I was sitting on the couch the other day when my kid approached me with a copy of "Road House 2" and demanded that I play it for her. At first I ignored her request rather than correct it — this is the same way I handle her occasional toddler F-bombs; to respond would only give weight to the behavior.
But this kid of mine, she is as persistent as my hair loss, and again and again she shoved the DVD in my face.
"Help you? Help you? Open! Open! TeeVee!"
I was unsure of how to process the situation. Again, I repeat: She was wielding a copy of "Road House (Part Deux)."
On one hand, given our overwhelming physical resemblance, it would be ridiculous to deny that the child is my offspring. But on the other hand, I have trouble reconciling how my own flesh and blood could exhibit anything less than utter contempt for "Road House 2" — the sequel that nobody asked for and even fewer people enjoyed. Knowledge of its awfulness is ingrained in my genetic information. My children should know to avoid it the same way a dog knows to avoid a vacuum cleaner or George Clooney knows to avoid the ring counter at a jewelry store. It should be instinct.
Seeing my daughter wave the DVD in my face — actor Jonathon Schaech looking up smugly from the cover with his arms crossed over his chest and two ex-Coyote Ugly strippers on either side of him (Who do you think you are, Schaech? The Swayz-Dogg's ballet slippers have more screen presence than you!) — was like watching the sword and the stone play out in an alternate universe. One where there was no sword, and no stone, but rather half of a PVC pipe floating in the swamp.
Partially, it was my failure as her father — or, rather, the failings of the man I had been before I was her father — that I even had a copy of "Road House 2" to begin with.
(And also, I suppose, it was my parental failure that I put "Road House 2" within my daughter's reach. Although, to be fair, it was on the bottom shelf because I ran out of space where the real movies go. And to give you an idea of what that means, both "Fair Game" starring Cindy Crawford and "Hudson Hawk" have their own spot on the Real Movie shelf.)
"Road House 2" had been purchased on blind faith, viewed only once — and even then, just barely.
Why not discard the DVD altogether? I keep it to remind myself what evil can befall mankind when good men stand by and do nothing.
Patrick Swayze wisely turned down a cameo in the film. Undeterred, the filmmakers threw a mullet wig on some mope and filmed all his scenes from behind. When Swayze turns you down, you might as well pack up your tent and go home. Just ask the would-be filmmakers of "Ghost 2: Back in the Habit."
In general, sequels do not have a great reputation, but "Road House 2" occupies the same circle of Hell as "Caddyshack II" and "Blues Brothers 2000." Which is to say, it does its best to obliterate all warm memories of the original. The viewing experience is as enjoyable as being the last link in a human centipede.
Anyway, back to my daughter, whose surly little frown underlined her intention to have "Road House 2" screened. (Over my dead body.)
"No way, kid."
"Help you, Dada! Open! Open!"
"No open. 'Road House 2,' yuck!"
"No! Open! Open!"
Then, before she could protest further, I threw a handful of M&Ms across the room to distract her. As she chased after them — classic toddler mistake — I swiped "Road House 2" from her tiny fist and Frisbee tossed it under the couch into, no doubt, half a decade's worth of cobwebs and that copy of "Harold and the Purple Crayon" she tortured me with over the winter.
There "Road House 2" rests until my daughter possesses enough strength to lift the couch and retrieve it. (Don't worry: The couch has a hideaway bed.)
As some of you may know, I am the author of the World Famous "Road House" Drinking Game.
This week, I would like to present the Not Quite As Famous "Road House 2" Drinking Game.
— A fifth of your hard alcohol of choice
— A copy of "Road House 2"
— A metal bucket
— Lighter fluid
1. Rent or shoplift "Road House 2" from your nearest Blockbuster Video, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc.
2. Drink as much of your hard alcohol of choice as physically possible.
3. Place your rented/stolen copy of "Road House 2" into the metal bucket.
4. Douse the rented/stolen copy of "Road House 2" in lighter fluid.
5. Light the match.
6. Drop match into the metal bucket.
7. Enjoy the show.
As an American, you should do your part to take "Road House 2" out of circulation. It is an affront to the natural world. Remember, like Smokey the Bear always said: Only YOU can prevent Schaech from collecting residuals.
Ryan Jackson has also given shelf space to "Super Mario Brothers: The Movie," and he can be reached at email@example.com.