The Loophole

That title should actually be, “The Loouphoule.” 

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Did you know if you catch a real live Canadian they have to show you their Indentattoo which, in turn, reveals their true name and spirit animal? Once you can call a Candian by its true name, it must obey your every command. Unless you command it to commit murder, or be rude in public. Then IT CONTROLS YOU! The good news is, it will often express mild irritation at your capture and enslavement of it, but ultimately wish you well and attempt to find its way home. Canadians can always sense true north because of a naturally occurring magnet found in their skulls. Up until the late 1800’s, these “bone magnets” were highly sought after by American hunters, trappers, golfers and tennis players for their perceived effectiveness in pseudo-science carpal tunnel bracelets.

I am quite literally bursting with true facts about Canada. I’ve been there at least 3 times, which makes me an expert. I’m going back again next month for Calgary Expo and to get recertified as an official Canada Expert First Class. I’ll be at booth 925/1025 with Blind Ferret.

One more comic and this story bit ends. Game Of Thrones comes back this Sunday, and I’m struggling to remember who is dead, who is currently actively being killed and who is merely mortally wounded. I need to make a chart. A blood chart. My wife has read ahead in the books which has transformed her into some kind of fire witch with the curse of foresight. She isn’t to be trusted.

I need to go write a foreword for my friend’s book.

COMMENTERS: Have you ever been catching up on a popular tv or movie series while your spouse, significant other, friend, etc. has already read all the books? Did it augment the experience for you, or were they all, “OH MAN OH MAN OH MAN YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S ABOUT TO HAPPEN OMGOMGOMG!!!” all the time? I made the ENORMOUS mistake of assuming I would never care about Harry Potter, so I forced my old boss to explain the entire plot to me, including who killed Dumbledore and that Harry was the final Horcrux, thus robbing me of the excitement of finding those things out for myself when I eventually fell in love with the series.

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  1. I'm always the one who read the book(s) or comicbook(s) beforehand…my friend's hated watching Chris Nolan's Batman Trilogy with me, especially The Dark Knight Rises.

      • Oh yeah, I was so excited for her to be a continuing villain if they decided to move on with a Nightwing storyline, but no. They killed her off.

      • I had a "I knew it, I f&%$ing knew it!" moment when they revealed who she really was. One of my friends I saw TDKR with said he knew she was trouble as soon as he saw "Mol from Inception in there."

        • I hate to say it, but I knew who she was as soon as they announced the casting. She has the perfect look/voice/everything for Thalia.

  2. I personally have never been bothered by spoilers, and my friends know it. Consequently, I've gone into a good number of series (Harry Potter and ASoIaF especially) knowing exactly what was going to happen. It's never really added or subtracted from my experience, because when I read/watch something, I'm much more interested in how the story is told than what actually happens. There have even been times when I read the last page of a new book first, just for the fun of it.

    • Same here. I think if the plot is the main/only good thing about it, it's not usually that good.
      Although my sister and mother think I'm weird and don't know how to watch movies properly. But it's ok, because I usually look stuff up online before I see/watch/read it, and if I have to worry about spoiling it for someone else, I get to tell ominous mysteriously vague versions of the plot.

      • I'm of the opinion that if the twist is the only reason to watch it (Sixth Sense), it's not worth watching. I do have a few exceptions though like Usual Suspects, where I'm not going to insist that other people watch it "pure" but I'm going to keep my mouth shut unless they ask me.

    • ASoIaF is odd with the books and series in separate spoiler territories. "Wait, can we talk about that? I know I raved to Bob about it back when the book came out but he seems to not remember and now he's into the show and that's coming up and now my head hurts."

  3. I've read all the GOT books and watch with 1 person who's also read and two who haven't. So basically person 1 and I are not allowed to speak during new episodes. We're also very good at resisting pleas from friends about what will happen next.

    I'm also currently taking a friend through what we're calling her "Nerducation." She's totally into GOT and Doctor Who now. She did Firefly on her own last summer. I'm working her through movies right now. Last night was Alien though I was pushing Cabin in the Woods. She insisted she'd seen Alien but just a long time ago but that she'd rather watch that than Cabin in the Woods because she's not into horror/gore. She did not believe me when I insisted that Alien is a horror film that just takes place in space! "No it isn't! I've seen it!" Until we got half way in though and she realized she hadn't ever seen it and it IS a scary movie.

    • I'm also in the position of having read all of the GoT books. This season I might just opt to not watch the show at all with non-readers, because they are all going to flip.the.frak.out. And, quite honestly, I don't know if I have the self control to not just turn and watch their faces at crucial moments.

      • I LOVE watching their faces. Or waiting for the laughter at funny moments–seeing Avengers the second time with a theater full of people who were seeing it for the first time was an excellent experience…although it was frustrating when they started leaving during the credits.

        I watched Serenity with my family who hadn’t seen it. My little sister Miranda said she found River creepy at the very beginning of the movie, so I watched her during the Fruity Oaty Bars scene and when River whispered “Miranda…” my sister’s freakout was priceless.

      • This is why I feel very awkward watching something a friend loves with them, or even at all. Because if you're not as enthusiastic as they are it's gonna feel like you dislike it in comparison, and they know all the bits they think you should be reacting to.

