Dude Wakes Up and Smells the Coffee

“Dude! Dude! Wake up! Dude! You’re supposed to be on Wilshire Boulevard in 2 hours. I don’t think you’re going to make it!”

“Wha??? Where am I? Chief?”

“You were dreaming, Dude. Some gawdawful thing that made you scream ‘moider’ every few minutes.”

“Oh Lamont! Thank Whatever! You’re ALIVE!!!!”

“Don’t kiss my hand, good grief, Dude. You just had a dream. But you have to get up and out of here with your Smilodon suit. Seriously.” Two hours is barely enough time.”

“You’re not dead?”

“Not as of now, no. But the future is certain and the end is always near.”

“Ha ha. I’ll tell you my dream when I get home. It was wacko. It was like we were in a parallel universe or something.”

“Not surprising. Every time you drink red wine with your ravioli you have nightmares.”

“That’s true. Well, I’m off.”

“True enough. Drive carefully and have fun up there in La-La Land. Here’s your coffee.”


This is part 4 in a four part series. To find out how our heroes got to this point…

Episode 1 in this series

Episode 2 in this series

Episode 3 in this series.

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.


Let’s Do It Again…

“So what would you call this TV show, Lamont?”

“Some names have been tossed around. ‘First You Die and Then You Die,’ didn’t fly but I thought it was funny.”

“You see the challenge, don’t you?”

“I see a lot of challenges. Which one are you referring to?”

“Death is not a cheerful subject for most people.”

“That’s true, and I had thought of that. Most people don’t see it as the gateway to a possible incarnation as an oak tree. They probably think all oak trees are identical, not a network of unique beings.”


“I don’t think they’re even ready for a consequenceless afterlife.”

“No. They would see coming back as a bug a bad thing.”

“It’s not. It’s a pretty good life. Plenty of food, that part’s good, but predators. A bug’s life is usually pretty short.”

“They don’t see that as good thing, either.”

“There’s no ‘good’ Dude. No ‘bad’. It’s just what it is.”

“I know that. It’s difficult to… I try to live in the moment. That doesn’t come back as an oak tree, velociraptor, anything.”

“You got me there, Dude. So no on the TV show?”

“I told you, Lamont. I’m not doing it.”

“I guess you’re right. I thought it might be fun, but if we can’t even name it…”

“People don’t believe us, anyway. Grab your board. Let’s catch some waves.”


Part One: Lamont and Dude discuss their Own TV Show

Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. Because they remember many of their past incarnations, they have a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.


Lamont and Dude Discuss their Own TV Show



“We’ve been invited to pilot a television talk show.”

“Like Ellen?”

“I don’t think we’ll be in the least like Ellen.”

“Naw, Lamont. You can do it. It’s not my thing, you know, television. Talking to a television audience, none of that. Naw. I don’t want to. I’m not like you. I don’t have your sardonic outlook and your pithy turn of phrase.”

“They want you to appear as a smilodon.”

“I’m not a smilodon any more, well, except on weekends.”

“What if I tell you it’s a kid’s talk show with a decided political bias to which you subscribe?”


“The idea is that we subtly make the point…”

“You’ve never made a subtle point in your lives, Lamont.”

“OK, but the idea is that we gently assert…”

“You’ve never asserted gently, Lamont. It’s not you.”

“We are going to help kids understand how important it is to take care of the planet because maybe they were once dandelions, ladybugs and velociraptors.”

“I think kids would like to be velociraptors. The ones I see up there in LA on weekends, anyway. They definitely like pretending to be smilodons. It’s not far psychologically from smilodon to velociraptor.”

“There you go. Now will you do it? It was your smilodon performance that made the network interested.”


“Are you blushing?”

“Shut 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 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.”




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 Discuss Finality

“So Lamont, what do you think? Do you agree with the idea that we will have a final iteration when we finally reach an enlightened state?”

“That idea has always cracked me up.”

“So you don’t. But what if we have been being born and dying over and over again as some kind of punishment?”

“That’s one of the grimmest views of life I’ve ever encountered.”

