Dude Tries to Go to Work

“Well, Lamont, I guess this is some kind of weird fate that I’m going to live with an albatross in this two bedroom beach house.”

“You don’t like it, Dude? I thought I’d be good company.”

“You’re pretty messy, Lamont. I can’t believe you don’t want to live with the other albatrosses on the beach.”

“Problem is, Dude, I can’t. My albatross brain has imprinted to you. Birdbrains, you know? Besides you know what they say, ‘No good deed goes unpunished’. I don’t know if I ever thanked you.”

“No. But you’re welcome anyway.”

“You going out?”

“Out?”

“With your board?”

“I have to go to work today. It’s been weeks since I turned up at the museum. Lucky for me they’re an understanding bunch, and when I told them I’d taken in an orphaned albatross, they just thought I was deeply and environmentally cool and gave me a paid leave of absence.”

“From the Smilodon suit?”

“That and the research, you know, scrapping tar off bones to find out what they are.”

“Right. Well, when do we leave?”

“Lamont, you can’t come with me. You’re going to have to go out there on the beach with the other albatrosses when I’m at work.”

“That’s terrifying.”

“Why? You might find out you like them.”

“What do I say to them?”

“Maybe just shut up for once and listen. Find out what albatrosses think about, what worries them. Learn how to be an albatross because you’re going to be an albatross for the duration, Lamont.”

“I know what they think about. Just like the rest of us. ‘Mate, spawn and die.’ What else is there? When will you be home?”

“I dunno. 7 ish. You going to have dinner ready for me? No no no, never mind, just kidding. Please don’t bring dinner.”

“Images of fish guts just flashed through your mind didn’t they, Dude? I don’t see why I can’t come with you. I’ll be quiet.”

“It’s dangerous. You’ll be drawn to the water in that pond and let me tell you, you DON’T want to go there.”

“I’ve BEEN there, or have you forgotten? Thanks to you.”

“Let it go, Lamont.”

“Is there a dumpster?”


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their past iterations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

My response to the Rag Tag Daily Prompt today — bottle — is a link to the first episode of Lamont’s and Dude’s adventures.

Dude — and Lamont (RIP?) Investigate Avian Health

“Hale and hearty.”

“Huh?”

“That albatross of yours. No one has ever brought in an albatross before. How in the world?”

“It’s a long story. I found him orphaned on the beach. He more or less adopted me.”

“Doesn’t sound much like an albatross to me. They’re pretty fierce and independent beasties. You never saw his parents?”

“Not that I know of.”

“Well he’s in good shape. He’ll fledge soon. Look at those wings!”

“I know. I just hope he…” Something kept Dude from finishing his sentence. His plans to open his house as an Air BNB had been stopped in their tracks by this bird. One thing an albatross does very well is poop. Who would want to stay in a place where — no matter how hard the owner worked — was covered in albatross poop?

“Messy?”

“Oh my. That’s an understatement. And I almost lost my job! I had to stay home and…”

“Chew up sardines for him?”

“Exactly. Now he’s more on his own.”

“Well, if I were a parentless baby albatross, I would want you for my parent, that’s for sure.”

“Does he need shots or anything?”

“He’s an albatross.”

“Right. Thanks doc. C’mon Lamont.”

It was a joke, or meant to be. Dude had no idea he’d hit on the truth. The bird flapped it’s almost useful wings and got up on Dude’s shoulder and they headed to the car.

“Took you long enough.”

“Huh???”

“Long enough. I thought you’d recognize me right away.”

“I’m really losing it,” thought Dude. “First the whole Covid debacle and the lock down. Then Lamont kicking it courtesy of a dune buggy. And now I think an albatross is talking to me?”

“I am.”

“How?”

“Humans forgot all the communication methods since they invented that short form, language. Nothing but vague gestures in the direction of communication. I see that now — again. I am so glad I’m a bird this time.”

“I’m losing my mind,” thought Dude. “I’ve wandered into the yellow miasma of madness.”

“You’re fine, Dude, I mean for you. Sorry I’ve been such a bother and thanks for all the fish. I know you wanted to rent out my room.”

“It would’ve brought in a little something, Lamont.”

“Are you strapped for cash, Dude?”

“No, I’m OK, but inflation and, well, you know.”

“Actually, I don’t know. I’m a bird and I only hatched a few weeks ago.”

“Right. How did you find me?”

“I have no idea. How do we keep finding each other? Big mystery, but I’ll tell you one thing. I’m glad I’m not human this time. This is going to be great. Did you know an albatross can fly thousands of miles? That’s going to be great. I was trying to remember the last time I was a bird. How about you?”

“I don’t know if I ever was a bird.”

“It’s a lot like being a velociraptor but with wings, not that my wings work yet, but thanks to your care I wasn’t run over by one of the life guard’s jeeps on the beach. I have a chance of taking to the air! Wheeeeee!”

