Aug 15 2011

#107 “Sloth”

From E.B. in Little Rock, Arkansas

I can easily remember that as a child a movie called “The Goonies” represented everything about the world that I hoped (and believed) to be true.

In the film a group of prepubescent protagonists are faced with a crisis: the home of a young Goonie has being foreclosed. I remember the outrage and disgust I felt as I tried to understand how some unknown entity could have the right to barge in and forcibly take someone’s home. At the same time, though, I longed for an obstacle to overcome in my own life. I desperately searched for a trial to test the mettle of my infantile courage. In short, I wanted a threshold to cross into manhood, just like the Goonies.

As the film unfolds, several members of the Goonie clan are swept into an underground adventure after inadvertently discovering a treasure map and angering a group of wanted criminals. A chase ensues and the race against the clock is under way, and children must find the treasure of the notorious pirate One-Eyed Willie if they are going to save their home; but of course they must do so without being caught and killed by the notorious outlaws.

Overall the plot of the movie is totally outrageous and completely unbelievable, but this is entirely why I had such an affinity for it. I longed for adventure and danger as every young boy does to this day. I prayed that a journey of Indiana Jones proportions would fall into my lap just as it had for the children of “The Goonies.” The booby traps, the dangerous obstacles, the idea of being a part of a tight-nit group that was forced to pull together to prevail over evil, the feeling that you truly belonged to something greater than yourself- It was what I wanted, nay, what I needed in life.

In the end, the adventure never really came, but life has become an adventure all by itself. And if nothing else, this project has been an adventure- a journey of unpredictable twists and turns that has filled the last several months of my life with triumph and heartbreak.

I may never have had the opportunity to run through underground tunnels as booby traps snapped around me and dangerous bandits fired pistols over my head, but I did take something way from the film which was much more meaningful. For as any connoisseur¬†of great film will know, “The Goonies” is not just an adventure tale. It is a story of acceptance and serves as a humbling reminder to accept the differences that we all possess.

Case in point, of course, is the beloved character of Sloth. Oh, Sloth, how you warmed my soul. You taught me these lessons that I will never forget. You taught me that Goonies never say day.

Sloth, I love you.

And with that, my friends, I will leave you with one of the greatest quotes of the 1980s.

“Hey, you guys!”