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  • Writer's pictureDouglas James Troxell

Late to the Party

I always show up late to a party. There is nothing sadder than the start of a shindig. The conversations are awkward, there's the half-assed greetings, sometimes everything isn't set up yet so you get conned into setting up chairs or carrying out plates of cheese. It's terrible! A good party needs time to warm up. That's why I show up late. I wanna show up after all the preliminary lameness has already passed. People have settled in, they're relaxed, and the conversations are flowing like the salmon of Capistrano (Dumb and Dumber represent!).

Still, sometimes you show up and you get the sense that you missed something...

Sometimes the parties I show up late for are more pop culture-y than actual parties. I never go see a movie on opening weekend. Packed theaters are guaranteed to piss me off with dozens of people lighting up the theater checking their phones or getting up to go to the bathroom at the worst possible time. Besides, I learned my lesson after going to the midnight showing of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I shall forever wear the metaphorical scars of that film. Usually I just wait until the movie is dumped onto Netflix two years after its initial release. I just watched Infinity War for the first time about a month ago and was surprised how little of the movie was spoiled for me after not seeing it for so long (I knew about Spiderman, mainly due to the memes).

I never read a book within the first year of its release. I hate the hype machine surrounding new releases and usually when the dust settles it turns out to be just another mediocre book by an author like James Patterson who keeps farting out the same book over and over and over again. Great books live long past their opening hype and that's when I'll stop by to check it out. Usually there's plenty of analysis and commentary on the interwebs to keep me interested.

The latest party I've shown up late for is the Game of Thrones party. I've heard for years how good the show is (and the books, too). The writing, the characters, the twists. Everyone tells me I absolutely HAVE to watch the damn thing. I like fantasy stories and I'm always down for some quality writing, but I don't have HBO and I'm cheap as hell so I just never bothered to show up at the GoT party.

Until a month ago...

Our library recently joined some kind of library mafia where they're connected with a dozen other libraries so now I have access to materials from ANY of the libraries in the library mafia...including old seasons of Game of Thrones. The timing seemed perfect since the show is on its last season. Now my wife and I could watch the whole thing in its entirety! So we started watching...

And we realized we had been missing out on one hell of a party! Everything I had been told was true. The writing, the characters, the plot twists (The Red Wedding!). We've been tearing through a season a week, and I realize how much I missed out on not being there for the big events in real time. Hell, Jon Snow just died at the end of Season 5! I would have loved to be part of that conversation during the hiatus going into Season 6 speculating on whether or not he was really dead and how he was coming back. Unfortunately, those questions have already been answered for everyone else and it's tough to ignore all the promo materials for the most recent season of GoT...featuring a very not-dead Jon Snow.

Sometimes showing up late to the party doesn't pay off. Sometimes you walk in and the police are placing half the attendees in handcuffs and the fire department is heading back to the station. Those are the breaks when you show up late for the party.

And now to FINALLY check out The Last Jedi! I can't wait to find out who Rey's parents are and how Snoke plays into the whole thing and watch Luke Skywalker in all his optimistic glory and NOT drinking blue milk from an alien cow's udder! It will be glorious and not soul-shatteringly disappointing at all!

Just kidding. I've seen it. It sucks.

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