Semi-Stupid Tuesday Questions: Reverse Spoilers
When I went to see the movie Independence Day, I went under the impression that humanity lost. I thought there we’d been enslaved at the end, or living underground. Or… something.
I thought this because I had been told this. Now, I am not the least gullible person on the planet, but neither am I the most gullible. I was told this, sort of, by two different people who didn’t know one another. The first was the guy who would later become my college roommate. I asked how the movie was, and he said he was “bummed out by the ending.” For some people, this could have meant anything. He was the sort of guy for whom being bummed out mostly meant a downer of an ending.
The second was more elaborate. I was driving a couple people around, and someone mentioned seeing the movie. I asked how it was. One of them said, not entirely, it suuuuuucked. The other guy said. “I know. Humanity fucking lost,” followed by “you know they’re just setting up the sequel.” After which the first person said “Dude, he hasn’t seen it yet.” and the second person said “Haha duuuude, sorry man!” The second guy was kind of a jackass of the sort who would definitely give away the ending of a movie that you hadn’t seen. The first guy was a Rock Star and a villain in my life, but someone I couldn’t help but like despite… everything.
So I went to the movie figuring that we’d gotten our asses handed to us. Setting up some sort of sequel. I actually thought that was kind of cool, in its own way. At least, non-conventional.
So imagine my surprise when a virus uploaded from an Apple laptop saved the day. That was actually kind of cool, too, because, you know, we won. And I wasn’t expecting it!
More recently, I was listening to an audiobook series (which I will not reveal because Spoilers) and something relatively similar happened. Sort of. Clancy had said that she really wanted me to finish the series because “We have to talk about the ending!”
That made me wonder if the ending weren’t particularly eventful. More than just the main character leaving town after solving the last mystery or whatever. Or maybe not. Then I was trying to make sure I had the order of the books right and went to the author’s website. He has a FAQ section. And it showcased a question titled something “That ending, what the hell were you thinking?!” I didn’t read his answer, but what kind of ending warrants that as a frequently asked question? Meanwhile, the story itself was getting darker and darker with each of the last three books. It was apparent that we were getting to the very end of a series. There was some “no going back” stuff. The main character looked headed for either death or prison. What the hell was the author thinking?
Turns out, the ending was a lot less dramatic than that. The questions about the end, and my wife’s wanting to talk about it, were related to rather specific ambiguities the author left at the end. Whew!
So this week’s semi-stupid Thursday question… have you ever been snookered by a wrong spoiler?