Lamont and Dude Proffer an Allegory

“It wasn’t might, Lamont. It was more.”

“Uh, like, what? I think it was might. Being a giant lizard is definitely a mighty thing. The ground shook when we walked across it. It was great for the short time I was a Tyrannosaurus Rex.”

“You were a Tyrannosaurus Rex?”

“Not long.”

“What happened?”

“Oh, stuff. You know, things. I got sick and died.”

“I’m sorry, Lamont. That’s sad.”

“That’s how it goes. One day you’re a giant thunder lizard scaring the shit out of everything and the next you’re a pile of flesh being torn apart by scavengers.”

“Listen, Lamont, back when we were dinosaurs, we were also skillful. Not just mighty. We were skillful. And fast.”

“Fast, but skill? We just saw what we wanted to eat and ate it. That’s not skill. We didn’t need skill. Food was smaller. We killed it — or not — and ate it. Humans need skill. Velociraptors, no.”

“You mean all we did was see food and eat?”


“No skills? No development of a philosophical center?”

“No. None. Why? We didn’t need any. It’s not like now. Humans are just as aggressive as velociraptors, but not as mighty. Skills and philosophies are cheap compensation for pure, dumbass might.”

“Wow, Lamont. I never thought of it that way.”

“Look at history, Dude. Over the centuries humans have tried over and over to regain the clarity of an existence based on pure might, but they’re always dragged down by their paltry size and the human tendency to ask existential and ethical questions. As velociraptors, none of that applied to us. It was a simpler time and not all that unkind, not that kindness was an issue, but we only ate when we were hungry and there was food. We didn’t fight for fun.”

“Oh god no, absolutely not. You could always end up a giant mound of flesh for no reason.”

“And we had no real enemies.”

“Hmm. I’m beginning to see what you mean.”

“Sure we had a teeny tiny brain, but that might have worked to our advantage. Hard to say.”

“It seems to me, Lamont, if humans had the might of velociraptors and the consciousness of evil and all that stuff we’re stuck with, that would be a huge burden.”

Getting Aurochs Off with Lamont and Dude

“What happened, Dude?”

“Wiped out bad. Obviously.”

“Hey, don’t snarl at me. I didn’t do it. I’m sorry for you, Dude. That has to hurt.”

“Thanks for the sympathy, Lamont.”

“Bad concussion?”

“Yeah. And a big cut. That’s why I’m bandaged up.”

“I figured that out on my own, Dude.”

“What’s happening in your part of the world, Lamont?”

“You mean the back bedroom? Thanks for letting me stay here, by the way. I appreciate it a lot.”

“Well, I think you and your old lady will figure things out, but sometimes you need a little distance.”

“I don’t think so. I got a wedding invitation from her yesterday. She’s marrying that joker.”



“I told you you should have beaten him up.”

“What, like a couple of Aurochs in rut?”

“Speaking of Aurochs, I read here that science is close to bringing them back. They’ve bred a new bovine that’s genetically close to the Aurochs.”

“That’ll be fun.”

“Were you human in those days, Lamont?”

“Some of them. In some of them I was an Auroch. You were there.”

“I don’t remember.”

“With that knot on your head, I’m amazed you remember yesterday.”


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their past lives which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything. If you enjoyed this type “Lamont and Dude” in the search bar to read more. 🙂

Clean Up Your Room, Dammit!

I woke up early this morning with a throbbing migraine that I didn’t anticipate. Usually my migraines are the visual kind and might make me a little nauseous but nothing awful. And tired. They make me tired, but this was more than that.

The air is worse today. I can only imagine how it is for people in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, California, Washington… 😦

When I walked the dogs last evening at sunset, the sun was a ball of red. Smoke from the thousands of  fires to the north and west had obscured the views of the mountains on both sides of the valley all day. Clouds traveling in front of the sun broke the light into what my ex-husband called “Bible beams” which, in the normally clear, clear, clear air of the San Luis Valley, I seldom see.

My first thought when I finally really got up, the migraine having retreated, leaving only a numb feeling and a mildly upset stomach, is that we did this.

