Lamont and Dude Relate their Worst Case Scenario (second L & D post)

— How did that end, your tiger iteration?
Sex. I was a female tiger. It’s risky thing being a female tiger. I suppose it is evolution’s method for controlling the tiger population and keeping the gene pool clean, but it was a terrible, terrible betrayal.

— SEX????
Yeah, you know how back in the Renaissance there was this romantic “confusion” about sex and death? Poets called sex the “little death?”

— What? I didn’t know that.

Week+255+TigerWoods+mating+with+Cathay+_MG_5527As it happens, with tigers, the two get into it, you know? Well tigers are big, fierce, beautiful, noble and intelligent animals, but the operative terms here are big and fierce and it can happen that in the throes of love, when the male tiger is giving passionate love bites to the back of the female’s neck, he might bite too hard or too deep and BAM! She’s dead, spinal cord severed or more like chewed. That’s what happened to me.

— Was it worth it?
I liked being a tiger. But it had to end sooner or later. Another question? Yeah you dressed like a blueberry muffin! What’s up with that?

— I’d like to know what it was like being a dinosaur.
Keep up the way you’re going and you’ll find out.

(Outraged gasps fill the studio audience. People shake in horror.)

— Sir, I have to ask you to be more sensitive to people’s feelings. That’s not how we treat people any more.
Seriously? So in this world where people are starving and others are being blown to bits for the sake of resources, religion, ideology,  and territory you are worried about my calling someone pudgy when she clearly IS? You think she doesn’t know?

— You shouldn’t marginalize her over that.
I’m not, I’m trying to answer her question. That’s as inclusive as I can be from up here. So, sweet-cheeks, what’s your question again?

— What was it like being a dinosaur?
I don’t remember well, actually. You see, as a dinosaur I had a little tiny brain and a great big body. My life was consumed – ha ha, consumed — with finding food and mating. That was pretty much all that little brain could contend with. Thank goodness I was a carnivore so all I had to do was find a nice, fat herbivore and kill it. Easy peazy. Basically, all we did was roam around looking for food, mating, laying eggs and so on and so on and so on. It was a simple life, true. Easy to know when you were ‘getting it right’, that’s for sure. No ambiguity.

— Would you do it again?
Sometimes I miss a nice apatosaurus filet, but pork is a pretty good substitute. Other than that, no. And then there was that meteorite. That was dramatic, sure, but fun? Hardly. Terrible experience. It got very dark, then very darker and then I was a rock. I was an island. I didn’t need anyone and yeah. It was good being liberated from desire, but…

graniteWow. Now he’s mocking religion. He’s mocking Buddhism. I don’t believe.
Is he for real?
Yeah, I guess. I read about him on Facebook. He’s got a lot of fans. It’s amazing he can remember exactly what various of his molecules were doing through the ages, that is incredible.

Wow. Now he’s mocking ugly people.

I’m sure your mother loved you and probably your husband does, too. Don’t worry about being ugly, lady. There are worse things such as  being a rock. What’s your question?

— Do you believe in God?
What do you mean by “God”?

— You know, a divine intelligence that created the world and controls what happens in it.
No. That’s crazy. What you’re describing? Those things cannot exist in one being. It goes against nature for a being to have a creative intelligence AND be a micro-managing mid-level administrator. You can believe that if it makes your day better, of course. Godnose all this stuff seems pretty random and we’re all so small it’s difficult to understand the laws behind events. I mean, when I was a dinosaur every day was a completely new experience. I didn’t have the brain power to devise theories. Of course later, when I’d been busted up by the forces of erosion, frost-cracking and so on – and it was pretty fast as I was one of your large particle bits of post-meteorite igneous fluff  –  I finally escaped rock-dom and parts of me entered the world as a chicken it wasn’t a LOT better, but honestly, it’s tremendously convenient to be warm-blooded. After I was eaten by a fox life got a lot more interesting and the iterations came more quickly, of course. I wasn’t reduced to a mineral state ever again (but who knows?),  and I’m grateful for that, though for a while I was a tree. It’s usually good to be a tree, overall pretty calm for a long time, depending on the type, but I was chomped down by a beaver when I was only a few years old.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I lay in a cold stream for a while, but as I began to decay I re-entered the microbe state. I met up with some of myself in the stream, the parts that had been accidentally eaten by the beaver. We hung around sometimes mating with ourselves and sometimes just fucking around with cell division. Not for long, though. No one is a single-cell animal long. It’s a lot like a steep slide at a water park. It’s scary, wet and doesn’t last, unless you have the bad luck to become a rock. I loved the period of being a trout, but as it seems always to happen, I was eaten by something, this time an osprey. Even osprey’s don’t live forever, so in a hard wind storm over the river my bird crashed to earth. He rotted and after a while I found myself a tree again, this time a nice big oak in the middle of a field. Good times, good times with my pals. Dude even showed up and it was nice reliving all our old lives. You’d think in an infinite universe there’d be more variety, but no. Amazingly we had similar stories. Great period, I’ll tell you that.

