Lamont and Dude Exchange Wise, Old Saws


“So what do you think, Lamont? What would you advise me never to do?”

“I’m trying not to say something snarky.”

“‘Snarky’? You’re using ‘snarky’ now?”

“Yeah, I know, right? Seriously, Dude. I don’t think we make that many actual decisions about what we do. Seems most of my lives I’ve done whatever came along to be done.”

“So you believe in fate?”

“Not in that sense, but…”

“Predestination, then?”

“Yeah, I guess. We’re born a certain species and not others, right? We’re born in a certain time of history and not others, right? We’re born a certain gender and…”

“OK, Lamont. Got you there. What about Caitlin Jenner? It changed itself from male to female.”

“Doing a ‘Caitlyn Jenner’ doesn’t change how we were born and how we cope with it. Besides, Jenner didn’t choose to be transexual. He just chose (because his life had given him the means to choose it) what to do about it but, in my book, he’s not a woman. ‘She’ seems to think being a woman is a matter of clothes and external superficialities like breasts; ‘she’ll’ never know what it’s like to be embarrassed over developing breasts before the other girls, or what it’s like to get her first period, to anguish over pregnancy in ANY dimension — and there’s a wide range of anguish possible there —  or a million other things that come with being born female. Back in the 70s — even today — women didn’t have the opportunities in athletics that made Jenner a champion and a star and set him on the road to surgery, silicone and stilettos.”

“Yeah, right? If Jenner had been female? She would have taken HELL just for being so tall! Imagine the Jolly Green Giant jokes!”

“No kidding. The pity of it is, all Jenner is going to get of the female experience is the experience of being an old woman. I don’t know why he/she waited so long to make this ‘choice’. He’d have had a lot more fun if he’d done it sooner…that’s what makes me wonder about it.”

“Maybe that’s the part of his ‘choice’ that took courage.”

“No shit, Dude. There are so many things like that — how tall we are — connected with our identities that we don’t control that ‘choice’ is always relevant. We are born into the realm of certain possibilities, not others. Much of who we are and what we choose is already ‘chosen’ before we even enter stage right. What if Jenner had been born in 1849 instead of 1949? Or in Thailand instead of America? Being transsexual isn’t as weird to the Thais.”

“So everything really WAS ‘meant to be’.”

“I don’t think there’s any divine entity up there driving our lives. Nothing happens because it was ‘meant’ to. It’s just that a lot of what happens in our lives is unavoidable.

“You don’t mean we don’t make ANY choices in our lives, do you?”


“Well, what would you advise someone NOT to choose that you’ve chosen?”

“That’s my point. I can’t tell how something will turn out for someone else. I couldn’t even tell how those bad choices would turn out for me — they might’ve been fine given different circumstances and if I were someone else.”

“Wow. So you’re not accountable for your mistakes?”

“Oh Dude, come on. We’re all called to account for our mistakes. We have to fix the messes we make. But just because something’s a mistake for US doesn’t make it a mistake for everyone.”

“I get your point. Like that time we died in the Tarpits. It COULD’VE been a real pond right?”

“No, that really WAS stupid, but you were a tiger and I was a mastodon and it really did look like water. I guess I could advise people to ‘look before they leap’, but what if they’re being chased — as I was — by a deadly predator? How much thinking goes on in circumstances like that?”

“I think a lot of the dumb decisions we beings make are made like that, you know, in the heat of some kind of emotional chaos.”

“I think so too, Dude. ‘Marry in haste; repent at leisure’ type thing.”

“You’re full of wise saws this morning, Lamont.”

(Click here to enjoy more of the adventures of Dude and Lamont)