“You were a cute chick.”

“That’s hilarious. It explains your attraction, though.”

Dude could swear the bird laughed.


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their past incarnations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything. If you want to know more of the story, just search Lamont and Dude 🤣

Dude Makes a Friend

One Saturday morning, after he’d surfed a couple of perfect sets, Dude sat on the beach looking off into infinity collecting his thoughts before he headed to LA for work. As he sat there, minding his own business, fantasizing informally about mermaids and whether he should turn his house into an Air BNB, or sell it and move to LA and be closer to work, he felt a gentle poke on his lower back. He turned to see an albatross chick. “What?” was his first thought, then he remembered the bright red birthmark on his back. “Ah. I’m not mom, little guy. I don’t have anything. Where are your parents?”

The albatross cocked his head and lifted its tiny wings. It knew it should maybe fly away but it couldn’t. Dude sat beside it for a while and realized there was no mom and no dad for the little guy, not like Albatross parents were very interested in their chicks. They weren’t, but they did feed them. Dude stood up and took a few steps toward a pile of seaweed. The chick followed. “Looks like I have a family,” he sighed, wondering how to make a home for an albatross. “You guys are pretty independent,” he said to the bird. “Maybe you don’t really need me.” This albatross seemed unusually needy.

“Listen, little guy, I don’t think I can chew up some rotten fish and puke it into your mouth to keep you going. You need your parents.” But he went into the house and smashed up some sardines and fed them to the bird as well as he could given the bird’s instincts and Dude’s abilities.

After that, every morning, when he went out to surf, the albatross would be waiting. On his next trip to Costco, Dude stocked up on sardines. After all, his chick was growing.


Lamont (RIP) and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have (had) the unusual ability to remember many of their earlier incarnations which gives (gave) them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.

RIP Lamont. Dude Surfs

The sun had barely broken the horizon, but Dude was already out there, waiting, ready. Since Lamont’s death he’d done a LOT more surfing. The museum at the Tar Pits had also opened since Covid had shut things down. Dude was getting out at dawn for a few rides before he had to drive to LA to sort bones and don his Smilodon costume for the kids.

Why Lamont had wanted to go down to Puerto Peñasco when they could have gone anywhere — and, for that matter, they lived on the beach! — was still a mystery to Dude. In a MOTORHOME for the love of God? A rented motorhome, “See America.”

“We’ve SEEN America, wouldn’t you say, Dude?” laughed Lamont as they took the keys from the rental agent. “In four dimensions.”

The next morning, as he was walking on Playa Bonita, pondering life, the universe and everything, Lamont was flattened by a dune buggy. The driver never stopped. Lamont’s last words? “Watch out, Dude. The Reaper’s driving a dune buggy. Well, see you later.” That was it. His life left his body, the vapor of the soul sped toward its next life.

Dude missed Lamont. After all, they’d been through a lot of lifetimes together, a fact that was a consolation but also, in its way, a curse. Who knew if Lamont would be back or when or, worse, as WHAT? Dude thought about that almost every day as he sorted bones. As he was all too aware, it was kill-or-be-killed out there in reality and one day’s dinner was the next day’s diner.

He looked to the west and saw a perfect swell heading his way.


Lamont (RIP) and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have (had) the uncanny ability to remember many of their previous incarnations which gives them an unusual perspective on life, the universe and everything.

Lamont and Dude Discuss Fire

“Humans.”

“You’re a human, Lamont. You keep forgetting.”

“I never forget. If I did, I’d end up at the museum in LA dressed in a Wooly Mammoth suit performing for kiddies.”

“Ha ha. I’d take you down again, Lamont, and you know it. But what’s wrong with humans NOW???”

“I was reading an article here by a noted educator, in his own eyes, anyway, who says knowledge is created. What a dumb shit. The tools for acquiring knowledge might be created, but knowledge? It’s not a ‘creation’.”

“You need to surf more and read less, Lamont. I’ve told you that about a million times. It would really make this human iteration a lot more pleasant. Isn’t that the whole point of these iterations? To enjoy life and then die?”

“That’s your philosophy, Dude?”

“Well, yeah. What else is there? Being human in this iteration living in this particular place isn’t what I’d call a nightmare. And, remember; there are always asteroids. You know that, I know that, and all of this — ocean and all — is inflammable.”

“Water isn’t inflammable.”

“If the perp is an asteroid, everything is flammable.”

“Not exactly. And an asteroid isn’t exactly a ‘perp’.”

“You’re going to argue this, Lamont? Seriously? Vita brevis. Asteroid, Smilodon, Bear, whatever. There’s an end to the road. I’m heading out. The waves are breaking clean and high. You want to come?”

