Study Guide

Sling Blade Bill Cox and Scooter (Rick Dial and Brent Briscoe)

Bill Cox and Scooter (Rick Dial and Brent Briscoe)

Lawnmower Man

Bill Cox is the first person in the real world to extend kindness to Karl. He and his employee, Scooter, welcome Karl into their repair shop. Cox pays Karl and gives him a room in exchange for his manual labor. And Bill appreciates good labor when he sees it.

BILL: You couldn't have been more right about him fixing things. That son of a b**** is a regular Eli Whitney on a lawn mower.

In fact, Bill often teases Scooter because Karl is better at the job than Scooter is—like when Scooter is struggling to fix a machine and Karl points out it's out of gas.

BILL: You see there, Scooter. Thinks of the simplest things first.

Bill also feels guilty for keeping Karl locked up in the back room. He says it's because of the way the shop doors lock, and we're inclined to believe him. But he could be doing it because he doesn't trust Karl at first. Whatever the reason, Karl's gentle nature quickly wins over Bill and earns him a key to the shop.

BILL: You've been in lockup so long, you don't need me to keeping you locked up. You need to come and go as you please. Here. Take this key. It'll get you in and out of here at night.

That little piece of metal is so thoughtful, it might as well be the key to city. And to our hearts.

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