— And then you became human
Hell no. After many years, I fell in a windstorm. I was old, brittle. Most of my pals had fallen long before so I was fine with the whole thing. The next thing I remember, though, I was a squirrel. Awful. Avoid that. Avoid returning as a squirrel because then you’re PREY. Naturally, I was eaten by a fox. I swear. Foxes have it in for me. Well, I could go on FOREVER, but maybe you can see how this works? Did I answer your question?

— You’re saying things just happen?
I don’t know, but that’s how it seems to me.

— For no reason?
Reason? Are you sure you don’t mean CAUSE? Things happen because the thing before happened and, if there’s a purpose it’s so the next thing can happen. Often what happens is someone’s worst case scenario.

— But WHY?
The laws of nature, babe. That’s all I know and what I’m trying to say is THAT’S ALL I KNOW.


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with in 2014. This is their second adventure. They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their past incarnations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.

Hell on Wings — from New York to Paris

Middle Seat It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

The plane is packed. It isn’t even “my” plane. It’s a plane I am put on because snow in St. Louis made my connecting flight late. By the time I reach JFK, my plane to Milan has left and I’m on this one, this helllsh flight to Charles de Gaulle from which I should get an Alitalia flight to Milan. Well, I’m glad to have a seat. In front of me is a family with a baby. The baby is in a carrier and in front of them is the movie screen. My row, six seats across, and I’m in the middle. To my right is a thirty-something French woman. To my left a twenty-something JAP, Jewish American Princess. I wouldn’t know this, or mention it now, but they become defining elements of their characters as we push our way through 10 hours of air space and, for me, ten hours of hell. The two women had begun talking in the terminal and had brought their strident argument onto the plane.

“Would one of you like to trade seats with me,” I ask, hoping to to get out from the middle of their discussion.

“No,” they both say.

“You could continue your conversation more easily if you were sitting together,” I say, pointing out the good points of my plan.

“I don’t want to be in the middle.”

“Neither do I.”

“Ze average Jewish woman in New York is a beetch. I know zis. I work at the cosmetic counter at Bloomingdales and every day zey come in and complain about something. Zey even complain zey cannot understand my English.”

The air conditioner doesn’t seem to be working and the cabin is hot.

“If you knew what we went through in the war,” says the young woman who did NOT go through any war or through anything, “you would be a little more understanding. You French are the most intolerant people in Europe.” In fact, she was flying on her mother’s frequent flyer rewards to Paris where she would go shopping.

The JAP’s French was decent and at a certain point their exchange of insults slipped into French and back again to English.

The cabin is even hotter.

The stewardesses pass through, grumbling, passing out whatever it was they passed out. Not dinner. The plane took off too late for dinner, but a snack, I suppose. The move is “Armageddon.” I put in the earphones and yet? All the noise in the film does not drown out the ranting harpies beside me. Movie over, I decide to sleep, but the cabin is so hot and I’m so thirsty.

“Excuse me,” I say to the girl  on my left who seems somewhat less hostile than the woman on my right.

“What do you want?” she says.

“I want out. I want to get some water.”

She pulls her legs in slightly as do the people to her left. I go to the stewardess’ station and ask for water. The two stewardesses are engrossed in a conversation about something in their private lives and are clearly annoyed.

“Here,” says one, filling a small glass.

“Could I have a bottle?”

“No,” she says. “Our instructions are two passengers/bottle. We’ll be through the cabin in a few hours with drinks.”

