Friday, June 15, 2012

why the fuck friday (7)

Welcome to WTFF. In which I attempt to answer a single question--normally a thought on a book or a bookish subject--that I've been pondering for the past week. This week it's "Why the f*ck did you just tell me that?"

I'm having a bit of a crisis this week. I think everyone has that person in their life that recommends a movie, or a book, or anything really, and asks a follow-up question: "Have you reached the part yet where Blank dies?"

So this week's question why the f*ck did you just tell me that? relates to some peoples abilities to ruin a series or a book for you by telling you a plot detail by asking a question. I've tried--my entire life--to understand how f*cking dumb these people are to ask those sorts of questions. I've also tried--my entire life--to understand how to respond when this happens.

The Following in a Conversation About Season Two of HBO's Weeds:

Me: Hey dude! I'm finally on season two of weeds! Thanks for letting me borrow the DVDs. Coworker: Cool! Has Uturn died yet?
Me: Who's Uturn? 
Coworker: You should already be on that part.
Me: Huh?
Coworker: Oh wait. That's season three.

I've had plenty of instances in my life where similar things have happened. I've had the endings of various movies ruined for me because of loud conversations that I walk in on, I've had books ruined for me because of comments on my blog, or because I've borrowed said book and the person is so excited that I'm reading that they ask me "Have you reached the part where they finally hookup?"*

These kinds of questions are a huge problem: enter the solution!

The Solution to a Conversation About Season Two of HBO's Weeds:
Me: Hey dude! I'm finally on season two of weeds! Thanks for letting me borrow the DVDs!
Coworker: Cool! Are you at the part where Uturn dies yet?
Me: Fuck you. Here's your DVDs back.

Or, The Solution to a Conversation About Season Two of HBO's Weeds II:
Coworker: How far along are you?
Me: Nah nah nah nah nah nah. Not talking about it. Nah nah nah. (hands over ears).

I've actually done the hands over ears thing before. Which I think is acceptable. I also now believe that it's acceptable to call that person out. Gone is the awkwardness of before. If people aren't going to keep their mouth shut, or ruin the plot twist, I'm going to point it out to them.

Save your commentary
for after I finish the book.
I'm also going to point out that their telling me those things has stopped me from watching the show or from finishing the book for an extended period of time.

But really, I've found the easiest solution has been to keep my mouth shut about what I'm watching or what I'm reading. It makes it much harder for people to ruin things for you that way. Of course, there's always that person in the breakroom discussing The Avengers in detail.

Tips/Etiquette to Not Get Stuff Spoiled for You:
  • Don't mention which show you're currently watching. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
  • You're allowed to shut the person down if they bring up the show. Especially if they've ruined something for you before. "I don't want to talk about it. No. I don't want any part of it ruined."
  • Tell other people you want them to stop talking about the book/show. "Can we not talk about this? I don't want it ruined." YOU ARE ALLOWED TO ASK YOUR FRIENDS TO DO THIS.
  • Don't start a blog. 

That's it for this week's why the f*ck friday. Different opinion? Similar experience? Similar thoughts on this subject? Post it below in the comments. Feel free to berate me, praise me, or buy me some fancy coffee. You can even tell me to f*ck off and then buy me a coffee. I enjoy hearing the bookish and nerdy thoughts of others.

*I've also had Vampire Diaries ruined for me. Thanks Beth! Yes, I'm calling you out because you knew I was on season one of the show yet you told me which character dies.


  1. I have actually confronted a friend who ruined a series for me to their face. What was the response I got?

    Me: Thanks for ruining all of the storyline for me. Why did you think it was appropriate to inform me of a huge plot twist like that?

    Them: Whatever, you shouldn't be mad. The show is still good even knowing what will happen. I love knowing what will happen beforehand. You should too. Get over it.

    Me: I am pissed right now. Please don't f*cking talk to me.

    True story.


    1. I'm willing to give some people a pass. Sometimes, with repeat offenders, I'd say what you did.

  2. Oh dear. I’m definitely guilty of this. In high school we read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and because of cartoons and popular culture, I’d always know who they were (I won’t say it here. I’m not making that mistake again!). But I said something to my best friend about the characters, assuming that everyone knew. Guess what, she didn’t! And she was very MAD at me. I still haven’t recovered. Thankfully, our friendship is intact.

    Since then, I try very hard not to spoil things. But as an enthusiastic reader, it can be difficult not to want to discuss a book with a friend – who is FINALLY reading it. This is particularly challenging with series, when it’s hard to remember what happens when.

    Your post is a good reminder. I think your solutions are valid. Especially, telling the person that you don’t want to talk about it – especially if s/he is a friend. I’d rather someone tell me to stop talking, than anger them because I said too much. It’s best not to discuss books until both parties have finished them. TV series are more challenging since they can go on forever.

