I saw it in the store on Sunday -- a shiny little package with three attractive women staring back at me. I looked away briefly out of shame and tried to resist the urge to pick it up for closer examination.
"Hey, there's hardly anyone else in this store," the devil on my shoulder whispered. "If you buy it, nobody will know except you and the cashier. She's just a teenager, so what do you care? Buy it. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give in."
I didn't, though. I walked out the door and drove home, my dignity intact. Sitting at the dinner table, the image gnawed at me.
It wouldn't really be a big deal, I reasoned. It's totally normal. Millions of people have done what I was thinking about doing, and their consciences don't bother them. Why should mine bother me?
So when the next opportunity arose, I escaped to the same store I had been just hours before, headed straight for the rack and then straight for the cashier. She didn't seem overly judgemental, but I'd already decided I didn't care anyway. Come high tide or low, I was walking out of there with this tempting little nugget. Nothing would stop me.
And nothing did. My conscience bothered me, though. This was something I had sworn I'd never do -- or at least had never imagined I was capable of.
I feel ashamed just telling you about it, but a man can't live with this type of thing on his conscience.
Here it is folks, my dirty little secret.
My name is Ben Forrest...and as of June 25, 2006, I am the owner of...a (deep breath, slow exhalation) Dixie Chicks album.
Stay tuned for further thoughts on my virginal foray into the realm of Nashville's other music.