When I was a kid there were no fires like these. Sometimes there was a forest fire. We know this from Bambi and Smokey the Bear, but they were never EPIC in proportion. There were hurricanes, but they did not register on seismographs (for the love of God). It snowed a LOT more than it does now in all the usual places that get snow.

When I was 5, 1957, my parents, my brother and I were traveling in the South where my dad was to be giving papers and teaching seminars in Florida. As we went through Mississippi and Alabama, heading toward the Gulf Coast, we were in a hurricane. It was a lot of wind, a lot of water, sandbags and waiting. It was NOT like Houston and sure as hell not like the hurricane approaching the Bahamas looks like it will be. I remember when we went out for breakfast and the waitress said, “It’s just that time of year. What do y’all want to drink?” I got cocoa.

I don’t think it even TAKES a scientist to say, “Whoa, this is WAY TOO FAST for changes like these in the climate of the Earth.” I’m not a scientist, but if this has happened in a mere 60 years, Houston, we have a problem.

When I was in high school I was determined to overcome my terrible fear of speaking in public. First I joined theater, then my theater teacher told me to join speech club. I did. I traveled around Colorado doing competitive speaking and did surprisingly well. My first year I won prizes for Humorous Interpretation of Oratory. The next year — my senior year — I won second place in the state of Colorado for Original Oratory. My speech was political, but it was not about the Vietnam War. It was about the thing I cared most about.

The speech is mostly written in a tone of bitter irony, the kind 18 year olds love, along with lots of big words, but even then, even in 1970, I was worried about what was happening to the one thing I could depend on in my life to love me. I wrote:

The human race is racing toward total annihilation, with, at last, no exceptions made as to race, creed, gender or nationality. Man abuses the air he needs to breathe, the water he needs for sustaining his life, and he is brilliantly devising technologically advanced ways to destroy the delicate food cycle of which he is the ultimate beneficiary.

The Environmental Protection Agency was founded the same year I won my award for this speech. It immediately set about finding ways to slow down the rate at which pollutants were being thrown into the air and the water. It did a good job; it has done a good job. Maybe it has written many irksome regulations. Maybe it’s required mitigation when land is developed. Maybe the regulations are long and hard to read. Maybe what it requires is expensive, but dammit. Lake Michigan is no longer dead in places and LA (when the mountains aren’t on fire) has a clear sky and breathable air.

But… It’s possible to ignore regulations; it’s possible to fake compilance; it’s possible to put greed and momentary financial interest ahead of simple good sense. Houston was built on a flood plain. And the plain flooded.

The Harvey-wrought devastation is just the latest example of the consequences of Houston’s gung-ho approach to development. The city, the largest in the US with no zoning laws, is a case study in limiting government regulations and favoring growth—often at the expense of the environment. As water swamps many of its neighborhoods, it’s now also a cautionary tale of sidelining science and plain common sense. Given the Trump administration’s assault on environmental protections, it’s one that Americans elsewhere should pay attention to.

Nature knows what it’s doing. I walk with my dogs frequently along the Rio Grande in a wetlands area. It’s a little annoying in summer because of the bugs — this year in particular because it has been a wet summer — but I’ve seen the slough at work. The high river of spring had channels into which it could drain and from which farmers could draw water for irrigation. It was almost as if the river said, “Here, dude. For your potatoes.” It works great and nature built it for herself (and us; we’re nature, too).

Climate change denyers can deny all they want, but it doesn’t change reality. It doesn’t change the fact that 60 years (the time between my hurricane experience in Mobile and now) is a very short time for what has happened to our climate to have happened. Yes; climate cycles happen to the Earth, but sixty years?

Lamont and Dude know that from their many incarnations, including Coelecanth and Woolly Mammoth, but they would probably be the first to agree that — with the exception of the meteorite which made things happen rather quickly, ending their time as velociraptors — the changes were eons in the making. Lamont’s belief is that humans have acted on the climate of the earth in much the way the meteorite did.