“Can you do anything about the heat? It’s incredibly hot in the cabin.”

“No,” she says. “Our cabin is climate controlled.”

“Could I have some more?” I proffer my now empty plastic glass. The stewardess more than a little begrudgingly fills it.

“Please return to your seat,” she says when I’ve finished. I return to my row and try to return to my seat without disturbing anyone. When I sit down beside the French girl, I hear a frustrated, “Mon dieu!

In spite of the heat, I scrunch down in my seat with a blanket and try to sleep. There’s a lull in the shit-flinging between my neighbors and I think for a moment they’ve exhausted themselves, but no.

“Look what you Jews are doing in Palestine! How can you complain about Hitler when zat is what you are doing to ze Palestinians!”

I think. “Ze merde is going to hit ze fan now!” And so it did. For the next two or three hours they harangued at each other and then, finally, they went to sleep. After a while the dawn of a European morning began to push its way into the cabin. The loudspeaker crackled into life and I heard — in French as we were not in Kansas any more — “Nous viendrons dans la cabine avec un petit déjeuner de yaourt, une brioche, et café.” I tapped the women on the shoulder and said, “They are going to serve breakfast.”

The French woman said, “How do you know? Ze announcement was in French.”

Less than two hours and this ordeal would end. Well, this leg of this ordeal would end. What happened next is also a good story — for another day.

Lamont and Dude Discuss Existential Angst

“I love those guys.”

“Which guys, Lamont? And, guys?”

“Fig eater beetles. Aren’t they beautiful?”

“Yeah. All metallic green and velvet.”

“Do you remember ever being a bug? I don’t but…”

“Pretty short, a bug’s life. Not a lot to remember.”

“True. Sad, though.”

“You seem kind of melancholy, Lamont. What’s up?”

“I haven’t heard from my agent in weeks. Months, even. I think my television career is at a dead end.”

“It’s not you, Lamont. The media is consumed with the political freak show.”

“Wouldn’t you think people would want a break from all that.”

“I think they do, it’s just they’re all addicted.”


“As you’ve said a thousand times, ‘Monkey see, monkey do’. They don’t want to miss anything on the ‘news’.”

“It’s just a lot of face-lifted human females with iridescent makeup, silicone mammaries and cocktail dresses. In another era…”

“I know. We’d be chasing them across the Savannah and leaving them to bear our young, or we’d be chased across the Savannah etc. but, Lamont… Come out and catch a few waves.”

“Naw, you go.”

“Lamont, you can’t just sit here all day wishing you could be a Fig Eater Beetle. Remember your own words to carpe the diem and live each iteration to the fullest?”

“Yeah, but being human is really not a lot of fun. How do you live an iteration like this ‘to the fullest’ Dude?”

“Get off your pity pot and grab your board. Maybe you’ll get lucky. A great white shark will get you, and you’ll come back as a Fig Eater Beetle.”

“Always a bright side.”


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.

Pondering Inevitability and Taking a Stand

I got up, let the dogs out, made coffee, put it on the stove, made my breakfast smoothie, let the dogs in, fed the dogs, took my daily meds, moved the lap top to the table in the “room of all life” and opened to the RDP daily prompt. I found an SAT word that I always kind of liked, and it has given me my chance to take my stand here and now.

Even though my position is completely unavailing, I’m diametrically opposed to Spring. Why?

Spring is NOTHING but hype.

Allow me to present my argument.

First and foremost, where I live, spring is manic. Everyone can get settled into the noxious fecundity of this season, gasping at the unsurprising beauty of a crocus “Oh oh, my first crocus! Spring is really here! Hope is reborn!” and we can have a hard freeze in May or a big dump of snow.

I live in hope of the snow dump.

Second, it’s muddy. My alley has ruts six inches deep in this slimy mess. The trails I hike could easily suck off my shoes. Never mind the dogs’ feet bringing all that into my house, onto my hardwood floors, sand paper, essentially.

Third, and most egregious, it ends in summer. Once spring starts, there’s no going back. Even a hard freeze in May or a large snow dump won’t stop it. Summer comes. As the poet said, “If spring comes, can summer be far behind?” What? That’s not what he said?

