I'm a big fan of information. At least I was, until somebody invented the spoiler alert.

I first noticed spoiler alerts on an e-mail list I get about new mystery books. I didn't know what it meant, people writing SPOILER ALERT and then telling the ending to a mystery. I used to read the entire spoiler until I finally figured it out. Nothing like knowing whodunit before you know what they dun.

Then I noticed spoiler alerts in fancy places like Time magazine, but they couldn't fool me anymore, so I put my hand over the page and started reading after my thumb. And when

Harry Potter

came out, there were spoiler alerts everywhere, but I read them anyway. I'm saving

Harry Potter

until whenever and I knew I'd never remember Dumbledore or Wackydoodle. I still can't find my car keys from yesterday.

But today I was reading a celebrity blog, a complete and total waste of time, which I love. I came upon a spoiler alert. The blog was about to tell the ending to the

Sex and the City

movie, which I'm dying to see.

Sex and the City

is to girls what

Iron Man

is to boys, and I intended to be at the movies for the first show, accessorized with Manolos and cosmos. So when I got to the spoiler in the blog, I covered it with my hand and didn't read the ending to the movie.

But here's what happened later:

For the rest of the day, I wondered what the spoiler had said. I really wanted to know the ending. I mean, I was determined not to know the ending, but all day long, all I could think about was the ending.

The blogger had done the exact right thing - he had told me he had the information and let me decide for myself whether I wanted to know it. So I decided I didn't want to know it, and also that I did want to know it. Both at once. I mean if it was knowable, I wanted to know it.

Didn't I?

It was confusing. Why, all of a sudden, is there so much information about everything? And when did bloggers become what we used to call know-it-alls, whom nobody used to like? Why don't they just keep the information to themselves, so I don't have to make a decision?

So I called my daughter and told her about my spoiler-alert obsession, for which she had a ready explanation:

"I know what you're talking about," she said. "It's called the rebound effect, in psychology."

"Really?" I was stalling, in truth. I didn't know what she was talking about, which is why I pay for her to go to college. When she graduates, I won't understand a thing she says. "So, what is the rebound effect?"

"The gist is that if someone tells you not to think about something, that's all you can think about. For example, the Victorians spent so much time trying to repress their sexuality, sex was all they thought about."

"Amazing." I began to see a connection. "So do you think I'm obsessed with sex or

Sex and the City


"You? It's not even close."

Of course she was right. So I hung up and watched TV to forget about

Sex and the City

, but a commercial for Viagra came on. Now, I'm not making fun of erectile dysfunction, but some of the commercials for ED drugs are better than others. For example, I can deal with the Cialis couple in the bathtubs in the middle of nowhere, though I often wonder where the towel is and whether they'll fight over it when they get out of the tub, all pruny. But what came on was a "Viva Viagra!" commercial, where a group of superhot middle-age cowboys in a recording studio sing a little ditty about their womenfolk.

It goes like this:

"First time I saw her, she set my world, you know, she set my world to reelin'

And as the years go by for this country guy, you know, we never lost the feelin,'

Well, this billy goat, I played my last note, I can't wait - CAN'T WAIT - to get home!

Viva, Viagra!"

OK, I don't know about you billy goats and country guys, but every time I see that commercial, I think, too much information. The commercial should come with a spoiler alert. I know he CAN'T WAIT to get home. But I DON'T CARE. Also it KINDA GROSSES ME OUT.

So I turned off the TV, and you know what?

I was cured. The Viagra commercial had cured my information dysfunction. I had finally stopped thinking about

Sex and the City


But I couldn't get that dumb song out of my head.

Viva information!