I am not a llama lover like Carl, from Jimmy Neutron. I guess I just don’t get the fascination. There used to be a sign on the PA Turnpike near Breezewood advertising LaMalot Farms . . . Llamas for business or pleasure. OK. I understand the business part, but I’m a little worried about the pleasure. Of course, that might explain Carl’s preoccupation with the species. Unfortunately, I could not find an Internet picture of the original sign, so you’ll have to settle for this:
Maybe the business or pleasure part was a bad dream, but I could swear that was on the sign originally. Anyway, in my experience, though, the llama has a bad connotation.
Some of you may remember the show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire–the original with Regis, not the syndicated version with Meredith Vieira. At one point in my life, I exerted an inordinate amount of time and effort into getting on that show. In the original version, there was a phone game you called into and answered questions like the fast finger round on the real show. There was a whole network of fans who tried to get on the show and there was a community message board dedicated to that end. What does that have to do with llamas?
Well, as fate would have it, the llama was an incorrect answer on the show. The question was: Hannibal crossed the Alps using what animals? Robby Roseman apparently became the first contestant to leave the show with no money after answering llama instead of elephant. After that, any time someone flamed out early on the show they “llama-d out.” A new meaning to the word was born.
I personally have used the llama in a deprecatory way. Any time I am feeling out of sorts–out of my groove–I say that “I have llama face” after the line from the Disney movie, The Emperor’s New Groove.
And, of course, there is always the famous Lorenzo Llamas of Hollywood . . .