“Sure. Let me get my board.”


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their past incarnations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.

Lamont and Dude Ponder Sand

“Hey Lamont! The Sand Snowman should be done today. They finished the Sand Christmas Tree yesterday.”

“You don’t see anything strange about that? Consider how many people passing that creation have never seen a real snow man?”

“Yeah, so what? Have you?”

“I don’t know. I’ve been wondering about that, how many iterations I don’t remember and why I just remember those I, well, those I do. I do remember the Ice Age, a couple of times. The good time and the bad time.”

“Oh I guess the ‘bad time’ was the one where my family took you down at the Tar Pits?”

“Well, yeah.”

“Oh Lamont. Sometimes it’s difficult enough with the memories we DO have. Think about it. Because of the persistence of memory, you, for example, you look askance on all human revelry. It might be fun to go out there and enjoy the lighting of the Sand Snowman or the Sand Christmas Tree. Just because it’s NOW doesn’t make it less of a party.”

“You’re right, Dude. I don’t dispute that at all. If I could enjoy it, I would. But I don’t. That kind of facile, systematic, seasonal joy seems contrived.”

“It IS contrived, but it still might be fun. It’s a human thing to have these traditions and seasonal way-stations.”

“Signaling the ever closer approach of our mortality. Do they think about THAT when Santa throws candy from a parade float? No. All this — whether it’s sand or snow — is just a reminder that we are temporary fixtures on this planet. Before long, Mother Ocean will come in and undermine the Sand Snow Man and the Snow Tree but long before THAT they will have been forgotten. Humans are fickle.”

“Joy is in the moment, Lamont. Drag it out too long it just becomes an orgy or a war.”

“Good point, Dude.”

“But, since you’re such a downer this morning, I’m going to catch some waves. Wanna’ come? It might cheer you up.”


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their past incarnations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.

Lamont and Dude Discuss Human Limitations

“Where you going, Dude?”

“Meeting up at the museum.”

“OH! Does that mean your second iteration as a Smilodon — albeit this time only a costume — is about the recommence?”

“Could be. I don’t know. I just hate that they have meetings on Saturdays. I don’t see why. The museum is busy as hell on Saturdays.”

“You keep expecting rationality from this particular group of humans.”

“You’re thinking that’s irrational?”

“Yeah, but you know, we’re part of this groups so…”

“Good point. And strangely tolerant from you.”

“I’ve had the last year or so to think about this species of which we find ourselves.”

“Do you think humans have ever been more rational?”

“No. I was reading about the Black Death. They did everything they could to make it go away, but they didn’t know HOW to make it go away. But, to their credit, they did what they knew. And they didn’t know shit, Dude. There were painters back then who painted against the Black Death. What’s a painting going to do?”

“Ah. You’re humbled, Lamont. I never imagined.”

“Take it from me, Dude. 99% of what people do they do just to get from day to day. That’s it. Like this Black Friday business. What’s that about?”

“Oh stores think they might finally make some money.”

“Consumerism is a way of getting through the day. That’s all it is and then there’s that brief moment when they have gotten something and they have a kind of buyer’s high — you know what that is, Dude? Think back to the good old days.”

“Sure I know what that is. It’s how I felt when my family and I drove you into the tar pits.”

“I’m sure you did but then? Then? Tell me what happened Dude.”

“I don’t really feel like it. I gotta’ go.”

“C’mon.”

“OK. I landed in the tar pits.”

“Heh heh heh. What goes around comes around.”

“Lamont, that wasn’t just whimsical killing. You were going to feed us for MONTHS. Smilodons starve too.”


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their past incarnations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.

Lamont and Dude Ponder Hallowe’en

“Lamont, should I get candy for the Trick-or-Treaters?

“Huh?”

“Hallowe’en.”

“No. I mean why? Everything dies. It’s the least unique factor of life. Why are people afraid of the dead, anyway? Every time they dig up some old bones from, well, the very olden days everyone is very excited and it gets written up in the media and the identification of these beings is based on just two teeth, the fragment of a jawbone and a scrap of femur! Then they tell us they found Early Egyptian Fascist Eight-Legged Arachno-Whale or something.”

“You’re in a mood.”

“Yeah, I guess so. But no. I want to do what we always do. Turn off the lights, lock the door and pretend it’s not happening. We’ve never passed out candy. Why now?”

“I heard some kids on the beach. They were saying that because our house is never lit up for Hallowe’en they’re sure it’s haunted and they want to break in and find the ghosts.”

“That would be be a lot of fun, Dude. Think about it. I’d love that. Scaring little kids?”

“They’re not little. They’re tweens or whatever.”

“Ah. You’re going to let yourself be bullied by a bunch of pre-adolescent zit-magnets?”

“You forget. They’re immortal.”

