The Movie Endings Ruiners Club by Rich Dodgin

Keith knew he should be enjoying the film, but he couldn’t relax. His mouth was dry and his hands felt clammy. He couldn’t believe they were really going to do this.

They’d planned this out to the finest detail and had practiced and practiced what they were going to say, so he should’ve been prepared. But sitting in the darkness of Screen 1 surrounded by hundreds of strangers made the whole thing a lot more nerve wracking than he’d expected.

It was another one of those stupid ideas that they seemed to come up with when the three of them got drunk together. “The Movie Endings Ruiners Club,” Dave had said in drunken glee. “We go to the cinema and halfway through the movie we loudly announce the ending of the film. Then we leg it.” This had been at 2am when they were incredibly drunk, and they’d all laughed and thought it brilliant.

Now, a couple of evenings later and sober, Keith wasn’t so sure. He could sense the people around him, and the fact that he and the others were going to deliberately fuck this film up for them suddenly seemed a lot less funny.

Next to him, Paul seemed equally nervous as they waited for the agree moment to arrive. He fidgeted and shifted in his seat like a dog with fleas.

“Sit still for fucks sake!” hissed Dave. “Remember what we agreed. We’re in this together. No chickening out. Ok?”

On screen, the mother of the young boy was complaining to another parent about some perceived mistreatment or other. It would soon be time. Keith felt his stomach tighten in anticipation. Oh fuck. Oh fuck. Oh fuck. We’re really going to do this, Keith thought. Shit.

“Ready?” asked Dave in a voice loud enough that they could all hear him above the sound of the film.

They mumbled their replies, and Keith focused on the on screen action. Here we go.

“Three,” chanted Dave, as the three of them stood up slowly, “two, one!”

And they all shouted loudly in unison, “BRUCE – WILLIS – IS – A – GHOST!” before racing for the door, laughing and yelling at the rush of it all.

******

Despite his disbelief at what they’d done, Keith had to admit that it was one hell of a buzz and enthusiastically agreed to do it again.

Over the next couple of weeks they managed a few more successful film-ruining sessions, each time getting the rush of adrenaline as they ran away laughing at the insanity of what they were doing.

But they soon found it was harder to get away with. The cinemas had received complaints from some filmgoers and had been given descriptions of Keith, Dave, and Paul. In the end, their local multiplex told them they were banned and that the police would be called if they ever returned.

*****

Which is where Keith thought it would’ve ended.

But somehow the story made the local and then the national press, and before long there were copycat Movie Endings Ruiners Clubs popping up all over the country.

Within a couple of months it got to the point where you couldn’t go to the cinema without someone ruining the plot halfway through. The cinemas were losing money due to declining audience numbers and the numbers of refunds they were paying out to complaining patrons.

The Daily Mail started a campaign demanding something be done and blaming the three lads from Edinburgh as the cause of it all.

As a result they became minor celebrities for a couple of months and even appeared on a few television and radio shows. Keith found he was recognised wherever he went. Most people were friendly towards him, but some of those who’d had their film going experiences spoiled were quite confrontational.

He was therefore relieved when the cinemas finally hit on the idea of having audiences wear earphones to listen to the films. The problem gradually faded away and so did the public interest.

******

A few months later Keith and some friends were in a busy bar chatting with a group of female students they’d just met.

Keith was getting on particularly well with a dark-haired girl called Julie. She was attractive, intelligent, laughed at his jokes, and there was a natural spark between the two of them. This could be the start of something special, he thought.

Which was when one of his friends interrupted their conversation to tell Julie, “You do realize that is the Keith Forsey you’re talking to — don’t you?”

Julie frowned. “From the Movie Endings Ruiners Club?”

Keith glared at his friend, and then nodded sheepishly. “Yeah, that was me.”

“God. For a while I hated you and your idiot friends. Every time I went to see something at the cinema some moron ruined the ending.

Keith groaned. “What can I say? It was a stupid idea that got out of hand.”

Julie laughed. “Don’t worry. The last time it happened I was on a terrible first date, watching an awful film with some guy I realized I couldn’t stand. It was a godsend when some jerk stood up and told everyone what was going to happen. We all asked for our money back, and I got to make my excuses and go home. So thank you.”

“Wow, I think that’s the first time anyone has every thanked me for ruining a movie ending,” said Keith, beaming as he did.

*****

Later, when it was obvious that the interest was mutual and the two began discussing possible first dates, Keith half-jokingly suggested the movies.

“No thanks,” Julie said sweetly, “I think I’d sooner commit seppuku than be caught in a movie theatre with you. No offense.”

“Fair enough,” said Keith, giggling.

They went for a romantic dinner instead.

******************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Rich Dodgin is an Edinburgh-based fiction writer and music journalist. Visit him online at http://www.richdodgin.com/.

 

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One thought on “The Movie Endings Ruiners Club by Rich Dodgin

  1. Reblogged this on ianstarttoday and commented:

    great yarn by Rich Dodgin

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