wearing clothes that hide their faces/bodies). These studies have been done by European academics who seem to overlook that popular culture is trying to make contemporary European women "invisible" through a shrinking dress size.
Wow. That was deep for me. To counterbalance the seriousness of the above, I should also add that I like larger women because they usually have big breasts.

Ashley Lister said...

Jeremy - I'm glad the article gave you and your lady cause to smile.
I like the way you're taking this idea: 7 sins/7 days of the week. Are you proposing that we allocate a different sin to each different day? It's going to cause a bit of social upset when we all have our Saturday Angry Day. However, midweek would be a lot more fun if we were assured that Wednesday was Lust Day.

Ashley Lister said...

Wendy - I'm now going to have to sit through cop shows looking for appropriate Italian Americans. Mind you, I can think of worse ways to spend the evening. If not for doing that I'd be sitting in front of Channel 4 tonight chanting "Get Charley Out!"

Ashley Lister said...

Janine - Good to hear you were typecast as LUST from an early age.
A Yorkshire Relatives Support Group? We would have to translate all the self-help pamphlets from English into "Yorkshire Speak"? Instead of an introductory message that says, "We're here to help each other better understand the difficulties of living with those from Yorshire..." it could read, "Sit thi' sen darn, put wood in't th'ole and git thi' sen whinin' lake a chuffin' southern nancy!"

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Madelynne... I am sweating, honest! I've started writing today for the first time in a week... a fight scene even.

Ash, Janine... remember, Yorkshirewoman lurking here. ;)

The cop show you need to watch is Law and Order Criminal Intent, Ash. Think there are some repeats on at a godawful hour on C5 on Tuesdays...

Deanna, yes! Totally agree... Size Zero is evil and dangerous.

Deanna Ashford said...

Law and Order Criminal Intent. Wendy, I'll set my sky plus for that when I stagger downstairs to make a cup of tea- it's strong tea not black coffee for me.

Forgive me but I'm giving Ashley a clue as there are way too may cop shows out there for him to figure it out. The genteman in question has a first name that starts with V!

Deanna Ashford said...

Forgive me in Yorkshire speak I should have said I'm off to mash a cup of tea.

It's a long time ago now, but I live there for a while with the first Mr Ashford. Never could understand what half his older relatives said to me. And what's this thing about serving up cheese with fruit cake?

The language barrier was strange, so many words were different. I once went into a bakers shop and asked for crumpets. The shopowner just laughed and said I was the only bit of crumpet he'd laid eyes on.

Smut Girl said...

Oh, this was so much fun to read. I nearly did a spit-take with my coffee (strong but not black). I loved Anger. It is very hard to watch those calendar pages fall off. Which brings me to a sin:

People who say: "Just be patient" to anything and everything. No matter how infuriating it might be.

I'm sure there are more but I need more coffee before I think of them. :)

Gwen Masters said...

The truth is, if I were greedy for material wealth I wouldn’t be a writer. I’d be doing something that paid money.

-laughs and almost chokes on her strong black coffee...-

Gwen Masters said...

More sins:

- Continuously asking a writer when they are going to get a "real job"

- Governments out for the good of their politicians, not the good of their people.

- Ignoring world events while saying "it will never happen here" and then being stunned when it does.

On a lighter note:

- Leaving the toilet seat up. This sin is especially heinous if it happens in the middle of the night.

On another note, I want some of those bracelets.

On yet another note, Ashley rocks. Great post!

Portia Da Costa said...

Yes, we are a strange sub species up here in God's Own County... with many particular vices and sins. Like being unnaturally fond of our racing pigeons and spending too much time in Working Men's Clubs, listening to 'turns' and supping ale.

Was it 'pikelets' you wanted in that confectionery shop, Deanna?

Portia Da Costa said...

- Continuously asking a writer when they are going to get a "real job"

- Governments out for the good of their politicians, not the good of their people.

Hell yes, Gwen!

And Ash does totally rock, doesn't he? :)

Madeline Moore said...

Wednesday IS lust day. Great interview, and welcome to Lust Bites, Mister Lister. I've recently decided that anger is a good thing. This after a few years devoted to not getting mad, and failing. I think it's a sin to make ridiculous demands/comments/opinions in a reasonable tone, using multisyllabic words, and then being surprised and shocked when someone responds angrily.