“That’s just what they think. It’s not true.”

“At their age, what they think is all that matters. So you want me to get candy or not?”

“Do you have the Smilodon suit here at home?”

“Yeah. Haven’t done any Smilodon acting since Covid. Why?”

“I remember when you were REALLY a Smilodon and you were pretty damned scary. I was a mastodon and you took me down.”

“I wasn’t alone and there was that thing of all that tar covered in leaves and stuff. I couldn’t have done it alone.”

“But the long scary teeth, Dude. The teeth.”

“Lamont, I don’t know how to tell you this, and I haven’t told the people at the museum, but NO child is EVER fooled into thinking I’m anything but a man in a Smilodon suit.”

“Too bad we don’t have Velociraptor suits.”

“I think you’d get farther with the oak tree. A walking, talking, oak tree? That would be a very scary thing.”



Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their previous incarnations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.

Lamont and Dude Discuss Anubis

“Lamont, did you see they found fossils proving there were once whales with legs?”

“Never happened.”

“Why not?”

“Dude, they have like five bones. You’re convinced with only five bones and a handful of teeth?”

“I think it’s more than that. They said he was ‘the God of death’.”

“I read that, too. I’ll give you the God of Death. It’s a microbe.”

“I think we can find the God of Death on all points of the God of Death spectrum, Lamont. You’re in a bad mood.”

“Not really. I’ve just lost my balance and fallen off my lofty perch of exalted philosophical equanimity.”

“I hate when that happens.”

“Yeah, no one likes it.”

“You want to go catch some waves?”

“Are you serious? The God of Death is out there using surfers as hors d’oeuvres.”

“Not here.”

“They will, believe me, when they’ve chomped down on all the other beaches.”

“Lamont, I’m worried about you. You want to head inland and maybe head north? Go fishing in some crystalline stream?”

“Fish for salmon? No, I don’t think so. The God of Death might trundle by and fight me for his food. It’s HIS food after all. You might think being a bear is easy, but it isn’t. Just because a bear is big and fierce and a top predator, doesn’t mean a bear always gets what he wants.”

“Do you have to bring up THAT memory? I was just there, a beautiful day, spawning with the rest of them — my first spawn! — and suddenly I’m in a bear’s jaws like a pretzel at a poker game.”

“Good analogy. Life is a poker game.”

“Lamont, is there ANYTHING I can do to cheer you up?”


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their previous incarnations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.

Lamont and Dude Ponder Disappointment

“How was it being back at work, Dude?”

“Amazing how everyone and everything goes right back to where it was in that tide pool of prehistory.”

“That’s pretty poetic for a Smilodon.”

“No Smilodon, Lamont. Some programs are still suspended. It’s just me, a bunch of bones, a lot of dried tar, some solvent, some brushes and a container.”

“You sound a little down, Dude, for a guy who’s again gainfully employed.”

“Basically, Lamont, it’s like spending a day in a hot trailer washing dishes. Seems like last year…”

“You want to go catch some waves? Will that cheer you up?”

“Maybe. What I was about to say was that last year kind of showed things for what they really are. I mean we all work all the time for that SOMEDAY, like the someday we assemble another mastodon, or we find a baby Smilodon, or this or that, but then we do and then we’re back in the container washing more bones.”

“Human life is like the ocean, Dude. How many times have you told ME that? But the tide comes in, the tide goes out, we wait for a good set, we surf it or we wipe out, we come in, we go out, we wait. If things go sideways we have to be rescued and pay for THAT or we die. That’s it. You’ve said that a million times. Life is anticipation. We humans LOVE anticipation.

“I don’t know, Lamont. I like the swimming out and waiting, too.”

“Would you just SWIM out and hang out beyond the swells and never catch a wave and be totally happy?”

“I have.”

“Yeah, but you think — I think, we all think, — ‘Maybe the next one!’ What I think is that during the Viral Times we had to suspend anticipation except for the one BIG anticipation which was the return to so-called ‘normal’ which was never anything more than a life of constant anticipation.”

“You think people who are finally able to see their family again feel this way about THAT?”

“No, of course not, but even there the honeymoon is going to end at some point. Daily life is where we live, Dude. Anticipation keeps it from being a burden on the spirit. It’s why humans love shopping so much. Even just that little, ‘I wonder what’s on sale at Walmart today’ and the turning the corner at the end of an aisle gives humans a little lift.”

“C’mon, Lamont, do YOU like washing dishes?”

“It’s OK. Has to be done.”

“Lamont, maybe you think too much.”

“Well, Dude, you may be right, but I think a lot of people are going to feel just like you as they return to whatever it was they missed. I wonder if people will look at their striving and wonder ‘Why?’ I hope people write about it.”

“You could.”

“Naw.”


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have the uncanny ability to recall many of their previous incarnations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.