“You know, the Wheel of Dharma, as Kerouac called it, the ‘quivering meat-wheel of flesh’.”

“Are you reading Kerouac now?”

“Uh, well, uh, maybe. But that’s not the point. Do you think we’ll ever stop coming back?”

“No. Not judging by my lives so far. I can’t see how that would ever happen as nothing is lost in the universe but exists continually as matter or energy. As we are matter AND energy, I think our recurrence is pretty secure. We’ll be back. It’ll always be ‘Hasta la vista, baby’ and never ‘Adios’.”

“Wow. Well, I wonder what we’ll be next time?”

“Who knows? I have thought about whether there’s any pattern.”

“There’s the theory that every time we do well in a lifetime, we move up a notch to a higher form of being next time.”

“That’s always bothered me, too. Who’s to say what is a ‘higher form of being’? Humans came up with that stuff so naturally they have home team loyalty. Personally, I think being an oak tree is as good as it gets. So, if that theory is true, what did I do wrong to have been so ingloriously demoted?”

“You’re saying if a dog wrote the Bhagavad Gita, dogs would be the highest form of life?”

“Yeah, but dogs would never write that.”

“I wonder what they WOULD write if they COULD write?”

“Do you remember ever having been a dog?”

“No, not really. Dire wolf?”

“Close enough. What did you think back then?”





Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a couple of 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 Reminisce about Continental Drift

“Dude? You up, too?”

“Another earthquake.”

“I hate it when we get earthquakes at night, and I don’t get to enjoy them. Just jolted awake, stunned, going, ‘What?’.”

“Especially when you know the really interesting ones are going come at rush hour.”

“That could be why they’re interesting.”

“True that. You going back to bed?”

“I don’t know. Maybe there will be some aftershocks.”

“You really like these things, don’t you, Lamont?”

“Nostalgia. You know how it is. I remember the glorious times of the shifting tectonic plates…”

“We’re still in those times, Lamont.”

“Yeah, I know. I just remember so vividly the moment when the Indian subcontinent crashed into Asia. Wheeeeee!”

“C’mon, Lamont. You can’t expect me to believe you felt that. The continents weren’t exactly sliding around like air-hockey pucks.”

“15 cm a year. That’s moving, if you’re a continent.”

“What were you?”

“I was a small meat-eating dinosaur with wing-like appendages.”

“Could you fly?”

“Nah. I wish. Weren’t you there?”

“Not that I recall. Maybe it was one of those dark times when I was a bacteria.”

“Maybe you were a tree. That would have been the best. As a tree you could have experienced a lot more of the whole drift thing. Maybe that explains your love of surfing.”

“Apropos of surfing, sun’s coming up. You want to…?”



Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a couple of 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, Amused by Science

“Dude, you remember our short but wonderful period as velociraptors, right?”

“I think of it often. Why?”

“I was wondering. In any of your human iterations have you been a scientist of any kind?”

“Not that I recollect. You?”

“Never. I’m asking because yesterday I read a very timely article about us — back then us, not now us — and it looks like some scientist has made a world-shaking…”

“You mean like a Brontosaurus?”

“Good one, Dude. He’s decided that the tree human scientists have made up — important, made up — has been wrong all this time and velociraptors actually belong in the OPPOSITE category. This has rocked the world of science, Dude. I find that hilarious. Look at this thing. Any idiot looking at our skeleton is going to see a California condor, am I right?”



“That is pretty funny. Nothing like the obvious to confuse the shit out of a human. But, you know how we are. We always want a neat category to put stuff in, and then we get very loyal to those categories, right?”

“But 9 times out of 10 we invent the categories we put stuff in then we call it ‘fact’ when, as in this case, it’s only a combination of tradition and conjecture.”

“That’s humans for you. Remember when they decided the Brontosaurus never existed and then changed their mind and said it did?”

“I could sure go for a nice flank of Bronto thrown on the barbie, couldn’t you, Dude?”


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a couple of 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 Recall First Fish

“What’s the most daring thing you’ve done, Dude?”

“Me? I’ve never been especially daring, Lamont. You know that.”

“You seem to have forgotten the most daring thing BOTH of us ever did.”