    1. Did she not know they were the same person? How does someone not know this? I think common knowledge (like Dumbledore dying) is acceptable to talk about. But when you get into a series that isn't mainstream; that's when there's a problem.

      This goes back to the "excitement" that I ask people to contain when you're letting someone borrow a book.

      Just shut em' down. It prevents all problems. Just say "Wait until I'm done. Then we'll talk."

    2. What??? Dumbledore dies? I'm reading book 6 currently.

      I had already heard this along with relationships that develop between the main you are off the hook. I just had to give you a hard time in case I have inadvertently spoiled anything for you :)

    3. Oh gosh. Please don't do that again. I would look like an ads and feel like one.

    4. SHE DIDN'T KNOW they were the same person! I'm glad I'm not the only one who was surprised by this. But still, she was in the middle of the book, so I shouldn't have spoiled the end. Just in case.

      As a blogger, I guess you could remind people in your book review pots not to spoil future books in the series? And even if the review is spoiler free, as a blog reader, I try not to read the comments section on books that I haven't read. Though maybe I should include a "book spoilers" message as a commenter. I figured this was a serious topic, when there wasn't an asterisk in the header. Sorry if I've spoiled anything for you!

    5. How could you not know that!? That's third grade stuff!

      I like the comments. The comments are the entire reason why I even blog. I like hearing from you guys. I've never had a comment with spoilers until now. I might come up with some kind of a policy or something.

  3. I saw a comment on your blog earlier this week and could have predicted this WTFF would be coming. I am at the same point in the series that you are, so the comment was a major spoiler to me as well. Not cool at all. I am SUPER conscious when writing reviews to make sure I am not giving away spoilers. You would think that people commenting would give bloggers the same courtesy.

    1. I forgive that person. They didn't know. I think they're well aware of it now. The best part is not feeling like a jerk about the whole thing.

      Mortal Instruments is fairly popular. It was bound to happen eventually. I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.

  4. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are notorious for this. It's always a mistake to ask them what movie they've watched recently, because then they feel the need to tell the whole plot. I just avoid asking them how they liked a movie unless I've already seen it.

    1. Gah. I'm starting to think it's more prevalent in family members than friends. My mother will ruin the plot of a book if you let her. Or a movie. Or a show. She just does it and has been for forever. I feel your pain, Chris. I really do.

  5. I have mistakenly spoiled things for people and I always feel horrible, because I always try not to do it! My uncle is one of those people who will sit there and tell you the whole plot of a movie or tv show even after you tell him you haven't seen it yet.

    When I know someone is watching or reading something that I have watched/read or am currently in the process of watching/reading. I always ask them how far they have gotten before saying something.

    Convos kind of go like this:
    Me: How far have you gotten?
    Friend: I'm at the point where...
    Me: It gets good past that or something hinting at the rest but not saying anything.

    We're enough alike that I know she'll either agree or say something to me later about how she didn't think it got good.

    1. I've done it by accident before. I think it happens when we get really excited about someone reading or watching something; we just let things slip. I don't like your uncle. He sounds like a jerk.

      That is the appropriate way to engage the person. "Which part are you on?" is the perfect question to ask.

    2. Not so much of a jerk as that I honestly don't think he realizes he's doing anything wrong.

  6. I saw this post coming because of an earlier post. I was so annoyed/angry on your behalf. I hate having things spoiled. My mom does it with movies all the time. I'll ask her what the movie is about to see if it's something I'd be interesting in and she'll tell me the whole thing.

    I sometimes ask how far along someone is just out of curiosity, but I never discuss the book/movie with them until the end unless they ask.

    1. You're very attentive. Yes. It's because of that post. My mom also does the same thing.

      I also do that. It is very hard for me to contain my excitement sometimes.

  7. LOL. Have you met my blogmate - Em? She tends to accidentally do this so we just don't talk about books we've read.

    However, since I schedule all the reviews, I read/edit her posts before they go live so I'm able to delete spoilers from them. Sacrificing myself for the blog readers. hahahaha.


    1. I appreciate you taking that hit for me. I read your reviews and have never had anything spoiled for me (so far).

  8. For the record, The Avengers has Whedon's finger prints all over it... and it is made fantastic because of it.

    1. For the record, Mr. Paten, I completely agree. Joss Whedon is a hell of a writer.

  9. This is unacceptable. I believe any and all friends that proceed to ruin a movie/book/tv series with spoilers should be forced to wear a shirt that reads "SPOILER ALERT" for an extended period of time. And should be pointed to and laughed at as well.

    1. I like this idea. Someone needs to market it. Or at least enforce it.

  10. Also, don't go on Tumblr while reading or watching a certain series. While watching Doctor Who, I was watching the season 4 finale while everyone I followed posted spoilers.

    1. Ahhh. There was an instance where a fellow Doctor Who fan ruined part of this series for me. I don't blame her. Doctor Who tends to come over on BBC America as out of order and she was on season four while I was on three. I forgave her.


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