Last weekend Raymond and I were at the Manse for a grand total of about 39 hours from late Friday night to early Sunday afternoon – and then it was time to turn around and head back to Montreal. And a nasty return trip it was: we drove (slowly) through six hours of nonstop freezing rain. But anyway, in those 39 hours, in addition to attending an excellent service at St. Andrew’s United Church and a great dinner with some friends, we managed to get a lot done to get the Manse ready for Christmas and to make it look nicer generally. And one of the very best things we did was to move the many boxes of books that had been temporarily parked in the living room. We hauled them upstairs to my dad‘s old study, where Raymond found a home for about eight-tenths of them on the built-in shelves that grace that room. And you know, they look beautiful. As I sat back and admired them (which I was fully entitled to do, having been the person who carried most of the boxes upstairs), I felt inspired by a classic line from one of my very favourite movies, the Coen Brothers‘ The Big Lebowski: “It really tied the room together.” (Warning: salty language ahead:)
In the movie, it was a rug that tied the living room of uber-slacker Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski together – and when he gets mistaken for the Big Lebowski (a rich guy), and some bad guys who want to send the Big Lebowski a message break in and, well, urinate (that’s generally not the word used in the movie) on The Dude’s rug, much mayhem ensues. It is a totally great and hilarious movie, a cult classic and the film for which Jeff Bridges (who is The Dude) will be remembered for all time. If you have a reasonably high tolerance level for rude language and like to laugh at absurdity – and if you have any appreciation whatsoever for White Russians – I urge you to watch it. Perhaps just what one needs to lighten the mood of the sometimes-fraught holiday season.