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There’s a terrific scene in the Big Lebowski where Walter and the Dude are on their way to rendezvous with Bunny Lebowski’s kidnappers. The Dude has just been given a briefcase containing a $1 million cash ransom and a mobile telephone, circa 1991. He swings by Sobchak Security to pick up Walter Sobchak who is standing at the curb holding a leather briefcase and a triangle shaped parcel. Walter edges the Dude over to the passenger seat and takes the wheel. The Dude asks Walter what’s up with the briefcase and that’s when Walter tells him it’s a ringer. The Dude opens the ringer to find it full of Walter’s tighty-whities.

“The ringer cannot look empty.”

How true is that. And from my experience it usually doesn’t, from a distance.

A ringer is a decoy, a false thing that you’re supposed to believe is the real deal. So the ringer would naturally be made to appear full of the object of desire. So we would naturally be drawn to it. How else would it work? So it’s no surprise to discover that we’ve all got our eyes on our own ringers. Things that seem worthy of desire but turn out not to be so.

Things that come and go and it’s only until long after they’ve left town that we remember they were even here at all.

But sometimes it’s not a ringer. Sometimes it’s the real deal.

Knowing the difference up front sounds nice.

Or maybe that’s just another ringer.


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