  4. I'm the only one at my job who has read "The Walking Dead" comics. For the first two season, my co-workers kept pestering me about whether or not X would live or die, or if they'd ever leave the farm. By the third season, I had to explain that it had deviated enough that my knowledge would do them no good. Before that point I kept telling them, "Just wait till Michonne shows up."

  5. I had to read the Harry Potter series for this reason. My wife-to-be was into the books, I wanted to watch them as movies, but I knew she would do exactly this, so I read them too, which actually lessened my appreciation for the later movies due to the whole "It didn't happen like that" thing.

  6. I don't have friends who /like/ to spoil, for one. but also I have a magical nearly-spoilerproof brain. Most spoilers I encounter are forgotten by the time they're relevant to the moment. I was in the middle of season 1 of a show (bingeing through on Netflix, no less), accidentally read a spoiler about a major character's death in season 2. COMPLETELY FORGOT. Just a few days later, spent 3 episodes crying and being sad and alternatingly mad that I could forget in so short a time and that they would kill said character. Being cable-free and reluctant to pirate, I'm a season behind on Walking Dead, I know I've read many many many spoilers, I only remember one. I just have some sort of safety-switch in my brain that re-routes information from short-term memory to some heavy-duty lock & key long-term memory. I read it, I'm like "huh, interesting." Then I forget…until that moment happens.

    Now, on huge in-depth worlds like GoT and LotR, I actually enjoy having friends who've read things. I was dating a Tolkien fan during the LotR run, and after each movie I'd have him fill me in on backstory b/c while I think it'd be nice to sit down & read Tolkien one day, it's not high on my priority list. Doing the same thing now with GoT and my husband; although, I'll probably start reading those within the next few months.

    Like Lynne, I just can't get angry about encountering spoilers b/c I like to see how the story is told.

  7. My girlfriend got me to start watching Doctor Who in 2009/10…that was exciting for both of us. OMG THE FACE OF BOE!?! And then I got my best platonic friend to watch and did the same thing with him that my girlfriend did with me. He’s also watching Buffy, and I’ve been trying (and failing) to get both of them to watch Game of Thrones…




    • You're not a real Dalek! You're showing mercy. A REAL dalek would have just exterminated him (after telling him why he was inferior, of course). YOU must be exterminated for your imperfections.

  9. How do you keep doing it? Joel, this latest HBO mini-arc has brought me nearly to tears with laughter every strip. I would totally read a whole comic by you about HBO and watching Game of Thrones.

    • I really appreciate the feedback. This is (i believe) the first mini story arc ive done all year, and although I was happy with it as I was making it, I really have had no idea how it was being received. Glad it's working for at least someone besides me.

  10. Joel, I think I've met you on every trip to Canada if you've been here 3 times. Too bad I'm going to miss you this year at TO's Fan Expo.

  11. I'm loving this story line. I don't remember when you switched over to the continuity style comic, but I love it.

    • It wasnt a hard switch (though it might move more in that direction this year), but it was the 2nd half of last year that I started experimenting with continuity. This is the first mini story arc I've done in 2013, though. Glad you're enjoying it. I never know how to gauge reaction to these things.

  12. Yeah, been enjoying this one, too. Love the Identattoo. Also, you're making me sad that we got rid of our Direct TV, so now I have to wait a year to see the new season of GoT. It was a hard choice, but it was getting harder and harder to justify the expense for the satellite service just to get GoT and TrueBlood. 🙁

  13. My best friend is a huge Dr. Who fan, but hasn't seen any of the recontinubootion. He's saving it for when his son is old enough to watch with him. (He reckons this to be another 2 years as he has fond memories of his four-year-old self cowering behind a couch to hid from the daleks.) With a couple other Whovians in the office, it's hard to stay spoiler free.

          • "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances" (the episodes with the gas mask are you my mummy kid) were series one and "Blink" was in series three with Martha.

        • Seriously.

          Everyone was all 'Man! Blink was the scariest episode I ever watched!!' and I believed them. It was pretty scary, but even on a 2nd/3rd rewatch The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances were much scarier – albeit with a much more uplifting ending. I bloody LOVE the ending of The Doctor Dances!

  14. Being the one who is already privy to events which haven't happened in the series yet (GoT) it is IMPOSSIBLY difficult to watch with someone who hasn't read them. I've been pestering boyfriend for months and months to please catch the hell up because i am going to ruin EVERYTHING, inadvertently of course… i am not one to keep quiet easily, but even my muffled squeaks are tipping him off to stuff that is going to happen.

  15. I wasn't planning on reading the GoT books until my dad became such an insufferable ass everytime I mentioned a theory that not I'm speed reading them to get past the part he's at.

  16. My mum is the biggest problem, she's in the UK so gets to see the new Doctor who 8 hours before me (As I'm in Canada) and we always chat n Skype just after she's watch it. She gets so excited its hard for her to keep it spoiler free

  17. Funnily enough, I am Canadian and seem to have a naturally-occurring bone magnet somewhere just above the bridge of my nose. I can only detect magnetic north, though, not the true one.

    I suspect it's an iron deposit from all the liver my British mum fed to us as kids, polarized from sitting too close to the TV or something.

    Wait, what do you mean, you don't have one?

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