Spoiler Alert: I’m The Spoiler Queen.
Before you go ballistic, let me assure you that I’m not the kind of spoiler you want to throttle. You know, the kind who sees a show and then tells you how it ends, destroying the element of surprise, before you have a chance to see it yourself. Nope. No way. Not me. I’m the kind of spoiler who watches the show with you, guesses whodunit and/or exactly how it’s going to end, and tells you before it does. Come to think of it, I guess you might want to throttle me too.
About ninety-nine percent of the time, not long into a movie, play or TV mystery, I know what will happen, who did it, and how it will end. As a consequence, Macho Guy takes little joy in going to see anything with me. I can’t say I blame him because I blurt out my predictions. Try as I might, I can’t stop myself. The moment I think it, I say it. Luckily, MG hasn’t tried to throttle me yet.
I don’t know how I know. I’m not a mystic or a clairvoyant. I just know. I suspect that being a writer and being familiar with plotting must factor into my ability to anticipate the solution. Another factor could be my obsession with solving puzzles, the more maddening the puzzles the better, such as Sudoku, jigsaw, crossword and just about every other type of word puzzle.
One example of my predictive ability occurred when we visited Great Britain to celebrate our twenty-fifth anniversary. While in London, we treated ourselves to a night at the theater. We went to see Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, the longest running play on record. [Christie’s play opened in the West End of London in 1952 and has run continuously since that time.]
The Mousetrap is a classic murder mystery set at an English country manor where every character is a suspect. I figured out who the murderer was at a certain point in the play. I whispered the dastardly killer’s name in MG’s ear. He scoffed at my prediction, but I stood my ground. Later on, when the murderer’s identity was revealed…yes! MG had to eat crow for doubting me because once again I was right on the money.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to take my word for that because at the end of the play, the cast came out and swore everyone in the audience to secrecy. The Mousetrap has a twist ending, and the cast urges audience members to promise never to reveal the solution. I promised, so I can’t tell you. Sorry about that.
A more recent example occurred a few nights ago. FYI: since MG and I are Detroit Tigers fans, we follow the telecasts of the team’s games so occasionally we don’t get to watch our favorite TV shows when they are originally aired. We record them on the DVR and watch them at a later date—minus the commercials, thank goodness. Last night, we replayed two episodes of Rizzoli & Isles back to back. As it turned out, it was a two-part episode but wasn’t billed as a two-parter so we assumed it was a stand-alone episode.
In the first episode we viewed, an international art thief was murdered before the opening credits, and the team of Rizzoli and Isles suspected that he stole a $20 million painting from a museum and replaced it with a forgery so no one would suspect it had been stolen. The painting was a valuable family heirloom loaned to the museum by a multi-millionairess married to a politician. Her husband was the one who persuaded her to loan the painting to the museum to help raise awareness for the museum’s fund raising campaign. Hmmm…
I told MG that I believed the husband was behind the theft. I suspected that he resented his wife’s control of the money and had the painting stolen so he could sell it and keep the money from the sale for himself. As the episode ended, the forger had been murdered too, the stolen painting apparently burned, and the investigation ended without the husband in handcuffs. I was taken aback by this development. I was so certain the husband was the guilty party.
Had I missed something? Had I lost my touch? Had my reign as The Spoiler Queen come to an inglorious end?
To cut to the chase, the second episode continued the story from the previous episode. The investigation into another murder revealed it was connected to the art theft and eventually led detectives to the husband. The investigation also provided the husband’s motive, which struck me as true to form for a politician. He wanted his wealthy wife to bankroll his run for governor but she refused. He had her family’s painting stolen and planned to launder the money from its sale through a PAC in order to fill his campaign war chest.
Ha! Vindication! I was right after all—and before seeing the developments in the concluding episode. The Spoiler Queen rules and strikes again! MG wondered aloud why I bothered to watch.
So, would any of you out there like to go with me to see a movie? A play? Watch TV? Anyone?