Today, we pay tribute to the film that brought wisdom, joy, acceptance, and the Double Deuce into our lives. Yes, little grasshoppers, today is a celebration of Road House.
Have you considered what kind of person you would be today if you had never seen Road House?
It was there you learned that a bar employee who gets fired doesn’t have to grieve for his old job. He can go to barber school.
And it was during Road House that you discovered contract bouncers can be devotees of eastern meditation and possess first names with two syllables.
Maybe you were once a narrow-minded person who drew a hard and fast line between tablecloths and evening gowns. Thanks to Road House, you no longer have to separate housewares from formal attire.
Why must humanity accept pain and heartbreak? Why do they go on, though they are plagued by memories of shooting their married girlfriend’s husband in Memphis?
How can they resign themselves to being followed everywhere by a lanky senior citizen who desperately needs a hair cut? I’ll tell you why. Because of the life lessons in Road House.
No one promised life would be easy.
But like a philosopher who lives across a picturesque lake from his arch-nemesis, you adapt. You put your BMW in storage, move into a barn without running water, and practice tai chi by moonlight.
I regret my early, heartless indifference to Road House. The iconic image of Dalton in his wranglers and shadowy mullet didn’t always thrill me. Now I wonder how I looked upon his portrait unmoved. It is more than an image of a man. It is an image of a man who knows about philosophy and has terrible taste in women.
Like the gang of monster truck rally-goers who senselessly demolish a car dealership, I was too stupid to have a good time. But from now on, I’ll never take this work of cinematic genius for granted. Road House was light years ahead of the 1989 cinema scene, with dialogue that seamlessly blends the wisdom of Confucius with the charm of Bill Clinton.
Dalton’s propensity for carrying his medical records on his person at all times… (“Pain don’t hurt”)
His awesome sweatpants collection…
His cool indifference to the battered yet slutty girlfriend of the evil town pariah…
These things are a part of me now.
My heart is full as I relive each moment, now weeping over the arson that destroyed Red’s store, now giving way to a sentimental chuckle as I recall Brad Wesley’s henchman cowering beneath a stuffed polar bear.
We could examine the intricacies of the plot and its nuanced meanings all night. But even a tribute to the world’s greatest cinematic triumph must end sometime. So, in the spirit of courage and quiet dignity Road House exudes, I leave you with the words of wisdom Dalton shared with the staff of the Double Deuce: Be nice… until it’s time to not be nice.