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?”


“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.

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.”


“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 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.”


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.

Lamont and Dude Ponder Human Names

“I guess you’re what people would call eccentric, Lamont.”

“Pot/kettle you weirdo.”

“Seriously, Lamont. Even people on Twitter think your name is eccentric.”

“It’s a great name. It means ‘the mountain’. I chose it because…”

“That’s not the name your most recent human parents gave you?”

“No. Of course not. Shudder.”

“What’s your real name?”

“My real name is Lamont. You don’t even have a name.”

“I do. It’s not my fault no one uses it. It’s Geoffrey. Geoff.”

“Ah. I see why you go by Dude.”

“Nothing wrong with Geoff but, you know. But LAMONT???”

“We’ve been quarantined too long, me thinks. Here you are, referring to Twitter as if anything that happened there had meaning and here I am making fun of a name some random humans gave you when you were born. This can’t be good. Shouldn’t we be discussing the absurdity of human-centered reality and the arrogance of the species as it goes willy-nilly into what it calls scientific investigation? Shouldn’t we be offering some pithy yet searing social criticism based on our multi-millennia existence?”

“That’s your job, Lamont. Looks like the museum is going to open this summer, though. Fingers crossed.”

“You miss your smilodon gig don’t you, Dude.”

“Yeah, I miss the kids and I miss the Zen of cleaning tar from paleontological fragments in the shipping container they call my lab. I do. I miss that stuff.”

“You know the beaches are going to be very crowded once everything opens up again.”

“They were crowded before.”


“What are you going to do, Lamont? Try to redeem yourself with Oprah, or?

“I don’t know, Dude. Something interesting will turn up. Always has.”

~ ~ ~

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 Consider Life in Pre-dinosaur Antarctica

“Lamont, why are you brandishing that sword? WTF?”

“It’s plastic, Dude. I found it on the beach. Must’ve washed up from a movie set or something up north.”

“I was thinking, Lamont.”

“Good for you.”

“Ha ha, I mean the way the continents slide around the planet and the way magnetic north changes from time to time, and the way they found fossils on Antarctica, it’s all pretty, I don’t know, pretty…”


“Yeah. I mean they named that proto-dinosaur Antarctanax shackletoni after Shackleton, for the love of all that’s, well, humans.”

“Shackleton was a decent guy, Dude. So what’s the problem? This is human language. It’s not going to last forever. There are books in all sorts of old libraries that were written by humans and no living human can read them. Human language in a few thousand years turns all Antarctanax shackletoni, and the humans are still wandering around this planet. Think about it. Naming the creature “Antarctanax” is just as strange. Who’s to say the continent is going to stay there or the Earth is going to continue rotating on the same axis. But…”

“I guess they have to call him something. Do you remember having been back then?”

“No, but that doesn’t mean anything. I — and you — could have been single-celled creatures or bugs or something. I think it must have been a sweet time to live, though. From what I understand, there wasn’t any great competition for resources in that new world.”

“I can’t believe it, Lamont. You’re being sentimental. You really think anything was ever different?”

“Well, maybe there was once a Garden of Eden and maybe it was populated by iguanas and bugs. Who knows? Maybe Antarctanax shackletoni was the lord of a gentle creation.”

“Lamont, you’re not yourself. Even Antarctanax shackletoni had to eat. Do you think maybe you should call Dr. Davis and get your medication refilled?”

~ ~ ~

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


Lamont and Dude Discuss Wisdom

“Lamont, you consider yourself to be wise, right? I mean after all our iterations, you figure you can go on Oprah and set everyone straight.”

“I wasn’t wise there, Dude. I forgot two main things about human beings. 1) They like to set everyone else straight and 2) They don’t like their comfort threatened. I could’ve been telling the audience the total absolute and irrefutable truth, and they wouldn’t have heard it. If I’d been wise, I’d have stayed here with you and caught some waves instead.”

“You did get famous for a while.”

“Notoriety isn’t fame, Dude. You’re more famous than I am, Dude, and no one even sees your face.”


“Yeah, when you’re up there at the museum dressed in your Smilodon suit, helping teach the kiddies about the goodle days.”

“Those were good days…”

“Shut up.”

“So NOW you’re wise but when you were pondering fame and fortune on TV you WEREN’T wise?”

“I’m wiser about THAT, but really, the whole thing about any iteration as a sentient being is it’s all live and learn. That’s a human luxury, though. For a lot of creatures it’s ‘learn or die’. Humans too, but they don’t get it.”

“So what about wisdom? Some wizened yogi was sitting on the sand yesterday holding forth to his fans…”


“OK, followers, about the acquisition of wisdom.”

“You don’t ‘acquisition’ wisdom. What kind of yogi was he?”

“I dunno, just one of those guys in orange.”

“What did he say?”

“He said you might acquire wisdom and not even know it.”

“Well, that’s a pity. You wanna’ catch some waves?”

~ ~ ~

Some of Lamont’s TV Appearances below…warning; not for the faint of heart.

Lamont and Dude Relate their Worst Case Scenario

Lamont’s Audience of Skeptics

Lamont Returns to Oprah

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.


Lamont and Dude Ponder Satirizing the Times in which We Live

“Did you see this? I think the National Geographic has it in for us.”


“I don’t remember skipping through a meadow with a flower between my teeth chasing butterflies.”

“I’ve thought about that dumb illustration and I think they’re just trying to hit home the point that we were not, you know, thunder lizards.”

“We could have told them.”

“Dude, who would believe we were there?”

“True. We’re just a couple of dudes.”

“That’s certainly true of you.”

“Ha ha, real funny. But I was thinking. What if we wrote a book that satirizes humans’ bizarre qualities?”

“Besides the fact that the book would be infinitely long, what would you satirize?”

