Last week I attended a Big Lebowski Music and Movie night at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse. Whilst outwardly keeping my cool, inwardly I had anticipating this event the way a 5-year-old with a jones for Legos looks forward to Christmas morning.
So, predictably, I am now feeling some post-Lebowski malaise.
The first problem was that I didn't have enough time to pull together a good costume. I had had visions of going as the high school cheerleader version of Bunny Lebowski, or (as per the suggestion of loyal reader Toolstein) the gold Maude Lebowski Roman Goddess/Viking outfit from the Dude's dream sequence.
However, my day job having gobbled up the time I would have spent costume-shopping, I instead ended up throwing together an interpretation of the Dude's outfit in the opening scenes of the movie: plaid shorts, undershirt, bathrobe, carton of milk (should have been half-and-half, but I didn't have any, so instead it was the milk discussed in this post, which was past its prime for drinking purposes anyway), and a checkbook. Kinda predictable, but at least the bathrobe and the milk marked it as a costume, not just a fashion misstep.
The next problem was that when I got there, it appeared that I might be the only person in costume. Can you say laaame? Also, in looking around for costumed individuals, I found a disturbing number of people of indeterminate costume status. Was that girl in the bright red shift dress, the clunky-circa-1997-shoes, and the handbag with the picture of Marilyn Monroe on it, in costume? (Turns out no.) What about the guy with the high-waisted pants and the purple shirt--was that a lame version of Jesus Quintana? (Again, no.) In addition to the self-consciousness, I began to feel very accutely aware that I was in Virginia, and not in a good way.
Later on in the evening, more costumed people did show up, and some of them were pretty good. In fact, the winner of the costume contest was wearing the gold Maude Lebowski Roman Goddess/Viking outfit that I had not managed to pull off. Wahh.
I won't go into painful detail about how lame the music was--suffice it to say that the musician started off his set by saying he'd never seen The Big Lebowski, and that he talked in a fake Scottish accent and used the term "feck" a lot.
Now we get to the really painful part, which is where I bombed in the trivia contest. I really did not expect this--surely, I thought, watching this movie every Friday night for a whole summer--OK, for 2 years (1997-1999)--I would know every single thing there is to know about it. But no! I started to get nervous when I didn't know several of the questions asked of earlier contestants. Pop quiz, readers!:
- With whom is Walter's ex-wife vacationing in Hawaii?*
- What is the male version of nymphomania called, according to Maude?**
- Who sings "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) in the soundtrack?***
No idea! So my palms were sweating by the time they got to my question:
- What TV show did Larry Sellers' father write for?****
I knew the part of the movie--Walter comes into the performance art piece late and tells the Dude he's tracked down Larry Sellers, the 9th grade kid who stole his car and, presumably, the $1M, and Larry's father is Arthur Digby Sellers, who wrote the "bulk of the series" of . . . some Western. Nuthin, I had nuthin.
I hope I haven't gotten you too depressed. Luckily, the evening ended quite well: I got to watch The Big Lebowski.
****Branded. A Google search will tell you that while there was such a TV show, Arthur Digby Sellers did not actually write for it.