An American In Montana Interview Series: “The Dude”



I recently sat down with Stanley Burdicks, a Butte, Montana native that has gone by the nickname  “The Dude”  for the last 23 years. Stanley said he was given the nickname by his friend Arthur while they were attending a Rocking the Rivers Concert and from that moment on the name  “The Dude”  has defined him as a person. As Stanley puts it  “It’s not just a corny nickname, it’s a lifestyle”  let’s find out why.


AAIM: So, who is “The Dude?”

Stanley: I am.

AAIM: No, I mean, who is “The Dude?”

Stanley: Well, I guess I’m just a guy like everyone else, but I like to think I’m better in almost every way.

AAIM: So, do you think it is hard being “The Dude”?

Stanley: Well not for me, it comes easy.

AAIM: Why is that?

Stanley: (Laughter) That’s easy, because I’m “The Dude.”

AAIM: (A Chuckle)

Stanley: (More Laughter)

AAIM: Okay, serious though, isn’t it a lot of pressure, being “The Dude”?

Stanley: Not at all, people who feel pressure, feel it because they feel they may fail at something, so being  “The Dude,”   No, I don’t feel any pressure because I don’t fail. What I feel is more like the  “presumption”  of success, which I don’t think feels anything like pressure. Can you tell me what pressure feels like so I can know?

AAIM: Uh, well, perhaps it’s a debilitating feeling, like whatever you do is wrong, or that you just can’t do anything right.

Stanley: (Laughs) Then definitely not, because I feel like I am capable of doing all things, even things I have never done before, even things that nobody on this planet has done before. So the answer is NO, I don’t feel pressure….Ever!

AAIM: Wow, really? Are you sure you aren’t just talking a big game?

Stanley: Hell No!

AAIM: Well, let me ask you this, deep down, don’t you ever have the occasional sense of doubt? You know that nagging feeling that something might not go as planned?

Stanley: Never.

AAIM: Are you serious?

Stanley: Next question.

AAIM: Alright then, so how long have you been “The Dude”?

Stanley: Wow, seems like my whole life, but officially it’s been about 23 years.

AAIM: Well that seems like a long time to me.

Stanley: It’s true though, the way I look at it I was born  “The Dude”  but didn’t really accept it until I was old enough to shoulder the responsibility.

AAIM: So where exactly were you when you realized you are “The Dude”?

Stanley: I was at a Rocking the Rivers Concert with my friend Arthur, Lynyrd Skynyrd started to play  “Sweet Home Alabama”  and I sang all the words right along with them and Arthur looked at me after it was over and said  “Dude, that was bitchin!” and I said  “Hell Yeah”  then Arthur said “Dude”  and it just stuck from there.

AAIM: Well, that sounds like a pretty good story.

Stanley: The best.

AAIM: Alright, so what do you think the hardest part of being “The Dude”  is?

Stanley: Nothing…Not a damn thing is difficult about being “The Dude”  but once in a while when people go overboard calling me  “The Dude”  it can get annoying.

AAIM: What do you mean?

Stanley: Well, sometimes punk ass kids will walk behind me and just keep saying  “Dude”  or  “Hey The Dude”  or  “Dude, you’re a loser”  and once in a while women will make fun of me when I tell them that I’m  “The Dude”  but other than that it’s great.

AAIM: Oh, that sucks, does it hurt emotionally?

Stanley: Does it hurt? You can’t hurt  “The Dude”  people can say what they want, women can make fun of me and call me pathetic, I don’t care. I truly wouldn’t be  “The Dude”  if their words could hurt me, now would I? But it does get a bit tiresome, perhaps even boring at times.

AAIM: So you are saying it doesn’t bother you?

Stanley: Well No. I mean, I would like for them all to die a slow painful death. Sometimes I even have dreams about dousing them with gasoline and setting them on fire. But No, their words can’t hurt  “The Dude.”

AAIM: So let me ask you a weird question, do you think a woman could ever be called  “The Dude”?

Stanley: Now that’s an interesting question and I have an interesting answer for you. The truth is  “The Dude”  is a woman as well as a man.

AAIM: What? Really?

Stanley: I know, I just blew your mind right? It took me awhile to figure this out, and after I saw people getting sued by feminist groups and how we as a society morphed into this “PC”  bullshit culture where we have to be careful what words we use and everyone gets a medal crap. So I figured I better get in line with the way things are going and be open to new ideas of equality and fairness.

AAIM: Wow, I don’t even know what to say to that. I figured someone named  “The Dude”  would think differently about things like this and not buy into that  “PC”  culture…I’m shocked.

Stanley: (Laughter)

AAIM: (Uneasy Chuckle)

Stanley: (More Laughter)

AAIM: Well…

Stanley: Let me stop you right there nitwit, I was just pulling your leg, of course a woman can’t be  “The Dude”  I couldn’t give two shits about what is politically correct or what anyone thinks. I was born a man, which means  “The Dude”  is a man. End of story!

AAIM: (Laughter)

Stanley: (Laughter)

AAIM: Well, I really want to thank you for letting me interview you, it certainly was interesting.

Stanley: Not a problem. Actually, I am glad I got to do it, I have never been interviewed before about being  “The Dude” unless you count that time the police interviewed me, but that was about a stolen truck. They had the wrong  “Dude” though…Get it? (Laughter)

AAIM: (Laughter)

Stanley: (Laughter)

AAIM: You are  “The Dude!”

Stanley: I know.

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