Friends and random Malaysians/Russians/Saudis, one of the greatest influences of my life has been the movie Twister, released in 1996. This magnificent piece of cinematic art did so much to mold me in my formative years. As I've grown and matured, I have carried these lessons with me. I believe that much of what I am to day is derived directly from this masterpiece.
1. No matter how dysfunctional a relationship is, spend some time in a truck together and everything will work out. This truth is reinforced not only by this movie, but by all sorts of road-trip bonding type movies where the characters start off hating each other, but by the end have grown to love and respect each other through mutually trying experiences/revelations. I dare you to try and brainstorm fewer than 5 movies where this has happened. They even used it on Vampire Diaries for heaven's sake! And a little bit in Twilight. Obviously, this must be a fact of life.
2. The 1996 Dodge Ram is the most amazing truck ever built. Not only can this thing directly withstand being in a tornado (on a bridge no less) for over 40 seconds doing little more than turning in a circle, it also has amazing self-healing abilities. One of our favorite hobbies as a family is to try and count the number of times the windshield gets cracked by flying tricycles or the like, then will magically fix itself in the next shot. The truck bed should have been crushed by the falling utility pole, but survives with merely a dent. This behemoth can drive through houses, corn fields, and exploding tankers. Not to mention giant trees in the road. The one Achilles heel, the thing that can bring down this magnum opus is if you have to drive into the shoulder of the road. In that case, you will get a flat tire.
3. Don't worry about your archenemy. In the end they will get impaled by a giant pole. If you skipped the mid-nineties and have yet to see this movie, don't read that last title. This one has been very useful throughout my life. Karma will get you, backstabbers. If not now, then when you're driving stupidly into an F-5 tornado.
4. Never mess with Mother Nature. You will be hunted down. And it will be by a scary tornado that makes the same noise my tummy does when I haven't eaten breakfast. It doesn't matter if you're watching The Shining at the local drive-in, or making weird giant metal wind chimes.
5. As long as you're with someone as manly as Bill Paxton, you will be capable of defying the basic laws of physics and meteorology. All this man's man needs to do is pick up some dirt and look significantly into the sky, and he automatically knows which way the tornado is headed. Unless, of course it is headed directly towards him, as it does when they're at the drive-in. He can ride in the truck bed amidst heavy debris and hail, stuff that kills lesser men, and survive without a scratch. Not to mention outrunning an F-5 tornado, yes the same one that ultimately shish kabobed his rival and took out The Ram. Later, he was able to strap himself and his lady-friend to a pole, then hold both of them down as the F-5 swirled around them. Now we know that not only are thousands of razor-sharp sensors flying around in there, but also his nemesis, his nemesis' truck, his Dodge Ram, dozens of John Deere tractors, pieces of auntie mae's house, and likely his ex-fiance and some cows. They did walk away a little muddy. I'd like to see Bear Grylls do that.