Roadhouse Rules


Many times over the past decade, I have cited a scene from the wonderfully campy film, Roadhouse. A professional “cooler” – a head bouncer capable of ending any fight – Dalton has been brought to the “Double Deuce,” a low-down, honky-tonk watering hole, ribboned with drugs and sex and violence. After pruning off the criminal elements from the bar staff, he explains to the rest of the bouncer posse the best rules of engagement. Be nice, he says. Be nice, even if the other guy pokes you, slaps you, or talks trash. Be nice, because the point is that in a nice place, there should be nice people, and no one should jump right to the part where civility is lost and the fight is upon us. Dalton’s job as a cooler, he explains, is to decide when niceness is no longer necessary. And that moment only comes, we…

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