These days, I'm also offended when a young person responds 'Perfect!' to whatever I'm doing/saying. I don't know why it bugs me so much, well, all those 'tags' bug me. But they all do it, all the time. 'Perfect!' It sounds condescending.

As for the unnamed police officer on Law and Order CI whose first name starts with V - I too am guilty of a great love for the big lug. But I know it can't be a sin to love him. I just know it...

Alison Tyler said...

I have to share this link because not to would be such a sin...


Shanna Germain said...

Thank the gods that CRACKING UP SO HARD YOU SPIT OUT YOUR COFFEE is not on anyone's list of sins, since we all seem to be doing it this morning. This post was a delight and a great way to start my morning. Thank you.

I have so many sins (my own and those that belong to other people) that I wouldn't even know where to begin in listing them.

I've decided it's going to be a day of sin, so here is how I'll spend it:

--I shall worship false gods. First up: Ashley Lister.
--I shall covet my neighbor's wife. And husband. And my own husband. Maybe in that order.
--I shall misused the name of god. Hopefully while I'm coveting one of the people listed above.
--I shall violate the day of rest when it comes by writing something wonderfully funny and sexy.

Ok, those are all the sin-style things I can handle in one day.

Thanks again for the post, Ashley. Thought-provoking and laugh-inducing.

Best, s.

Ashley Lister said...

Portia - Law & Order C5. Deanna says it's someone whose name begins with a V. If there's a cast made up of characters called Victor, Vincent, Vladimir and Vivien, I'm going to stop playing this guessing game. That said, I trust your impeccable taste in TV shows and I'm now looking forward to it.

Nikki H said...

Loving everyone's answers but there's one more sin I have to nominate. (Probably personal just to me, but what the heck!)

Complete strangers who give me 'the look' when my 3 year old son misbehaves out in public. I am NOT a crap mother. My son is NOT naughty, he has a social disorder and may be autistic (we are currently pursuing a diagnosis) and he just doesn't understand. Do I have to hang a sign around his neck explaining this every time I take him out or could everyone just be a little more understanding?

I know, I know, it's asking for the impossible. Perhaps THAT'S a sin...

Shanna Germain said...

Two additions:

--shit, I'm one of those people (although not a young people) who says "perfect" all the time. Damn.

--Also, can I covet Jeremy's wife just a litte bit too? I don't even know her (or Jeremy), but she seems covet-able to me!

Best, s.

Ashley Lister said...

Deanna (and Portia) - All this talk of Yorkshire speak reminds me of one of my favourite jokes.
A Yorkshireman goes into a vets and says, "Can you look at my cat?"
The vet says, "Is it a Tom?"
The Yorkshireman says, "No. I brought it wi' me."

Portia Da Costa said...

Lusting after the Vinster isn't a sin, Madeline! It's a priviledge and a sign of superb taste in men... ;)

Which you and I share...

Ashley Lister said...

Sommer - I think saying "Just be patient" is particularly offensive to writers. When you're waiting for an editor to respond about a proposal, which you've slaved over for months and months, the words "Just be patient" are tantamount to someone saying, "Hit me hard in the face." Patience maybe a virtue - but advising it ranks as one of the most despicable sins imaginable. Good call.

Portia Da Costa said...

LOL re the Yorshire cat joke!

Thing is... I can 'hear' it perfectly. The old gentlemen in t' club on a Saturday night speak just like that.

Alison Tyler said...

More sinners—all to do with drivers/driving:

Those damn people who take too long to pull out of a parking space. Unless I'm the one in the parking space, and then it's those damn people who hover waiting to take your parking space.

Parking meters in San Francisco that charge .25 for seven minutes. Seriously.

The man at the oil change place who told me to test my left turn signal and (when I'd mistakenly hit my right) said, "No, hon. Your other left."

Anonymous said...

Who takes sin more seriously?
The Americans or the British?
Or who has more fun with sin?
Larry Flynt of Hustler fame is
having lots of fun these days
as he outs the pols who are guilty
of lust. And greed and envy too
of course but that's another story.

