I'm an American, which means I feel entitled to whatever I want, whenever I want it. It also means my diet consists primarily of cheese. This has led to a thriving pizza delivery industry.
Author's note: Although this column is about the ending of "Lost," it contains no spoilers. I have gone to great lengths to avoid revealing, for example, that the smoke monster is actually Keyser Soze. Also: Oz was Dorothy's dream. Thank you.
What I'm trying to say is, I don't like waiting. I'd rather know something ahead of time than be surprised later. This is why I love spoilers, and why the final season of "Lost" is giving me fits.
For the uninitiated, a "spoiler" is basically a nugget about something in a movie or TV show you haven't seen. When a popular movie has a twist ending, you sometimes have to take pains to avoid learning it. A lot of viewers were "spoiled" by hearing Bruce Willis died in the beginning of "Die Hard 2." But "Lost" is making a point to keep its secrets secret. I don't want to wait two months to find out what happens. I want to be disappointed now.
This is invariably what happens with big-deal television finales. In 1998, "Seinfeld" signed off with a top-secret, hype-generating last episode. But it didn't live up to expectations, and Jerry Seinfeld was forever cursed to have his name attached to "The Marriage Ref."
Had the plot not been kept under lock and key, fans wouldn't have been so frustrated. But spoilers weren't big then. With no reliable Internet source to turn to, I spent $10 on a magazine promising the finale's secret that turned out to be completely wrong ("You will be satisfied").
Today the Internet is chock full of spoilers. Sometimes they're easy to find: Spollywood.com features user-submitted one-line summaries of the endings of feature films, which means you don't have to waste a lot of time learning the ending of, for example, "Titanic" ("The ship sinks"). This has proven helpful. Suspense over the fate of the protagonist in "No Country For Old Men" got so great I looked up the ending while still watching the movie.
It can be harder to get good spoilers for TV programs, butthey're out there. I'm a fan of "Survivor," a reality game showfeaturing 16 average, regular Americans who also happen to be modelswith personality disorders. The past few seasons elimination ordershave been leaked early, which means when I watch I can focus on howthings are building to an outcome I already know. This keeps me from getting despondent over still liking "Survivor."
So people like me have been spoiled by the prevalence of spoilers, which makes it that much harder not to know what's going to happen on "Lost." Producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof have stopped dropping major hints, and few secrets have emerged from the program's Hawaii sets. And actors Patrick Dempsey and Mark Harmon have been completely silent about upcoming episodes, possibly because they don't appear on the show.
To fill the void, I've had to go around spoiling other areas of my life. I look up sports scores to spoil the local news. I use package tracking to spoil the mail. I leave the toilet seat up to spoil what my fiancée will get mad about.
Because I know that if I kill enough time, eventually "Lost" will spoil itself by airing the rest of its episodes. Still, I'll be devastated if it doesn't deliver. As a devoted fan, all I can say is: Rosebud was the sled.
Scott Green is an award-winning humor columnist who has written regularly for the Washington Post and CBSNews.com. In 2009 he was named one of the top 100 young journalists in America, and now shares his thoughts on pop culture, politics, sex and relationships at ScottSays.com. He lives in Chicago with his fiancée and their two TVs, ages 4 and 3.