Unchecked Aggression

I had almost forgotten how fun it was to smoke and drink at a bar. Being able to light up and down a beer was just one of the highlights from Saturday night’s Big Lebowski Celebration. Up the neck in North Charleston, where smoking in restaurants is still allowed, Madra Rua Irish Pub was busting at the seams with folks for their second annual Lebowski bash. Madra Rua hosted a costume contest, offered specials on White Russians, and turned up the fun meter with Big Lebowski trivia before showing the cult classic film. Actually these people weren’t just fans, they were fanatics. They happily sipped Caucasians (The Dude’s pet name for White Russians), addressed each other by character names, admired one another’s costumes, and aggressively argued in library-quiet voices about the answers to trivia questions. It felt like I had fallen out of the sky and landed in the virtual world of Second Life, that is if the entire world was centered around the Coen Brothers’ comic creation. My idea of participation was leisurely donning a bathrobe over my galoshes as I scuttled around snapping pictures and stealing trivia answers. But these fans, they weren’t amateurs like me. Strict attention was paid to details. One guy dressed as The Jesus wore an embroidered purple bowling shirt and a purple press-on nail on his pinkie while a gal playing a girlfriend of one of the Nihilists wore a sawed-off boot, exposing a bandaged and missing pinky toe. It was some serious business. —Svetlana Minx