Ashley Lister said...

Gwen - Why is leaving the toilet seat up a sin? [evil grin]
Being honest, I think the whole toilet seat issue is easily resolved if all members of the household wear incontinence pads. This also saves those annoying walks to the loo in the middle of the night, and is a great way of keeping warm in the winter months.
There, I think I've just reached a new zenith of bad taste.

Ashley Lister said...

Madeline - Thanks for the warm welcome.
Young people saying "Perfect" are sinful little sods. The phrase that is currently irritating me from young people is, "Can I have some more money, Dad?"
Being truthful, in our household, the language spoken is a blend of "New York surfer speak," courtesy of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Some people don't like it, but I think it's "Totally awesome."

Gwen Masters said...


- People who say "needless to say..." Then why say it?

And Madelynne brought up Barney the giant purple dinosaur. In that same vein, I humbly nominate The Wiggles as a sin almost as bad as The Teletubbies.

Especially if watched while in the midst of a hangover. Torture defined...

Neither, however, could ever be as bad as Barney.

And now I'm going to have to read something decidedly adult and naughty to spark up the LUST again, because I think visions of Teletubbies just killed it. -sigh-

Ashley Lister said...

Shanna - Isn't there a commandment that suggests you should covet your neighbour's ass? It sounds like you've got that one pretty well covered.

Ashley Lister said...

Nikki - one of the things that gave me a better understanding of autism (and associated issues) was reading Mark Haddon's book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Until then it was one of those conditions where I'd heard the word but I had no idea what was involved. That book gave me a tiny glimpse of some of the problems that must be involved in the whole huge topic.
I hope the diagnosis on your little one is favourable. And I wish those snotty bastards who glower at parents with less-than-perfectly-behaved children would mind their own damned business. Apologies and explanations aren't really needed. Sometimes, simply telling people to "P*** off" is more than enough. ;-)

Smut Girl said...

**the words "Just be patient" are tantamount to someone saying, "Hit me hard in the face." **

See, you are a v. smart man! That is exactly right :) And that made me think of another one.

"Just don't think about it..."

Grr. That makes me almost violent. Is violence against clueless people a sin?


Ashley Lister said...

Alison - Your other left? I shall remember that one. I live in a seaside resort - Blackpool. This means, when holidaymakers come to the town, they take some sort of medication that makes them forget how to be pedestrians. All of them seem oblivious to the fact that cars might hurt them and they simply lurch out into the road without warning. A drive through the town centre on a summer weekend is like something from that old 70's flick, Death Race 2000. I shall either have to drive more slowly or get the car fitted with 'roo bars. Being honest, I think I like the idea of the 'roo bars best.

Ashley Lister said...

Anonymous - I think we're all pretty serious about our lust here. I just don't think many of us are convinced that it's a sin.
With the UK/US balance, I think we both have our fair share of dumb laws.
From what I understand of America, (and I could be wrong here) you have jay walking laws in some states that mean you could be arrested or fined for crossing the road.
There's nothing like that over here, but we do have laws that insist you have to pay a licence fee to watch TV, or face a legal penalty.
And those are probably the first two legally consequential sins we've touched on here. Crossing the road and watching TV. Thank the lord we live in such a civilised society.

Jeremy Edwards said...

Also, can I covet Jeremy's wife just a litte bit too? I don't even know her (or Jeremy), but she seems covet-able to me!

She is definitely covet-able, in my humble opinion! So if you want to go ahead and fill out that "APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO COVET" paperwork, I can bump you to the head of the line and have it ready for her to process when she gets home tonight. That should get you officially covet-authorized in time for the weekend.

Ashley Lister said...

Gwen - next time you're "forced" to watch the Teletubbies, remember that the people inside those suits are actors. They went to acting school. They studied hard. They learnt about Shakespeare plays, production etiquette, the medieval morality plays. And now they've gone on to achieve fame by wearing a velour bodysuit and saying, "Uh-oh!" It gives you a whole new perspective on the show.

Alison Tyler said...

Ah, lovely Jeremy. You're always right on top of things with those forms of yours. (I remember the letter you wrote for me when I missed the Otter Pop party on Sommer's blog.)

