By Jace Brittain
Updated July 16, 2010 at 05:04 PM EDT
Credit: Stephen Vaughan

Image Credit: Stephen VaughanIn the late summer of last year, I re-watched Memento on a whim. It had been nearly seven months since The Dark Knight didn’t win Best Picture. As scant details about Inception came out of the woodwork and it became clear that Christopher Nolan’s passion project would displace Batman 3 as his next feature, I made a decision: I would watch Inception upon its release with no knowledge about its content.

The rules were simple and exceedingly strict. The first few months were a breeze. I heard occasional casting news (Okay, maybe not exceedingly strict), but Nolan kept a pretty tight lid on the thing for the most part. As 2010 rolled on, I became marginally aware of released trailers, but they were effortlessly avoidable. But then they started airing during episodes of Lost — a show I never missed each Tuesday night — and billboards started popping up. The cakewalk segment of my journey was over.

I bolted from crowded couches at the sight of a WB labyrinth and that foghorn sound, I covered my ears and hollered Justin Bieber lyrics in a crowded movie theater, I shut my eyes as ads hounded me from both sides of the 405 in L.A., and I hid my TV. I even told my superior at EW to “can it” after he attended the premiere. I swear I’ve never used that phrase before! When asked to transcribe interviews concerning the film, I pretended I was busy with important Twilight work: “Jackson Rathbone isn’t going to interview himself!” When I couldn’t get Jackson on the phone, I hid under my desk. When discovered under my desk, I ran.

So here I am on the dawn of July 16, the day with all the red X’s in front of it. I am television-less, friendless, and might soon be unemployed. (They can’t fire you if they can’t catch you.) Inception is coming out — and I don’t know very much at all. Mission accomplished. I’d scream triumphantly, but I’ve sung a one too many “Baby noooo”s, and I’m pooped. Give me my ticket and let’s get this over with.

Oh, but don’t tell me anything about Piranha’s 3-D. I don’t wanna ruin it.

Any PopWatchers out there that avoided spoilers for Inception? Anybody else like going to a movie all tabula rasa? Who wants to see the first showing with me? Who accidentally told their friends that Snape kills Dumbledore? Sound off, PopWatchers.