“The way they don’t believe in germs even when they get sick. The way they make vows to stay married forever but it only last through the photo shoot. The way they elect political leaders BECAUSE those leaders have NO experience in governing. Oh, oh oh, and my favorite. Their elected official has a soft-porn model for his wife and people call her ‘classy’.”

“Says more about them than her, don’t you think?”

“True, but think about it. Lots of really funny stuff has happened in the past few years. Stuff like that. It would be easy to satirize.”

“I get where you’re going, Dude, but I think if we write about that, humans won’t see the satire. They’ll just think it’s news reporting. They won’t get it any more than they get that we were once velociraptors.”


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 the National Geographic


“Did you see this National Geographic?”

“OH yeah. Those scientists. You gotta’ love them.”

“They say we were misunderstood.”

“I think they said we ARE misunderstood. You know. Hollywood. OK by me. I’m human now which just proves reincarnation is a lottery, and you can’t win ’em all.”

“You read it then?”

“Yeah. I was curious, ,you know, progress and so on. We hatched from blue eggs and weren’t even as big and fierce as cassowaries, more like walking eagles — feature that, Dude — that we were NOT like those giant lizard robots in Jurassic Park? Not news to me. What’s the word from the museum, anyway?”

“Still closed down. It’s going to be a while before they’re up and running again. I think costumed Smilodons are pretty far down on the list to get the vaccine.”

“Yeah. Television personalities, too.”

“Seriously, Lamont? You see yourself as a TV personality?”

“Just what are you taking issue with there, Dude, TV or ‘person’?”

“I just mean it’s been a while since you’ve been on TV and Oprah’s thrown you off her show at least twice.”

“Just being thrown off Oprah doesn’t mean I’m not a TV personality. I’d say it’s more indicative of it.”

“You have a point there.”

“How’s the surf?”

“Oh, Lamont. The waves are billowing in like happy sails.”

“You wanna?”

“Sure. One thing we’re getting from this whole thing is a lot more time on the water.”


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 an uncanny perspective on life, the universe and everything.


Lamont and Dude Discuss the Big Five

“Well, they’ve ‘found out’ that dinosaurs evolved into birds, that Velociraptors were ‘short’ — that’s relative, isn’t it? — and we laid blue eggs.”

“Amusing isn’t it?”

“Yep. Listen to this, ‘…look at Velociraptors, which are among the most misunderstood “terror lizards” yet. A far cry from the large, scaly pack hunters depicted in Jurassic Park, real Velociraptors were solitary stalkers closer to the size of wolves that were covered in feathers. (sic) ‘”Given the chance, this predator likely wouldn’t have hunted humans, either,” Nat Geo’s Amy McKeever writes…’ Good grief. This guy doesn’t even know what he’s saying.”

“What are you reading from, Lamont?”

“Email from National Geographic. The guy’s pondering whether to eat turkey for Thanksgiving. He says he’s already given up eating ungulates now he’s having second thoughts about birds because — here’s the kicker — they’re descended from dinosaurs.”

“Humans. They’re so clueless and, well, clueless. You’d think from all the animal documentaries they have available, they would have figured out the Big Five.”

“Right. Do you remember when I got thrown of Oprah for explaining the Big Five?”

“Yeah. That was crazy. Everyone knows that’s how things work.”

“I was hurt, Dude. I’d even modernized it for the post-Dinosaur world, just for her show.

1) PROCREATE!!!! Fight for that female! If she acts like she doesn’t want to, ignore it. NO means YES.

2) EAT whenever you can. Vegetarians are food. So are dead carnivores.

3) Stuff dies. Sometimes you have to kill it first. If it’s already dead, you caught a break. Eat it.

4) WATCH OUT for eagles, bears, large cats and gulls.

See Dude? That’s the modern part. Good isn’t it?”


“I thought it was very PC. And, finally,

5) Keep yourself alive so you can procreate, kill things and eat them.”

“Almost poetry, Lamont. Hey, Lamont, we never fought over a mate, did we? I don’t recall that we ever did.”

“No. We didn’t have the chance. The meteor hit us probably just a few days before we would have seen some pretty piece of tail — I mean that literally because, you know, feathers — looked each other in the Velociraptor eye and gone for the jugular.”

“That’s probably why we’re friends now, Lamont. That meteor saved us.”

“You’re way too human, Dude.”


Thank you

Happy Thanksgiving readers of my blog, wherever you are. Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend about the year and what we have to be thankful for. She said she was having a hard time with gratitude, but found it — a real triumph in trying times. I thought about my situation and realized that part of me has “enjoyed” the pandemic. No, I don’t like it. I think the government’s handling of it has been inhuman and reprehensible and I’m sad for everyone who’s lost a loved one or a physical ability as a result of Covid-19. It’s horrific, particularly as so much death probably could have been prevented. But, in my tiny life, I’ve enjoyed this year.

There’s something to be said about the clarity of knowing that there is an enemy at the gates and that my job is to survive and to help those around me survive. That imperative is the most basic imperative there is. That right there eliminated a lot of things from my life, some of which I didn’t like in the first place (grocery shopping). Those things I had to “give up” that I do like I realized immediately could be adjusted (social distanced Covid tea parties with my friends, talks in the alley, walks in the golf course with the kids). Otherwise? The pandemic has limited our lives and made us more reliant on those in physical proximity, a life like that before cars, maybe. Anyway, for me it’s been mostly sweet and filled with love.

I’m also very grateful I have a certain income and no need (now) to go to a job. The pandemic threw that beautiful reality in relief early on. I thought of how it would be if I were still in California and teaching. I’d have lost my house by now. I think I’d be living on the street.

I don’t remember ever being more grateful for my life and my world than I am right now, and my life and my world includes all the people who read and comment on my blog. We have also deepened the threads of community over these months. Thank you. ❤


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