So if you’re a big movie fan like me, I have some advice: If you are planning on seeing a blockbuster movie, and can’t make it until Sunday of opening weekend, you should take all of your electronic devices, lock them in a safe, and avoid looking at them until after you’ve seen the movie.
I base this on the fact some people are simply terrible and love spoiling a movie twist. Because they are terrible.
The most recent example of this is “Avengers: Infinity War.” My kids and I go to all of the Marvel movies, usually on opening weekend. My wife does not go to these movies with us, because she went to one with us, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and fell asleep during it, and a nap at home is much cheaper.
I have gotten adept at avoiding spoilers, as I use the aforementioned safe starting on Thursday.
Alas, my kids’ phones are essentially appendages and cannot be easily removed. As we were driving to the theater, my son made the rookie mistake of looking at his phone. I could tell by his body language something bad had happened.
“It’s spoiled,” he said.
At that point, I went against my first instinct, which was to lecture him about why checking texts or Snapchat or anything else was a bad move, as that was really not going to help things.
Instead, I said, “Well, maybe it’s someone just being a jerk making up stuff. Don’t let it ruin the movie. Also, don’t tell me what the spoiler is just in case.”
We got to the movie and settled into our seats. We ordered our usual: Large popcorn and a large root beer. We get the large because you can get refills. My daughter’s boyfriend was with us, and I told everyone to dig in to the popcorn so we could get a refill. Being the naive young lad he is, he doubted that we would be able to power through a large popcorn before the movie started. Silly boy. Never doubt the popcorn consumption powers of a group of Gibbons.
Fast forward to two-and-a-half hours later, and it turns out the spoiler my son had read was not in fact, correct. In some ways, that’s even worse than actual spoilers. If you’re just serving up straight lies to upset people, you really need to do a personal audit of yourself and find out why that brings you joy. And then you should never do it again.
That said, I do think there is a time limit for how long you have to go before you keep certain details holed up only to be discussed in the safest of places. But, there comes a time when, if you haven’t seen, say, “The Empire Strikes Back,” it’s kind of on you. (Spoiler alert: Yoda is Han Solo’s step-brother.)
For me, I’ll give it a month. I mean, there are enough people who have seen the movie by now that if I really need to talk about it, I can find plenty of folks in my house alone. Also, I can talk freely about it with my wife, who will politely smile and nod as we tell her about the movie, even though she has no idea what we are talking about.
There are several big movies coming up that my family (well, three of the four) will want to see. And we we will once again be faced with the challenge of avoiding spoilers. I am convinced that after the Avengers near-miss, my son will be on high alert prior to them. Hopefully, he will put his phone in my metaphoric safe, and focus on the one thing we should prior to the movie: Powering through that popcorn.
Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Mt. Pleasant. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike or at www.mikeslife.us.