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If Adam Sandler In His Prime Was Your Life Coach

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“Whoa whoa whoa, Miss Lippy. The part of the story I don’t like is that the little boy gave up looking for Happy after an hour. He didn’t put posters up or anything, he just sat on the porch like a goon and waited. That little boy’s gotta think ‘You got a pet. You got a responsibility.’ If your dog gets lost you don’t look for an hour then call it quits. You get your ass out there and you find that fucking dog!”

There’s something to be said about the Adam Sandler we grew up watching, which sort of goes without saying, being that the obvious focus of this column is the Adam Sandler we grew up watching. Between “Billy Madison”, “Happy Gilmore”, and “The Waterboy”, I think one could make the argument that Sandler was the Slim Shady of movies: over the top, borderline psychotic. Amusing. He really didn’t give a shit, and he yelled a lot. His characters in those flicks barely had a grasp on their own lives, much less anyone else’s.

Today, Sandler is a bit more of a present-day Eminem when it comes to film. He killed off that alter ego and matured. He’s more stable and doesn’t shy away from his emotional, dramatic side. That’s fine, everyone grows up one way or another–just look at the awkward teen boys on “Modern Family”, and that jailbait daughter with the big boobies. Compared to ones from the ’90s, Sandler’s recent roles depict a relatively wiser and more competent persona. But there’s no humor in having a responsible life coach; opportunity and success, sure, but no humor. So here’s a take on how things would go down if the bent-up brim snapback-sporting, inappropriate joke-making Adam Sandler that we know and love was your life coach today.

The Ends Justify The Means

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Your typical, overpaid, unimpressive degree-boasting life coach might say otherwise. He might tell you something like “the solution is in the struggle” or feed you some bullshit about how if you live virtuously your day will come. Billy Madison, on the other hand…well he’d probably say “fuck that.”

Billy Madison spent the first 20+ years of his life getting loaded (in a different manner than his father) and having a blast. When push came to shove and he was on the verge of losing his free lunch(es), he hatched a pathetic, unimaginably easy–and frankly, kind of unfair–plan to save his company from that stiff Eric:

“Okay, alright…alright, you got it. First grade through twelfth grade all over again. I’ll do each grade in two weeks, take the test, re-graduate, prove to you I’m not an idiot, and then I get to take over Madison Hotels.”

What do you want in life? Money, fame, fortune, a string of hotels? Well Madison would say you’re just overthinking it. No one cares about your success story, they care about your success. So if you can figure out a way to achieve what you want with nothing more than a few weeks of school, don’t let anyone tell you it’s too easy and you don’t deserve it. You thought up the shortcut, you get the spoils. The end result justifies the pitiful means.

Veronica Vaughn: Don’t you think it’s a little pathetic that just because of who your father is, you get to do school all over again?
Billy Madison: Yes, I do.

At least he admits it.

Don’t Respect Authority, Or “Important” People

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Whether he’s using Bob Barker, his doctor, or Ben Stiller dressed as an orderly as an example, Happy Gilmore would tell you don’t bend over for anyone:

Bob Barker: This guy sucks! I can’t believe you’re a professional golfer! I think you should be working at the snack bar.
Happy Gilmore: You better relax, Bob.
Barker: There is no way that you could have been as bad at hockey as you are at golf!
Happy: Alright, let’s go!
[fight ensues]
Happy: The price is WRONG, bitch!

Sure, it might get you in trouble, like when he gets his ass eventually beat by this old man, but just look how things turned out when he waived off his physician:

Doctor: Well, You’re a little banged up but no serious injuries. Just keep off your feet for a few days.
Happy Gilmore: To hell with that, I gotta finish up.
Doctor: Fine! Do whatever you like. What would I know, I’m just a doctor.”

Just because someone slaves away at a particular discipline for years instead of getting a damn job—cue offended grad students—doesn’t mean they have any insight to, or power over, you and your life. And when someone actually does have power over some aspect of your life and abuses it, for example Stiller with Happy’s grandma, throw him two stories out a window.

Confidence Over Everything

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There’s a ton of other life coach mantras good ol’ Bobby Boucher could supply a willing protégé with, such as “practice makes precious time wasted,” “sublimate your anger towards hurting people,” or “talk like a dumbass and you’ll make friends and get the girl,” but confidence over everything is more applicable. That locker room was akin to a hospital waiting room full of heirs upon finding out their rich dad was going to pull through after all. Enter Bobby Boucher confidently prophesizing his team’s bowl win. No one likes a loud, cocky prick, and yet people are naturally drawn to confident, inspiring individuals. The difference is that when someone comes across as obnoxiously conceited, it’s because you can tell that he doesn’t truly believe in his own confidence. It’s an act, an attempt for people to nurture their own self-esteem because the confidence is not really there and most people see right through it. In contrast, the individuals who inspire and motivate, are the ones who draw you in. That’s “The Waterboy”, and the waterboy would tell you that the minute you set aside your doubts and listen to the crazy Rob Schneider townie saying, “You can do it, cut his fucking head off!” is the minute you start, um, succeeding.

I have to say, Adam Sandler in his prime roles of the ’90s probably wouldn’t make that bad of a life coach. There’s way too little room in one column to do any of those movies justice, let alone three, so this Valentine’s Day, why don’t you first congratulate yourself on reading something that wasn’t about Valentine’s Day, and second, prolong your insanity by imbibing on some of Sandler’s. And if someone asks where your significant other is, follow the lead of Happy Gilmore:

I mean, hey, he landed Julie Bowen when Phil Dunphy was still just a cheerleader. He must be doing something right. Do yourself and your friends a favor by sharing his ways.

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David Hoover

David Hoover (DHoov206) is a Seattle native who frequently pretends he is Macklemore's younger brother. He talks in the 3rd person because he's arrogant, and was once voluntarily questioned by the FBI in regards to something he tweeted. Gonzaga University alumnus of '13. (Well, he might be short a class but he's convinced no one actually checks for diplomas.)

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