I was comfy in my seat at the movies when I felt someone tapping my shoulder. I suspected it was my pal but I couldn't tell for certain. Yes, it was dark in the cinema but no, that wasn't the reason I couldn't see who it was.
Then, a voice. Alongside all the hollering, yelling and explosive noise coming from the screen, and that deep, rumbling, drone, horn blast that'll be overly familiar to regular filmgoers my friend asked a question.
"Why," he said in a hushed tone, "are your eyes closed?"
I would have thought it was perfectly blimmin' obvious but sometimes my mates can be a bit slow off the mark...
"My eyes are closed," I replied, "because I don't want to see anything."
Because my eyes were closed I couldn't see him rolling his, but I'm fairly certain that was his response.
That's okay. I get it. You don't pay good money to go see a movie and then sit there with your eyes closed. The thing was, the movie hadn't started yet. We were still well in trailer territory. And trailer territory is where any possible interest I may have in a film goes to die.
It's been well over a decade since I stopped watching movie trailers. In all that time I've seen precisely one-and-a-half trailers.
I watched the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens because it dropped the same day as my column was due and it was something big to write about. Whereas the half trailer I saw was also for a Star Wars film, last year's Rogue One, only this time I was tricked into it, getting caught off-guard at a review screening where I wasn't expecting any trailers before the film began.
I'm happy to admit the trailer sucked me in. I was wowed. But the instant I realised I was being wowed I closed my eyes. I didn't want to be wowed any longer lest I be less wowed when I got to see the movie.
When people quit something there's usually a catalyst they can point to, a big event that changed their perspective and made them think, 'nope, I don't want this anymore'.
In this regard I don't have that. Instead it was more a gradual thing. A slow, dawning realisation that movies tended to suck really bad after I'd seen a trailer that revealed every damned thing that was going to happen.
So one day I simply stopped watching them. Trailers were blacklisted and added to my strict and fairly extreme anti-spoiler regime, right along with avoiding loose-lipped, loudmouth pals, not visiting certain websites and going off the grid and logging out of all social media accounts until I've watched and enjoyed whatever it is I'm looking forward to seeing.
So there's not much point going to all that trouble if I'm then going to ruin it by watching a trailer that crams every plot point, big reveal, double cross, car chase, set piece, explosion, gunfight, gag or comedic hi-jink into its three minute running time.
Because that's what trailers do. Instead of enticing you into the cinema they actively spoil the movie they're trying to sell you. They're basically yelling, "look at all this cool stuff that's in the film!", only now you don't have to because you've just seen it all. It's ridiculous and out of hand.
It's so crazy that now movie studios release teaser trailers to advertise the imminent release of a movie's trailer. Not the movie, mind, the release of the movie's trailer. Think about that for a second. These are adverts for adverts. It's nuts.
Why anyone would want to see the abridged version of a film before seeing the actual film is a mystery to me. How many times have you left a movie thinking, "I saw all the good bits in the trailer?" or worse, feeling like you didn't need to see it at all after watching the trailer?
Well, this happens to me never. And it's all because of my no-trailer policy. I go in as ignorant as possible and come out as happy as can be.
I've really enjoyed films that my trailer-watching friends haven't all because they knew the big joke that was coming, already winced at the jump scare or seen the hero's big act of daring. Meanwhile, I'm roaring with laughter, jumping out of my chair in unexpected fright or being visually blown away by some death-defying stunts.
It really makes a huge difference to the movie going experience and to your enjoyment. I strongly encourage you to try it.
Yes, you will get a few strange looks next time you're at the cinema but there's no reason to worry about that because you won't be able to see them through your closed eyes.