Award-winning writer: Jackie Papandrew

Airing My Dirty Laundry!

Llama Drama

The llamas are spitting mad, and they’re not going to take it anymore. That may be a slight exaggeration, as I haven’t personally communicated with all the world’s llamas, but based on my own expert research, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch.

The first part of my research took place this summer while I was hiking a part of the Colorado Trail (in Colorado , oddly enough) with my father. We came across a very annoyed llama. The llama, loaded down with camping gear, was engaged in a strenuous tug of war with a man who looked like he’d rather be undergoing a root canal. This man was pulling on the reins, trying to get the llama to cross a log bridge. The llama was having none of it.

Although I’ve had no formal training in llama language, I clearly heard the cranky creature spit out “SNORRRBAH!” as it dug in its heels, and I understood this to mean “Yeah, right!”

The man, however, did not speak llama, and he continued to tug on the reins. He was assisted in this effort by his wife, who stood next to him on the trail. She was in full Wife Advisory Mode (WAM), pointing out what he was doing wrong and what he should do to successfully lead the llama. Her husband, who was now sweating profusely, had obviously shifted into the Wife Interpretation and Management Phase (WIMP) and was nodding at her vigorously while totally ignoring what she said.

“This was all her idea,” he said to my grinning dad in a low voice, thrusting his head in his wife’s direction. He explained the couple had come from Maryland and rented the llama to carry the gear as they communed with nature for several days. “This is only our first day,” he moaned, giving another tug on the reins and adding, unnecessarily, “and we don’t know anything about llamas.”

The llama issued another “SNORRRBAH!” which this time sounded liked “No kidding!” and again dug in its heels.

Although my experience with llamas has been limited to watching the one in the Disney movie, “The Emperor’s New Groove,” I couldn’t help transitioning into sympathetic Wife Advisory Mode. Because my husband was fortunate enough not to be there, I offered my suggestions to the llama-challenged man before me. He ignored me as well, but being subjected to a double dose of wife advice must have been too much for him. He abruptly threw up the reins and announced he was heading home.

The llama looked confused at this sudden capitulation. “SNORRRBAH?” it asked, and we all knew what that meant.

Before the llama could make a break for it, however, my dad, a farm boy who has a way with animals, quickly led it across the bridge. We wished the couple (and the llama) well with the rest of their camping trip and continued down the trail. My dad is still laughing.

This intriguing encounter led me to the second part of my research. When I returned to civilization (meaning to a computer), I typed the word “llama” into Google. That’s when I discovered I have somehow missed a major part of our cultural apparatus – the Naked Dancing Llama. The NDL, as it is known, has apparently been around since the early days of the Internet (the 1990s), doing the tango across the Web in its birthday suit while offering advice and running for President. Millions have followed the antics of this virtual camel’s cousin.

Well no wonder the llamas are livid. It’s bad enough having to bear the burdens of camping city slickers. It’s even worse to have all these humans believe any live llama would parade around without its fur. But it must be intolerable to have anyone think a sane, self-respecting llama would ever run for President. There’s only one thing to say about that:

“SNORRRBAH!” And we all know what that means.

~ Jackie Papandrew ~
© 2008, All Rights Reserved

Jackie Papandrew is an award-winning writer, syndicated humor columnist, coffee addict and mom to a motley crew of children and pets who provide a steady stream of column ideas and dirt. She's also wife to a very patient man who had no idea, years ago when he still had time to escape, what he was getting himself into. Visit her website at:  JackiePapandrew.com

[ by Jackie Papandrew Copyright © 2008, (me@jackiepapandrew.com) -- submitted by: Jackie Papandrew ]

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