“What was that?”

“WALKING out of the primordial ooze into the fresh air of, uh, air.”

“That wasn’t daring. It was ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’.”

“No. It was ‘damned if you don’t’.”

“Uh-uh. Plenty of guys stayed back.”

“Yeah, but look at them? Air sacks filled with mud; flippers with toes of hope instead of feet. C’mon. It wasn’t easy taking the first uphill journey of animal-kind.”

“My wife was having none of it.”

“I remember. ‘No, Dude, no! You’ll die! Come back! I love you! What about the children?’.”

“Hysterical female. I told her to come.”

“I know. I’m glad I was single. That must’ve been hard for you.”

“She was annoying. What can I say? Stay back there and listen to her complain about how there was less and less oxygen in the ooze and what was I going to do about it or take my chances on the outside.”

“Remember that first breath?”

“I’ll never forget it. What a relief!”

“No kidding. Who’d ever have thought we’d come to this, though?”

“Well, there were a lot of other things in between and who knows what’s ahead.”

“I hope I get to be a tree again. It’s so restful.”

“I hope you do too, Lamont. Somewhere like England in a nature preserve.”

“I wish the same for you, Dude.”

“Thanks, buddy.”


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a couple of years ago. They are unique in that the remember many of their past incarnations which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything. In this episode, they recall their lives as Crossopterygii a creature who also happens to be my personal hero. Reposted from some time past as there is nothing else I have to say about fish. 🙂


Lamont and Dude Reminisce over Good Times



“That’s the sound you made when you fell into the tarpits.”

“Shut up. It wasn’t either. Why are you always bringing that up, anyway? We had other adventures.”

“Yeah, but that one, I don’t know. It just has charisma.”


“Well, yeah. The sunlit savannah. A mighty mammoth. A puny sabre-toothed tiger. It has the David and Goliath magic.”

“OK, Dude, here’s the problem with your analogy. You were a TOP predator. I might have been exponentially larger, but you were Goliath, not me. It’s not just size, Dude. There was NOTHING I could do but run from you and your pals.”


“The dire wolves. Your hunting buddies. Don’t deny it. You were in it together.”

“Opportunistic bottom feeders, that’s what they were.”

“Oh c’mon. You tigers ate from their kills just as often as they ate from yours. I could see a lot from ten feet above the plain. We have other stories, Dude, or is it that you felt guilty about driving your OLD friend into the tarpits then eating me? Is that why you keep harping on that one? You’re trying to justify yourself?”

“No guilt. Amusement, maybe, but not guilt. What’s to feel guilty about in the old kill-or-be killed? And, it’s not like you never killed and ate me, remember. You had plenty of chances. How many times were you a fox? Tell me that.”

“Lots of times. I suppose it was some kind of karma thing. You were very poor at squirrel evasion stragedies. You should have stayed with your mom longer and learned more about what squirrels could do that foxes couldn’t. That’s what it boils down to. Developing a predator-excluding skill-set. You never really got it. With perfectly good high branches way out of my reach, you’d still run along the ground. Really, you deserved what you got.”

“I hated being a squirrel. Maybe it was despair. Maybe I saw you coming and thought, ‘There’s my friend Lamont. He’ll get me out of this.’ Who knows what I thought as a squirrel or even IF. Stupid, hoarding little rodentia.”

“You still resent the way they stole your acorns, don’t you. I don’t think you’ll ever get over that.”

“What other hope does a giant oak tree have, knowing you’re on your last hundred years or so? Only your acorns offer any promise for the future.”

“Seriously? You thought about that during the most peaceful, most serene, most beautiful of our joint incarnations? You thought about the future? Dude, I was just living in the moment. Enjoying the Druid worship, all that. It was a drag when the Romans came, but what can you do?”

“Always someone after world domination, isn’t there.”

“Fact of life, Dude. Fact of life.”


Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a couple of years ago. They have the uncanny ability to remember most of their past incarnations which gives them a different perspective on life, the universe and everything. If you enjoyed this, you can read more of their adventures by typing Lamont or Dude into the search bar.