In The Big Lebowski (TBL), the first time we see Maude, she appears suddenly — almost magically — standing above The Dude inside his apartment as he’s contentedly basking on his newly acquired rug.
In the scene, she’s wearing a green robe or cloak, flanked by two stern-looking, all-denim-clad companions. How did all three of them manage to enter The Dude’s apartment unnoticed (even if The Dude was admittedly, in all likelihood, a little stoned)? Well, we do not know — and before we’re able to find out, one of the men delivers a powerful blow to The Dude’s jaw, knocking him out.
In the sequence that immediately follows, The Dude is sent (notably, with all of the spectacular fireworks one might expect from such a strike) into a vision-like hallucination. It begins with him happily flying over Los Angeles and, for a few moments, we see Maude Lebowski floating off into the sunset, riding her carpet like some mysterious eastern djinn.
Much later in the story (after an additional trippy Dude-Maude sequence in which she’s dressed as a bowler-viking), The Dude … “abides,” so to speak, Maude’s invitation to “love” her. As far as we know, that encounter marks the end of the Dude-Maude interaction.
However, at the end, the mysterious “Stranger” — this seemingly all-knowing presence throughout the tale — lets the viewer in on a secret: “I happen to know that there’s a little Lebowski on the way.”
This begs the question: When might she (The Little Lebowski) have arrived?
Well, that question is something I’ll have to make a case for here, as it’s critical to the story I’ll share shortly.
Regardless of other claims and theories floating around, a few things are certain as to the date and timing of TBL. One is that George Bush Sr.’s famous “this aggression will not stand” remark happened on August 6, 1990.
There are a few versions of this speech / interview / remark (whatever you want to call it) on the Internet, as I guess GW must’ve uttered those words on more than one occasion. But, these two links should clear it up:
- This link shows the video in which he utters the words. Comparing that to the film, we see that this is the definitive version, the same clip shown in TBL. Sadly, this is an undated clip.
- But, this is the transcript of the entire Bush interview. Comparing that to the video, word for word, it matches up. And it’s dated August 5, 1990, noting that “President Bush spoke at 3:05 p.m. on the South Lawn of the White House upon returning from a weekend stay at Camp David, MD.” This matches up as expected (video is at the White House, and seems to be around that time of the afternoon).
So, we know that the date of the clip is August 5, 1990. What we do not know is the date of the opening scene, which takes place at night in L.A, well after 3:05 p.m. in Washington, D.C. So, it could not have been a live feed.
Looking closely, we can see that The Dude dates his check September 11, 1991, more than an entire year after GW’s remark.
Internet theories abound in explanation of this. One rather popular one claims that The Dude is post-dating his check by a year (which would be a very Dude thing to do). But it should be noted that numerous other date-related inconsistencies and mysteries exist within TBL.
In short, both the date and year are up for argument ad nauseum. It seems to me that one of the two most likely following explanations apply:
- That it is August 5, 1990 in L.A., and The Dude is seeing some kind of nightly coverage recap of the day’s events on television, or;
- That it is somewhere around September 11, 1990, and that the television coverage was airing a recent clip from GW. (Though, arguably, hey could also have aired such a thing on September 11, 1991.) But, I’m sticking with 1990. And as for the date, well who would expect The Dude to have that detail correct, anyway? His rent was late, for one. And we can’t forget the scene in which the Big Lebowski says to him, “You don’t go out and make a living dressed like that in the middle of a weekday.” And The Dude replies, “Is this a — what day is this?”
Ergo, for my own purposes, I’m going with an opening TBL date of August 5, 1990. This puts his amorous encounter with Maude sometime around August 16, 1990.
It should be no surprise, then, that The Little Lebowski (aptly named “Tilly” by her mother, Maude) was born on May 16, 1991 — a perfect nine-monther.
And with that we can now enter the story proper, knowing that on May 16, 2002, (her 11th birthday) Tilly Lebowski received her owl from Minerva McGonagall. → Tilly Lebowski, it turns out, was a witch!
→ Click HERE to read the tale now (right here on Medium.com)!
✍🏻 Jim Dee maintains three blogs — Hawthorne Crow, Web Designer | Web Developer Magazine, and Wonderful Words, Defined — and contributes to various Medium pubs. Connect at JPDbooks.com, Amazon, FB, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Medium, or Jim [at] ArrayWebDevelopment.com. His latest screwball literary novel, CHROO, is a guaranteed good time, and he’d be delighted if you purchased a copy!