Don't read any further if you plan to go to a movie this summer. I'm going to give away the ending to all of them. Stop reading NOW if you don't want to know.
Here's what will happen at the end of any movie you see with your spouse this summer: You will look at each other and say, "We should have waited until it came out on DVD."
It's been months since Sue and I went to a movie. We went to something around Christmas, but afterwards, we couldn't figure out why the morning and afternoon talk-show hosts had been so giddy about it.
Summertime is when the studios release the blockbusters, the cream of the crop, the best they have to offer. So we figure it's time to try again. We man up and leave the house -- braving freeway traffic, texting drivers, barely lit multi-story parking garages, and roving gangs of cellphone-addicted teenage mall rats -- to sit in a theater that smells of carpet cleaner, fake butter and Febreze.
The couple behind us thinks no one can hear them. They are talking in an absolutely normal tone of voice, as if the rest of us are invisible and there is no one else in the theater.
In front of us, two high school kids are necking. The guy is scraping the back of her throat with his tongue stud. It looks like he's trying to reach something she had for lunch. Yesterday.
Finally, blessedly, the lights go down. A notice appears that this preview has been approved for all audiences. Then, in Dolbyized quadraphonic sound, we hear an agonizing human scream and see a shiny carving knife plowing through a chest. The movie we have come to see is a lighthearted romantic comedy. A filthy hand reaches into the blood-pulsing body cavity and pulls out a still-beating human heart.
A voice announces, "You've never seen anything like it!" Like that would be a bad thing? I've never seen a man fall into a wood chipper. That doesn't mean I want to.
Will the movie we paid to watch ever start? Remind me to come 10 minutes late next time. The two in front of us finish necking and light up a joint. "Isn't this a no-smoking theater?" I ask Sue in a stage whisper.
The guy in front of us turns around and says, "They mean cigarettes, dude."
"We've really got to do this more often," I say.
Even before the film we'd come to see starts, Sue says, "We should have waited for the DVD."
It spoiled the whole ending for me.
Contact Jim Mullen at JimMullenBooks.com.