A Celebration of Dudes
Hey, did you know that there is a Lebowski Fest? It’s a two-day celebration based around worship of the Dude, the protagonist of the Coen brothers’ 1998 cult film, The Big Lebowski. Lebowski Fest involves a viewing of the film, followed by drinking, bands, and bowling. And probably more than a few controlled substances.
Apparently the Coen brothers based this character around a film producer they knew named Jeff Dowd, who attended a west coast Lebowski Fest a few years ago and wrote about it here.
This year’s LA-based fest (which transpired last weekend, although other fests occur through the summer) featured Dowd, the rug-pissing thugs, and little Larry of the mediocre history essay. (I could quote the line of dialogue most associated with Larry, but it’s insanely inappropriate in this forum. Google it if you are curious.)
Anyway, all this talk of Lebowski makes me happy, because I associate this movie with good things: Jeremy and I have a Lebowski tradition.
Despite the relative brevity of our relationship, we have moved together (by which I mean changed houses) a couple of times already. During the first move, from our separate abodes into a shared apartment back in Kalamazoo, we had a 12-week-old puppy to contend with, among other difficulties, and the move was a strenuous one. Our moving day goal was aimed as low as possible: just get all the crap out of the old places, and into the new one, and we’ll deal with it all in the morning.
In that mindset, after all the boxes had been piled high into our new shared living room, we decided to doctor up a couple of White Russians and put on The Big Lebowski, just to wind down. The 12-week-old puppy was uncharacteristically cooperative, falling asleep in Jeremy’s lap and not stirring for the entirety of the movie. It was, all in all, an enchanted experience, and a lovely way to begin our cohabitation.
And so our tradition now is, every time we move, we pack one box of immediate necessities, the bare minimum of things we need to make it through the night so that we can leave all the rest until the morning: that’s sheets, toilet paper, our cell phones, and the DVD of The Big Lebowski. It’s really a nice juxtaposition: a new start in a new house, celebrated with two guys (Walter and the Dude) who haven’t evolved since the 70s.
We’ll watch The Big Lebowski again May 31. I’ll let you all know how the tradition holds up.