The Big Lebowski Redux

I slide the Big Lebowski VHS cassette into the player, which accepts and draws the tape into itself politely. I take pleasure at this perfect insert-tab-A-into-slot-B policy. I smile.

Earlier in the day, a great commotion took place in the field next to my home. He who owned the field had taken advantage of a lax new Ohio law that allows drilling for oil and gas in residential areas regardless of municipal law. So much for home rule.

Hence, a towering oil derrick stands erect in the otherwise pristine meadow approximately 500 feet from my television and VHS machine, the mechanical heads of which have begun to whir. The drilling operation is replete with wildcatters, klieg lights and stentorian diesel generators.

He who owned the field, ironically, died one week ago and is not present to see his Giant dream come to fruition. No matter. Contracts were in place and the show must indeed go on.

I fast forward through the “Coming Soon” segments and settle into the movie, trying to ignore the atrocious noise associated with the drilling. Surely when the clock strikes 10 p.m., it will stop per a local ordinance. On the little screen, The Dude takes a slug of his white Russian, leaving a creamy white residue around his mouth and mustache. I absentmindedly finger my pearl necklace.

Fortified myself with a bit of cheap Canadian, I call the cops to report the racket at quarter after ten. I am promptly told that nothing can be done by anyone.

Horse shit.

If Bunny Lebowski can charge $1,000 for performing fellatio, something can be effing done! I check my aggression then call Every. Single. Councilperson. As. Well. As. The. Mayor. At. Home. I swear. I implore. I espouse my disbelief, my indignation, my outrage.

Nothing is done.

The generators generate. The drill pounds relentlessly into the earth as I note that, above the Dude’s modest home bar, there hangs a photo of Richard Nixon frozen in the ejaculatory moment just before bowling ball hits bowling lane. I meet and admire Jesus and his tongue and admit to myself that I probably shouldn’t have allowed nine years to transpire before seeing this movie.

What is wrong with me?

The film concludes. I retire. In order to muffle the noise, I sandwich my head between pillows much in the same manner I did when my college roommate entertained gentlemen in the bunk below me some 20 odd years ago. Just as was the case then, the pillows are not much help. Hence, as Mother Earth endures ceaseless penetration throughout the night, I sleep alone and poorly, fractured dreams of Sam Eliot’s extraordinary mustache floating in my head.

Miraculously, at 7:01 a.m., the drilling stops and the beautiful quiet to which I am accustomed blooms. At 7:04 a.m., my husband returns home fresh off the midnight shift. I stumble down the stairs and into the kitchen. He beholds my dark circles and poor coloring while blinking quizzically.

“Life does not stop and start at your convenience,” I say, then turn to the absolution of the coffee pot.

The preceding program was brought to you by Naked Erin

Remarks from the President

The crazed Dean speech was one thing, but I’m starting to have grave concerns about the President. Here’s a partial transcript:

Remarks by the President to the Press Pool
Plenty O’ Ribs Cafe
Area 51, Roswell, New Mexico

11:25 A.M. MST

THE PRESIDENT: I need some ribs, goddammit.

Q: Mr. President, how are you?

THE PRESIDENT: Shut the fuck up, you gadfly. I’m hungry and I’m going to order some ribs, Laura be damned. I ran six miles today and eviscerated the Bill of Rights a little more. I earned my ribs, don’t you think?

Q: What would you like?

THE PRESIDENT: What do you think I’d like? Ribs. What does a man do in a cafe but order ribs? Do you have any real questions?

Q: Sir, on homeland security, critics say you simply haven’t spent enough to keep this country secure.

THE PRESIDENT: My job is to dry hump this nation. I’m riding bareback, my friend. Who cares about jobs? Who cares about the economy? Who gives a flying fuck about the deficit? We need a space program resembling a really bad Brian De Palma film. But right now I’m here to take somebody’s order. That would be you, Rubber Band Man — what would you like? Stop pestering me with questions and start eating, son. You’re looking a bit thin. Have you been drinking? I drank once, but then daddy bailed me out. Put some of that meager money on the table like a man. This is all about consumer confidence. I don’t care how little they pay you over at the State-Ledger. This is how the economy grows. Max out your credit cards, jeopardize the state budgets. It drives the economy forward. And, no, don’t quote Paul Krugman, you twerp. I’ve had enough of that whiny little bitch. So what would you like to eat?

Q: Right behind you, whatever you order.

THE PRESIDENT: I’m ordering ribs, goddammit. Do you know about unilateral decisions? Well, this is how it works, David, I’m going to order a rib for you and you’re going to eat it. And I’m not going to leave until you nibble that sucker down to the bone.

Q: But, Mr. President —

THE PRESIDENT: No buts, David. This isn’t a press conference. This is about understanding how ribs work. It’s a bad metaphor, but I’m not leaving until you understand it, son. Do you hear?