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Don Quixote: Harold and Kumar: 01/17/09
Early on in my reading of Don Quixote this week, Sancho Panza got a serious case of the munchies while Don Quixote was out shooting the breeze with other so called knights errant though they all seem to be as fake as he is. When Sancho is called to duty by his irritated friend he dumps his lunch in the only thing available, Don Quixote's helmet. For most of the rest of this section, Don Quixote is covered with the the dripping remains of Sancho's lunch.
B0017ANAX6?My first thought was, Sancho's pulled a B00068WOH8?Kumar! Sancho besides being the strong silent type ala Silent Bob, is also a slave to his baser needs: food, drink and greed. On further reflection, I realized that Don Quixote is like the holy grail of the road films.
For Sancho to be Kumar, he needs a Harold to play against. When Sr. Quixada is lucid, he fits the role perfectly. For whatever reason in their third venture from his estate near La Mancha, Sr. Quixada's heart hasn't been in the adventure as much as it was the first two times. Perhaps he is wary of being sent back home or perhaps he is growing bored of all the other fakers out there. Anyway, the sober and sane Sr. Quixada is very much like Harold, finding himself in mishaps mostly caused by his friend. Like B0017ANAX6?Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008), the initial adventure is driven by a desire to see a woman. A lot of the misadventures in Part Two directly relate to the fallout of Sancho Panza's scheming.
B0017ANAX6?Meanwhile Don Quixote in moments of weakness for Sr. Quixada is still looking for the perfect knight. He fully believes there is one out there who will take him under his wing and lead him on the adventures that he so desires to experience from his years of reading. In this section of the book, Don Quixote finally gets to meet his knight, Don Diego.
In B00068WOH8?Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004), Harold spends his time idolizing Neil Patrick Harris, putting him on a much high pedestal that any single person deserves. When Harris makes an appearance, he is the polar opposite of Harold's vision of him. Instead he is like Kumar to the nth power. Despite the reality not matching the fantasy, Harold keeps Harris on that pedestal even if by the second film he's scared and annoyed by him.
While Don Diego isn't as extreme a shock to Sr. Quixada as Neil Patrick Harris is to Harold, he still isn't quite what he expected. For one thing, he doesn't live as humbly as a knight should. He lives in a very nice estate and sees nothing wrong with an excessive show of wealth in terms of wining and dining his guests. He also talks about adventures as crazy sounding as Don Quixote at his worst but Quixada even in his long moments of clarity is willing take all of Don Diego's stories at face value even if he shouldn't.
Where Don Diego and Neil Patrick Harris differ the most is in the inclusion of Don Lorenzo, Diego's son. Lorenzo when present spends his time bouncing between his father and Sr. Quixada trying to defuse any of their craziest ideas before they have a chance to act on them. He keeps them relatively sober and safe in the confines of the family estate. Thankfully the Harold and Kumar films haven't had an NPH Jr. riding along with them saying things like "Gee Dad, I really don't think you should...." Hopefully they stay that way.
I hope you enjoyed my tongue in cheek comparison of Don Quixote to Harold and Kumar. I'll be back next week with the next installment. We still have 300 pages to go! I will be updating my Quixote gallery as time permits.