in rural Paris, Iowa, and Wordpress

Civil Discourse in a Roadhouse


Waubeek, Iowa. Unincorporated. Pop. 83.


About eight miles downstream sits one of the last of the great roadhouses. “Roadhouse” is defined as “an inn or tavern usually outside city limits providing liquor and usually meals, dancing, and often gambling.” This joint qualifies on all counts.

It was inside this roadhouse that I learned the art of civil discourse as a young man, an art that many seem unable to learn amid the anonymity and safe distance that marks discourse on the internet. There is a special kind of cowardice involved in personally attacking or shaming someone via text on the internet. Do that verbally to one of the farmers or construction workers sitting near you in this place and you better have your hat screwed on because you are going to get jerked around some–a most efficacious lesson in civil discourse with other human beings.

3 Responses to “Civil Discourse in a Roadhouse”

  1. sonnyboy3

    You are so correct in this observation. The “comments” online are worthless! Unfortunately the extreme negativity with these and the “commentators” on TV, and the current “presidential” campaign surrogates, and on one side particularly, make this an ugly era.
    I would remind of 1968-1970 however. That was an ugly era also and resulted in bloodshed. Hopefully we will be spared that this time.

  2. Trapper Jack Reprise | The Solipsist

    […] grave, is as unofficial maître d’ at the establishment that I have characterized as one of the last of the great roadhouses. Every morning Jack stations himself on his personal bar stool near the entrance to the […]


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