Shall we move onto sex sins and sinners... like the roommate I had who flirted with my dad? And the roommate who fucked her boyfriend on the dining room table (my dining room table) right before a dinner party. Oh, and the roommate who decided it would be nice to peg her boyfriend in the living room right before I walked into the apartment with my father.

Oh, wait. It was all the same roommate!

May I nominate her for the sinners' hall of fame?

Ashley Lister said...

Sommer - Violence against clueless people isn't necessary. I think we should just carry on with the usual tactic of voting for them.

Ashley Lister said...

Alison - Your roommate certainly gets my vote ;-)

Murray Suid said...


How is it possible to write something that's so funny and so true and deep? If the world were fair, you'd get a million Euroes for this.

About anger: I'm driven nuts when someone sends me a "true" report about how microwave ovens change the polarity of water, thus turning vegetables in poisons. Rather than work on my current script, I'm FORCED to visit to get facts that I'll send in a seemingly nice insulting email to the folks who sent me the bullshit.

This world would be a hell of a lot better off if--instead of spam--your article arrived in everyone's inbox today. By everyone, I'm including President Bush. If he would read and think about your piece, perhaps he would be transformed.

Does anyone here have G.W.'s email address.


Nikki H said...

Thanks, Ashley. Yes, I read that book, too.

And The Wiggles? God, yes, that show needs to be trashed. Those guys have become multi-millionaires from singing about their 'Big Red Car'. Hmm. Euphemism, anyone?

Angell said...

Wonderful post Alison. Had me laughing and my whole office wondering at what.

Of course, then I would have to admit that I'm not actually on the phones collecting money like I should be doing - so it's safer to let them think I'm slowly succumbing to the madness that is my existance.

I've run the gamut of the original seven already this morning...and I've just had lunch.

Wonder what this afternoon will bring...

Smut Girl said...

*Sommer - Violence against clueless people isn't necessary. I think we should just carry on with the usual tactic of voting for them. *

Damn. I just spit my coffee out again.
p.s. My kids are over the Teletubbies (thank god!) but we are still, to this day, debating if the purple one was a boy with a purse or not. And Barney makes me homicidal and the Wiggles...well, that is just...the work of Satan.
p.p.s. I coveted Jeremy's wife first. Just ask him. J, you have my paperwork right? I filled it all out and sent it ages ago...

Shanna Germain said...

**puts up her dukes**

C'mon, Sommer, let's mud wrestle over who's first in line. Whatdya say?


ps my word verification is: beglquz! wee!

Madelynne Ellis said...

I've managed to avoid the Wiggles, so far!

Other sins that have occurred to me over the course of the day. Wilfully stupid people, and people who knock on the door and try to sell you double glazing for a house that's already double glazed!

Actually, maybe they're the same thing.

Smut Girl said...

***puts up her dukes**

C'mon, Sommer, let's mud wrestle over who's first in line. Whatdya say?*

Ah, see! Just my luck. I have to leave the house (alert the media!!) just as I am challenged to mud wrestle by one hot woman for the honor of coveting another hot woman! damn.

Such a great post today. Thank you AT and Ashley for all the spit-takes and giggles :)
p.s. Shanna, I'll be back for you. I am by no means admitting defeat...

Jeremy Edwards said...

p.p.s. I coveted Jeremy's wife first. Just ask him. J, you have my paperwork right? I filled it all out and sent it ages ago...

Oh yes, we have that on file, and we even have you set up for automatic renewal (don't forget to check that box, Shanna!).

Far be it from me to discourage anyone at LB from mud-wrestling . . . but I should mention that we've recently upgraded to a multi-user CovetWare[TM] platform that enables simultaneous, round-the-clock coveting. It's a very stable system that stays up even during power outages and also allows reciprocal coveting--so that while people like you and Shanna are coveting members of our household, we can use the same interface to covet you, with no perceptible degradation of the quality of the coveting.

Shanna Germain said...

...ooh, Jeremy, I have no idea what the hell that means but...

"Me want!"


Alana said...

Censorship is a deadly sin. As is banning books and book burnings. I believe it was Heinrich Heine who said, "Where they burn books, they'll eventually burn people."