I love nature. In my whole life when things in my life have been too sad or too glorious,  I’ve gone to trees, open spaces, the sky, water (if it’s there). I’ve never been unwelcome, misunderstood, or even lost. In nature is ALWAYS an answer to the question, “Where am I?” Thousands of times it’s pulled me up and out of whatever catastrophe has been my life in those moments (and sometimes it was really a catastrophe, such as my dad dying, or my brother dying, my house under threat of foreclosure…) and shown me something. Last night on my simple, short walk with the dogs,  it was the call of a Coopers Hawk from a cottonwood tree. There is always something.

Beyond nature’s personally redemptive powers, it provides everything we need for life. Seriously. As I watched some very fucking stupid people yammering on TV in Houston I thought, “They have no idea.” I get it that they’re worried about where they’re going to live, how they’re going to live, where their children are going to live, how they’re going to eat — all of that. I’ve been through a natural disaster; I know it’s terrifying and the ordinary details of life are suddenly NOT to be taken for granted, but they think in terms of their landlord not calling them back (not that their landlord might be in his own shitstorm and unable to call them back).

But it’s a good metaphor. Extrapolate from that to REAL LIFE. Earth is our apartment building. Nature is our landlord. Without it we have no place to live, nothing to eat, no where to raise children. We do not even exist.

In my high school speech is a quotation from Adlai Stevenson. He compares Earth to the satellites that were orbiting our planet.

We travel together, passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on its vulnerable rserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and the love with give our fragile craft.

Lamont and Dude Experiment with Hypnotism

“You are falling into a trance.”

“Looks more like a hole to me.”

“Lamont, you’re not even trying.”

“Dude, I’m sorry, but I don’t really WANT to be hypnotized.”

“Why didn’t you say so? The book says the participant must be willing.”

“I’m not really willing, Dude. Sorry.”

“I thought we could remember MORE of our past lives if we could hypnotize each other.”

“MORE? But would remember what we remembered during the hypnotic trance?”

“I set up this recording system here so it wouldn’t matter if we remembered it or not.”

“Huh. That’s an interesting idea. How many lives do you remember, Dude?”

“I haven’t counted. Mostly I remember the lives we’ve shared because, I think, we’ve reinforced the memories by talking about them. That’s why I thought this would be cool.”

“I could try to hypnotize you. I think you’re more, uh, suggestible than I am anyway.”

“Is that good?”

“For this, yeah.”


“Are you comfortable?”


“Is this thing turned on?”

“Just press the red button when you’re ready.”

“You are falling into a trance.”

“I think it’s a hole.”


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

Lamont and Dude have a Deep Talk

“Hey Lamont. Look at these pictures. Were we ever one of these?”

“I doubt it. I think there is a clear demarcation between land and sea animals and we never crossed that line.”

“Not true. I was a shark. And salmon.”

“I forgot, Dude. I forget about the random stuff you were while I was an oak tree, peacefully at one with everything.”

“What do you think? Would it be cool to be a pilot fish or one of these guys?”

“No. There are many things other people do that I do not want to do ever.  One of them is deep sea diving — or even scuba diving. I have an irrational attachment to air, sunshine and Terra Firma.”

“Because of the creepy things that live down there?”

“No. Because I just don’t like it. It’s dark. It’s wet. It’s scary. There are all kinds of wrecked ships, stuff from wars like unexploded armament, submarines…”

“When I took that scuba trip to the Bahamas we got to see a sunken German U-Boat from WW II.”

“You did?”

“Yeah. Nothing special. Just a sub. Standard, you know, for the time.”


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 Dormancy

“Dormant. They say that volcano in Yellowstone Park is dormant.”

“A good thing.”

“There was fake news about it recently, that it was about to erupt — no, wait, the news said it WAS erupting, it was spewing lava.”

“You know what must be cool about being a volcano?”

“Not much is cool about being a volcano. ‘Cool’ and ‘volcano’ are not the first two words you put together.”

“Lava cools.”

“Yeah, but volcano? I’m sorry, Dude. I interrupted you with some unfunny pedantry. What must be cool about being a volcano?”

“You get to spew. Volcanoes are always spewing.”

“There’s a theory that our meteorite caused all kinds of volcanic action.”

“I bet it did. It’s known scientifically that meteorites can cause that. Remember when we took your wife and kids to see the meteor crater in AZ?”



