A way out west there was a fella,
fella I want to tell you about, fella
by the name of Jeff Lebowski. At
least, that was the handle his lovin’
parents gave him, but he never had
much use for it himself. This
Lebowski, he called himself the Dude.
Now, Dude, that’s a name no one would
self-apply where I come from. But
then, there was a lot about the Dude
that didn’t make a whole lot of sense
to me. And a lot about where he
lived, like- wise. But then again,
maybe that’s why I found the place
They call Los Angeles the City of Angels. I didn’t find it to be that exactly, but I’ll allow as there are some nice folks there. ‘Course, I can’t say I seen London, and I never been to France, and I ain’t never seen no queen in her damn undies as the fella says. But I’ll tell you what, after seeing Los Angeles and thisahere story I’m about to unfold– wal, I guess I seen somethin’ ever’ bit as stupefyin’ as ya’d see in any a those other places, and in English too, so I can die with a smile on my face without feelin’ like the good Lord gypped me.
It is late, the supermarket all but deserted. We are tracking in on a fortyish man in Bermuda shorts and sunglasses at the dairy case. He is the Dude. His rumpled look and relaxed manner suggest a man in whom casualness runs deep. He is feeling quarts of milk for coldness and examining their expiration dates.
Now this story I’m about to unfold took place back in the early nineties– just about the time of our conflict with Sad’m and the Eye-rackies. I only mention it ’cause some- times there’s a man–I won’t say a hee-ro, ’cause what’s a hee-ro?–but sometimes there’s a man.
The Dude glances furtively about and then opens a quart of milk. He sticks his nose in the spout and sniffs.
And I’m talkin’ about the Dude here– sometimes there’s a man who, wal, he’s the man for his time’n place, he fits right in there–and that’s the Dude, in Los Angeles.
CHECKOUT GIRL – She waits, arms folded. A small black-and white TV next to her register shows George Bush on the White House lawn with helicopter rotors spinning behind him.
GEORGE BUSH – This aggression will not stand. . . This will not stand!
The Dude, peeking over his shades, scribbles something at the little customer’s lectern. Milk beads his mustache.
…and even if he’s a lazy man, and the Dude was certainly that–quite possibly the laziest in Los Angeles County.
The Dude has his Ralph’s Shopper’s Club card to one side and is making out a check to Ralph’s for sixty-nine cents.
…which would place him high in the runnin’ for laziest worldwide–but sometimes there’s a man. . . sometimes there’s a man.