Marathon Woman

I’m a marathoner, and I’m talking not about the kind related to blisters and Gatorade, but the ones that involve forcing yourself to sit through ALL of the Leprechaun movies (I did this in 1998 with a few other brave souls, fueled on Buffalo Joe’s wings and Hooch. Remember Hooch? We had to go to both Blockbusters in town to procure all 5 Leprechaun movies. Remember Blockbuster?). There is nothing like snuggling up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn or bottle of the best wine 7-11 has to offer and burning through a season of Breaking Bad. When it comes to working my way through the boxed set of a really, really good TV show, my stamina knows no bounds.

I am lucky that I have friends just as lazy focused as I am. Every year in the month or so leading up to the season premiere of Game of Thrones, we marathon-watch the most recent season in a single day. It is a truly glorious 10 hours of vegging out, eating junk food, drinking beer, and reveling in fantasy drama. By the end of the day, you’re tired, bloated, nutritionally deprived, and desensitized to boobs and horse beheadings, but satiated. In grand tradition, as started with the Leprechaun marathon day of yore, all snacks for the day are purposely terrible crap, usually a deviation of a classic snack coated in a flavored powder to denote a theme: “Springtime” Oreos with yellow filling, “Food Truck” Pringles meant to taste like tacos or cheeseburgers, “Chicken & Waffle” Lays chips that tasted like a mix of Waffle Crisp cereal and the flavor packets from Ramen Noodles.

When we marathoned all six The Fast & The Furious movies (who’s excited for April 3rd??), the ridiculousness of the films grew in increments over the course of the day, so that by the end, it didn’t seem completely implausible that Vin Diesel could drive a car through the nose of an exploding plane and survive. When Dom, Letty, and the rest of the gang gather together for a meal, you feel like you’ve become part of the family too. Yes, Dom, I AM home!

So when marathon training season starts, go ahead and lace up your trainers and hit the pavement, but don’t look at me. I’m be over here, fluffing the pillows on the couch and brushing off the remains of Fiesta Cheezits from the front of my sweatshirt. These Step Up DVDs aren’t gonna watch themselves.




The madness started many years ago, when my then-roommate began reading the Twilight books on recommendation by some co-workers and lent them to me afterward finishing. I blew through the first book, immediately hated it, and did not stop reading until I finished the last entry in the series, Breaking Dawn. I would sit in my car reading during my lunch break, so as not to be bothered and also to hide my shame. I immediately passed on the books to another friend, spreading the curse much like the VHS tape in The Ring. It was good to have friends to talk to about how much I despised the weak heroine Bella or Edward’s lack of personality traits beyond brooding and sparkling. It was like a support group for survivors of terribly written literature.

When the movies started coming out in theaters, we agreed to see them together, continuing our hate campaign. Together we suffered through each entry of the ‘saga’ yet again, reliving the sanitized romance through our eyeballs. Finally, the last installment, Breaking Dawn Part 2, arrived in theaters and we had reached the final stretch of our self-inflicted torture.

*Here be spoilers, so if you still plan on putting yourself through similar misery and don’t want to know how it all ends, take a detour to another route along the Information Superhighway.*

In the book version, the entire story builds up to a giant showdown between the Good Vampires (Bella, the Cullens, the werewolves and friends) against the Bad Vampires (the Italy-based Volturi). As a reader, you think that finally something interesting is going to happen and you’re going to get the awesome supernatural bad-ass war you’ve been waiting for this whole time. However, it all ends up a gigantic letdown, as the vampires, those deadly, be-fanged, bloodsucking demons, reach a solution by having a conversation and then they all go home and nobody dies or even gets hurt a little bit. WTF?? Obviously, this would make the worst movie ever.

Luckily, the director and screenwriter of the film version realized this as well, and also have a pretty wicked sense of humor. As the movie reached the big climactic scene, our audience full of Twihards thought they knew what they were about to see. And then, the sparkly shit hit the fan as the patriarch of the Cullen family, the beloved Carlysle, got DECAPITATED by an evil vampire. The theater filled with screams of shock and horror, and I literally LOLed. Finally! This series got good! The movie became an orgy of violence as vampires ripped each others’ heads off, werewolves ran around with limbs in their mouths, and even more fan favorites died onscreen in agony. “No!!!! But that didn’t happen in the book!!” shrieked countless fans, tears washing the glitter off their cheeks. It went on for what felt like 15 minutes, each shocking death drawing gasps of disbelief from the crowd. Then the main Bad Vampire, Aro, gets murderfied by Alice and Bella shoves a torch in his face, and the screen blinks and the movie reveals that IT WAS A VISION ALL ALONG, IT DIDN’T REALLY HAPPEN. It was the most elaborate fake-out of all time. We cheered, booed, and laughed as the realization that we just got mass punked dawned on us.  Well played, movie producers, well played. It almost made suffering through the whole saga worth it.