“Ah. Yeah. She wasn’t impressed.”

“Don’t look so sad, Lamont. If it had been meant to be, she’d still be here with you.”

“You know, Dude, around Lorraine, I always tried to keep the memories under control a bit. She really didn’t get it. She had me committed!”

“I know, I know. I’m sorry I blew it for you, spewing old memories about the goodle days as velociraptors.”

“Probably for the best. No marriage is any good if you can’t be yourself around your spouse. Or, in my case, selves.”

“I will never forget little Lamont Jr. saying, ‘Daddy, were you really a velociraptor?'”

“How do you answer that when your kid asks?”

“You did good on that one.”

“What did I say?”

“‘Once upon a time in a land far, far away’.”

“Oh yeah. Well, all that’s blood under the bridge as they say. Thanks for springing me from the asylum.”

“No worries. You’d do the same for me.”


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 the Bearability of Human Life

“Rend and tear, rend and tear. Call it what every you want but it’s still rend and tear. Grrr.”

“What’s wrong, Lamont?”

“Human life. Every time I’ve returned as a human… It’s sugar-coating of ‘civilization’ and ‘humanity’ — what a crock. Humans are as savage — or more — than any other species.”

“Uh oh. Having one of those ‘despicable hypocrisy of the human race’ moments?”

“Yeah. I guess. Have you ever thought of how humans characterize the Great White Shark as the personification — wait, the fishification — of pure evil when he’s just hungry and good at getting his dinner?”

“That’s all he’s good at, really.”

“That’s my point. That is what animals do. We have all evolved skills so we don’t starve. That’s it. You can’t call that anything but what it is. Some creatures — canines and humans, for example — expanded their range of acceptable food. Other creatures evolved rotating rows of teeth. It amounts to the same thing.”

“You really miss the old days that much? It’s a lot easier to go to the store than it was to chase down something and then, at the last minute, wind up being eaten by the creature who was chasing you. You, of all creatures, should appreciate that.”

“Bring that up all you want, but how long were you a salmon? You didn’t even get to finish the spawn.”

“So you say, but I don’t remember that at all.”

“Of course you wouldn’t. Being a bear was great. Close in quality of life to being an oak tree. Several months of meditative hibernation followed by a two or three month feast. That’s a good way to organize a life, I’d say.”


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 Discuss Selective Memory

“C’mon, Lamont! The sun is shining, the waves are breaking, it’s a beautiful day.”

“It’s always a beautiful day.”

“You’re a grumpy pants this morning.”

“Same old, same old, blue sky, sun shining, waves breaking.”

“If I were you, I wouldn’t complain about that. It’s better than…”

“You’re going to say ‘Ice Age,’ am I right?”

“Well, yeah, I was…”

“That was great!”

“No it wasn’t. It was cold and hard to find food.”

“You did all right.”

“Well, yeah, I did all right, but the secret then like now was just to go with the flow.”

“Ice flow. I was thinking back and you were not always a top predator back then.”

“I wasn’t?”

“No. You just have a selective memory and you think of your lifetimes all as having been sabre toothed tigers, velociraptors and whatnot, but Dude, you were a squirrel.”




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

Lamont and Dude Discourse on Wealth

“Hey Lamont, you got a few bucks?”

“Yes. And I’m grateful for them. They’re useful in this superficial world where one’s life is spent toiling for the legal tender. Why?”

“I, uh, I…”

“You’re broke.”

“Yeah. Again. I miss the old days.”

“Which ones?”

“The ones where we didn’t need money to live. Remember when you were a salmon and I was a bear?”

“Vaguely. Remember when you were an oak tree and I was an oak tree?”

“Remember when we were velociraptors?”

“Remember when you were a pile of dead meat and I was a carrion-eating giant flying scavenger?”

“No, I don’t remember that one.”

“Dead things tell no tales.”

“You’re proud of that? You didn’t even do the kill if all you were was a giant carrion-eating flying scavenger!”

“The kill isn’t everything, Dude. If you understood that, you wouldn’t always need to hit me up for money. Here’s twenty bucks.”


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