Mr. Lister, thank you for visiting us at Lust Bites today.


Ashley Lister said...

Murray - First: your book is outstanding. I'm in awe.
Second: My mother repeatedly sends me those types of warning. Microwave scares, rat piss on drinks cans, all the horror stories she can find. And she believes them.
I usually follow your tactic of visiting, but that site is nearly as addictive as this one, and I can a lose an entire day clicking from one page to another.
I don't know if that means the sin is my mother or the spam.

Ashley Lister said...

Madelynne - Your door-to-door salesman reminds me of the one that visited here a week ago.
I answered the door.
He asked, "Do you want me to look at your fascia?"
I asked, "What the hell's my fascia?"
He pointed up toward the front/top of the house and said, "It's that bit."
I shrugged and said, "Well, you've had a look at it. What happens now?"
And he had the temerity to look at me as though I was stupid!
I'm beginning to think stupidity might be the cardinal sin.

Ashley Lister said...

Alana - You're right. Censorship and associated book burning are unforgivable sins.
That said, I've just done my first year of literature studies and I've got a copy of Wordsworth's complete works that's designated for the barbecue. I've also got a couple of sheets of e.e.cummings poetry that I'm going to use for lighting a havana. But none of that's being done out of censorship. It's just being done because I'm a mean-spirited bastard.

Kate Pearce said...

cycle lane hoggers

bi(cyclists) who insist on wearing those godawful jerseys and shiny pants and then ride 4/5 ABREAST on windey single track roads yacking to each other usually not holding onto the handlebars-thus stopping me, in my 8-seater Nissan Armada monster vehicle, getting around them-and god help me if I try to gently 'encourage' them to stay in the cycle lane-I am the demon driver.
sorry had to get that off my chest... apologies to any individual cyclist, I'm sure you never do that, it's just that pack mentality I hate.

-kids who don't make eye contact anymore.
-people who still ask me after 15 years when my disabled son will be cured, or why I haven't taken him to Lourdes.

God, am I in a bad mood today?

Thanks for the post, it really made me laugh. I'll go read it again and calm down :)

Amy S. said...

Great post! I have one I want to add. Towns that has no bookstores. Every town should have a bookstore. And Walmart doesn't have a good selection of books. I have to order all my books online.

Gwen Masters said...

Wal-Mart and other chain stores don't like to carry erotica on their shelves.

THAT is a sin worthy of boycott.

Ashley Lister said...

I've got another sin I should have added in the original list:
really crap chat-up lines.
The sort I mean are those when a guy says, "Did you hurt yourself...? You know, when you fell from heaven."
"I didn't believe in love at first sight, until I just saw you..."
These aren't chat-up lines - they're verbal emetics.

Alison Tyler said...

I'm guessing this is more of a problem for Lisette Ashton, am I right?

Ashley Lister said...

Alison - it depends which bar I'm in at the time. Blackpool has many faults but it is surprisingly cosmopolitan in it's attitude toward sexuality. We've got a good selection of gay and lesbian bars, one of the country's most highly respected transvestite showbars bars, as well as the regular/unremarkable selection of commonplace gender neutral type bars.
So, if I'm going out as Lisette Ashton (or should that be coming out?) I can expect that sort of problem.

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Sin # whatever-we're-up-to: Leaving your shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot so (a) I can't park w/o getting out of my car to move it or (b) it rolls into my car and dings it.

There's a special place in hell for people who can't walk over to the cart rack and back...

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

I envy Eliza Dushku’s boyfriend for being Eliza Dushku’s boyfriend.

Mmmmm, Eliza....

Ally said...

Leaving the toilet seat up. This sin is especially heinous if it happens in the middle of the night.
Nothing worse than an ice cold bum when you are half asleep, to jolt you into being fully awake.

Yes Ashley, I will upgrade that sin to all "Stupid People", but be carefull when medicating your children and allowing them to opperate their Tonka's. They could end up digging up all the cat shit from their sandbox and building log homes.