Spring brings us to summer which brings me to lawn-mowing (which I hate), watering (which I hate paying for), gardening (which I barely do having learned how well the birds are at tending my garden). In June there are four or five really hot days, too. The tourists come from Texas and clog my street with giant RVs and noise from Memorial to Labor Days. Golfers return to “my” golf course which means we can’t walk there. Summer is just one long day after the other, often ending in torrential rain and hail.

Stoic that I am, I make the best of it. It doesn’t last forever.

I thought I was alone in having these feelings, but yesterday I got an email from my local Nordic ski club with the tagline, “It ain’t over yet!” and a short report of trails they’ve recently groomed. OK, I might have to drive further than half a block to get there, but…

Sun vs. Snow

Temperatures got into the 40s (7 C) yesterday here in the back of beyond. The snow looked around and said, “WTF?”

“Skedaddle,” said the sun.

“I don’t know if I’m going to do that,” said the immense piles of snow everywhere. “And I don’t think I like your tone.”

“Ha,” said the sun. “You can like it or not. It doesn’t matter. In six more weeks you know what happens.”

“That’s so,” said the snow, “but you know what I can do in May or April if I feel like it.”

“And I allow it.”

“You’re powerful, O great star, and all that, but I’d like to make a couple of points here. First, if this planet didn’t tilt like it does, you couldn’t make your ‘in six weeks’ threat. Second, you’re getting a lot of help from humans.”

“Surely YOU know the difference between weather and climate. You’re snow, after all.”

Snow shook her head and tiny ice prisms flew into the blue sky, melting before they had time to fall. “That’s neither here nor there. There are humans who need me. Even the little lady in this house here. She needs me. She and her big white dog wait all year for me.”

“Millions more wait for me, Snow. Without me, nothing happens. Life ends.”

“Uh, listen Sol, old pal. Without me, nothing happens. Life ends.

Lamont and Dude Continue to be Serious

“It wasn’t all velociraptors and Smilodons, Lamont.”

“News flash.”

“I mean, we were a lot of other things. Why isn’t the world interested in that?”


“You know. I mean, being a salmon was pretty great while it lasted.”

“People get salmon in cans these days. I doubt most of them ever think about the wild nights and glorious days of salmon spawns.”

“True enough. OH well.”

“It’s actually pretty significant that humans admire predators more than prey. I think it runs deep in the human ‘soul’.”

“Why is that, Lamont? What are your ideas on that, because clearly you have some.”

“Well, every creature would rather NOT be killed. Look how fierce sparrows are defending their lilac bush and birdbath from house finches. It’s the scarcity model. Humanity has built most of its civilizations on that model. I wonder what animals would do if there was never any danger to their survival? A different model, you think?”

“For Smilodon there wasn’t much danger.”

“That’s my point, Dude. Only the top predators didn’t have to worry.”

“And that’s why humans are so fascinated by Smilodon and not oak trees?”

“I think oak trees are in their own class, I’m just thinking of sentient creatures who move around, you know?”

“It was a sad moment when you caught me, Lamont. I was enjoying my short life as a salmon.”

“I know, Dude, but a bear has needs, too.”

“That’s pretty much the bottom line, isn’t it.”

“So are you keeping your job? Surfing Smilodons have needs.”

“Yeah, I just called them. They’re relieved. My replacement doesn’t seem to ‘get it’. That’s their exact words.”

“Probably never been a top predator.”

Lamont and Dude Get Serious

“Feathers were a nice touch, don’t you think?”

“Dude what are you doing?”

“Reading about the new discoveries about Velociraptors. They’ve learned we had feathers. They could’ve asked.”

“Yeah, well, it really doesn’t matter how often I’m on television, no one really believes what I say. They think I’m a comedian.”

“Is that why you’ve been keeping a low profile, Lamont?”

“Naw. Just kind of over that like you’re over the smilodon suit.”

“I turned in my notice. Now I have to train a new guy. He has NO idea and when I say, ‘It wasn’t like that,’ he looks at me like I’m crazy and rolls his eyes.”

“The sad thing is no one will know the difference.”

“Probably doesn’t matter in the long run whether the guy gets it or not. Lamont have you ever thought maybe we ARE delusional and we don’t really ‘remember’? Maybe we just feed into each others delusions.”

