I may be a cynical old bastard, but looking around gave me a warm feeling. It probably would have for The Dude, too.
Sadly, bowling is as out of fashion as The Dude is these days. Asher had told me earlier the problem is his industry "doesn't think outside the box." He says he pushed to have Fountain Bowl host Lebowski Fest because something, anything must draw in new rollers if the sport is to survive.
Lebowski Fest with the Kyle Gass Band, Leon Russom (sheriff of Malibu), Philip Moon (rug pisser) and more at Saban Theatre, 8840 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. Fri., 9 p.m. $20-$25 (VIP Achiever seating and weekend passes sold out).
And with Barry Asher, Jim Hoosier "and possibly more" at the LA Bowling Party at Fountain Bowl, 17110 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley. Sat., 7-11 p.m. $25-$30. lebowskifest.com.
"I hope this thing isn't a big clusterfuck," he'd said. "I want these people to come back. Maybe word will get out. Leagues don't do it. Open bowling doesn't do it. Lucky Strikes isn't doing it."
He'll make copies of that movie production still hanging on his shop wall to autograph for Achievers. Looking at Lebowski Fests past, you get the sense those folks will have a helluva good time whether Fountain Bowl is left standing or not.
For the sake of Dudes like me everywhere, perish the thought.