By the way I think it's
"Totally Awesome" that you like larger women with bigger breast. (grins)

Nikki h: I am certainly glad I do not have to walk in your shoes. My heart goes out to you. I will confess that when I see children misbehaving and Mommy is pulling out her hair, I just stand their and chuckle. My 2 boys were uncontrolable shopping, drove me crazy, so I guess I relate to that and laugh now.

So, while everyone covets Jeremys wifey, I am requesting a form to covet Jeremys new moustache (if it has'nt melted yet.) Get the hot sauce out.

Here is how to send a letter to GWB:
Mr.Mad Hatter,
666 Down the Rabbit Hole,
Head up Arse, USA

1 more sin:
Nigerian men who ruthlessly call me sweety and dearheart when they fill my inbox with please I love you's, can't spell english even though they claim to be American, and when I tell them to FO, they target some poor woman who doesn't know any better, falls in love and sends him thousand of dollars to rescue him from militants in a country he is working in and bring him home to her. Truly sinful.

Have a great day!

Madeline Moore said...

Thank you Portia, you're quite right, loving Vincent is good. Good for me, good for him, good for you...but if you get a picture of you and Vincent, I will be guilty of the sin of extreme envy.

Nikki, my nephew is asperger's syndrome. He's been kicked out of anger management class, and just the other day was kicked out of his special needs camp. Huh?! He's brilliant, which is some consolation, to me anyway, if not to his mom. I do detest people who give you the 'control your kid' look. And what exactly would happen if you hauled off and whacked the kid? The same people would give you a horrified, I'm calling Social Services look. What is it, then, that they would have you do? Reason with the child? hohoho.

This is a great post, I'm loving it, the comments, and commenting.
There are so many, many things I detest. High on my list are right wing rednecks, who get to be so SURE they're right about everything...while a bleeding heart liberal like me is forced by the way I'm made up to look at both sides of an issue. It must be nice to be so SURE you're right all the time. I guess that falls under the 'stupid person' umbrella. Actually, I can tolerate anything and anyone as long as it/they are not stupid. I really dislike stupid people - I'm not talking about the uneducated or the mentally handicapped, just the big loud stupid bastard who wastes my oh so precious time...

Alison Tyler said...

Okay... people who have the Jesus fish eating the Darwin fish magnets on the backs of their cars. Always strikes me as a bit, um, hypocritcal. And being cut off on the highway by someone who has a Jesus fish magnet on the back bumper.

Ashley Lister said...

Dayle - Damn! You've got me thinking of Eliza Dushku again. I'm going to have to go and either watch Season 3 of Buffy again, or Wrong Turn. Now that should make a damned good end to a damned good day. Thank you.

Ashley Lister said...

Ally - I understand your definition of stupidity. My old English teacher (that is, my English teacher who was old, not a teacher who taught "old English" nor a teacher who also happened to be the breed of sheepdog that is called an Old English) used to say he could accept a lack of knowledge, but he abhored ignorance.

Ashley Lister said...

Alison - if we start an internet rumour, that God smites Christians who cut people off while they're driving, do you think it might have an effect on these drivers?

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Ashley - Or just go here to see a clip of her stripping, from an upcoming movie... [grins evilly]

kristina lloyd said...

Damn, I missed all the fun yesterday. Is that a sin or just unfair and annoying?

Ashley, great post. I'm a professional Northerner too - across the border in Lancs. I left years ago – you couldn't move for whippets. Alison, that’s not kinky, btw, or I might have stayed.

Here’s a thing – ‘But Lister’ is an anagram of Lust Biter! And Lust Biter is also an anagram of ‘Slut Tribe’ and ‘Brute List’. And there’s more … Lust Bites makes Sluts Bite, Lubes Tits and Butt Isles.

No, of course I haven’t got massive amounts of work on. Why do you ask? Displacement activity, moi?

kristina lloyd said...

Yes, yes. I will check those proofs soon, I promise. But how about this: 'Kristina Lloyd' is an anagram of 'Toil Darkly, Sin'.

And Alison Tyler is A Sin Trolley - but hey, we knew that already.

And for our guest - Aye, Hell Stirs.

Go here for minutes of fun!

Kristina Lloyd
(Noisy Till Dark)

Jeremy Edwards said...

My story in the Ruthie's Club "anagram flasher" feature was "Jaded Merry Wes," but of course that was contrived around a character named Wesley.