“No. The human mind has capabilities that remain untapped and LOOOOONNNNGGG term memory is part of it. We’re biological matter one way or another throughout our numerous lives. Maybe we’re a tree for a couple of hundred years. Maybe part of us goes into the sediment as a rock. Maybe part of us emerges in another life as a hermit crab or star fish. Maybe as a chimpanzee. Depending how many of our molecules assemble in a being that has at least some awareness, we’re going to remember things. If enough end up in one human, well, here we are. And if we find an old friend?”

“I don’t know, Lamont. Science doesn’t back up your theory.”

“‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’ Just because science hasn’t put the pieces together yet, doesn’t mean it’s not the truth.”

“Are you saying I shouldn’t quit the smilodon gig?”

“It’s a public service, Dude. Who else can explain the smilodon camouflage better than you?”


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. This gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.

Lamont and Dude Further Discuss Relocation

“So did you decide, Dude? Are you moving to the mountains?”

“No. I don’t think I’m the same being I was whenever that was and I lived in the mountains.”

“No more enlightenment on the species identification, then. Oh well. We can’t be expected to remember everything.”

“I think you were right. I was some kind of deer. I did a little research on those creatures and it’s not a bad life unless winter is hard and long.”

“Yeah, vegetarians have a greater dependency on climate than carnivores. If anything, bad seasons are good for carnivores.”

“I hadn’t thought of that.”

“Oh well. That’s why I always say, if you can’t come back as an ancient oak tree, come back as a carnivore.”

“Like there’s a lot of choice.”

“True enough, Dude. So you heading out? Looks like some pretty nice sets.”

“Yep. You coming, pardner?”

“Not today. You just git along little doggy. I’ll catch you later.”

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 unusual perspective on life, the universe and everything.

Lamont and Dude Ponder Love

“Happy New Year, Lamont!”

“Yappy Gnu Ears to Ewe!”

“Some party last night.”

“Yeah. I’ve lived too long for that shit any more, Dude. Next time, don’t ask me.”

“Ask you? I didn’t ask you. You were already here.”

“That seems to be the story of my lives. Did you remember dressing up in your Smilodon suit and asking Sweet Cheeks next door to marry you?”

“She might’ve said ‘Yes’ if you hadn’t told her that the last time she and I were married I killed her.”

“It’s true. ‘Predestined enemies’ the Chinese call it, people you fall in love with over multiple incarnations. If you remember that, you could anticipate these problems.”

“Why did I kill her last time?”

“I don’t know if it was last time. But you killed her for food.”


“You were very serious about it. Life had gotten pretty harsh. She would’ve killed and eaten you. You just got there first. It’s easy in these human iterations to forget what it is like being a wild animal.”

“What were we? I don’t remember this at all. Preying mantids? Tiger sharks?”




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 Tradition

“Is it over yet? Can I come out?”

“What’s your problem with the holidays, Lamont?”

“Well, there’s all the kitsch, the expectations, the repetition of what we did last year…”

“That’s called ‘tradition’ Lamont.”

“…the illusion that it’s all somehow different and the world is going to change as a result of it. It doesn’t work that way. How’s the world going to change by doing the same thing you did last year and the year before? Show me ONE animal who celebrates ‘the holidays’.”

“Animals have bigger problems.”

“Yeah, exactly. Like food and kill or be killed. Whenever I see Santa and his Reindeer I think of the time I was a caribou. The whole thing shows little understanding of…”

“You were a caribou?”

“Yep. Wonderful times. Wandering with my pals for miles and miles in the snow, running from wolves, sometimes taking one down. I don’t know if I’ve told you this, Dude, but I loved the Ice Age.”

“It had its points, I’ll grant you, but it was cold. And as for Santa, in some parts of the world caribou are raised as domestic herd animals. It’s not totally crazy.”

“You don’t think caribou flying through the air is totally crazy? No wonder you were able to be a convincing Smilodon in that suit for such a long time.”

“I was convincing first because I was in that suit and second because I was once a Smilodon. I’d have made short shrift of you as a caribou. Remember that.”

“Short shrift. Now that’s one of the strangest phrases in English, don’t you think? What’s a ‘shrift’?”


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.