Sex-with-machines fans might like "Jams Weeder Dry," while I'm sure "Jar Weds Remedy" appeals to the pharmaceutical romantic in each of us. Personally, I'm partial to "Merry Jaw Deeds" (though "Jam Swede Dryer" might come in handy next time I need to do an oversized load of laundry in Stockholm).

Alison Tyler said...

I'm a sin trolley?

Hmmm. I would have thought I'd be more of a sin Alfa Romeo or sin Porsche or even a sin Harley.
Ah, well. I'll live with trolley if I must.

(Um, what's a trolley?)

Jeremy Edwards said...

(At this point, I'm sure I've commented way too many times on this post. But it doesn't count on the "morning after" the original post date, right?)

I think the advantage being a trolley, Alison, it that many more people can hop aboard.

Or perhaps you're a dessert trolley . . . you know, a mouth-watering assortment of "sinfully delicious" treats. (I'm referring to you in your capacity as writer-editor, of course.)

Trolley with a lolly?

Alison Tyler said...

I'm not even going to try to be clever anymore.
I'm just going to say, "What Jeremy said."

Next stop, High Street.
All aboard!


kristina lloyd said...

This is a trolley! You fill it with sin.

We also say trollied (sp?) to mean drunk. And to be off your trolley means to be bonkers. Do you have that?

Jeremy, I think you can comment as often as you want. There's only us three here now. We could get up to all sorts. They'd never know.

Madeline Moore said...

Kristina! Minutes of fun is right! Lookit me, I'm: Alien Moored Me - and it moored me good, I'm tellin' ya. Now, don't be so sure no one will know what's going on in this comments page just because the Lister interview is yesterday's headliner...I have a mission, and my mission is to:

Make Alison Tyler cream her panties.

How do I propose to do so? Well I could: Nailed Me Romeo,(but that would make me come, not her) or
Admire Oleo Men (and I do, I do!) or even call upon Dame Loonier Me, (although I doubt there is a dame loonier than me) but that is not what I'm going to do. I'm going to call on Lust Bites to drive the comments total over the 100 mark.
Ready, set, go!!

Jeremy Edwards said...

We could get up to all sorts.

Glad to oblige.

(I pulled them off the dessert trolley when Alison wasn't looking.)

kristina lloyd said...

Shit! We've been rumbled. I thought no one was watching.

Quick, stop that trolley. I want a ride!

Alison Tyler said...

As I recall, Kristina Lloyd was lowered into a seething mass of rugby players for hitting 100. And I'm getting... um... what exactly? Some licorice whips?

Come on, now. It takes quite a bit more than that to hop aboard my trolley.

Smut Girl said...

*Come on, now. It takes quite a bit more than that to hop aboard my trolley*

I've got vodka shots, elbow length latex gloves and a funky tee. Can I ride? Is that worth the price of admission?

(Geez, Jeremy, look what you've done. I should be working...)

Anne Tourney said...

Maybe there should be a new set of commandments to match the contemporary sins. Like "Thou shalt not ignore thy lover/spouse/friend for hours and let them trail you around at the grocery store while talking on your cell phone." I mean, a brief conversation is okay, but overlooking someone who's with you in the flesh for the sake of a cellular voice isn't good, in my opinion.

Ashley, you make the seven deadly sins seem absolutely fun. Now I'm off for my communion of strong black afternoon coffee.

Thanks for a wonderful post!

Anne Tourney said...

p.s. I have to confess, I've been guilty of the sin of Erotica Envy since Portia published Gothic Blue. Now I should probably go flagellate myself, huh?

Alison Tyler said...

I should just leave it at 99 comments. But Sommer, I couldn't resist. Is this the t-shirt you have? If so, then you can ride for free.


Smut Girl said...

*If so, then you can ride for free.*

Ride for free, you say? Then, yes! Yes it is.'s in red. :)I can still wear the gloves, though, right? Cause they go really well with the shirt...

Gwen Masters said...

Ooooh...over 100 comments!

Proof that Ashley really does rock.

And so does Alison. -grin-

Kate Pearce said...

A Cat Keeper

that's me!