I have a fondness for llamas.  It started when I worked with them as a teenager, and it has continued even though I am now more of a bird person than a mammal person.  I collect them (and have almost 50) and even have llama earrings, a llama sweatshirt, and a couple of t-shirts.

I’ve noticed something about llamas in pop culture.  They are sometimes used correctly (as in the Disney movie The Emperor’s New Groove, set in Incan South America) and sometimes incorrectly (as in a very brief appearance in the movie Troy) but mostly they are used oddly.

A quick search of “llama” on YouTube turns up Llamas with Hats (which is disconcertingly amusing), the Llama Song (llama llama duck, anyone?) and Funny Llama Attack (which isn’t funny, if you know anything about llamas).  Two are incredibly random and only really have llamas because they can, and the other is popular because it seems odd to people who don’t know llama behavior.  (To those of us who are familiar, that llama is clearly imprinted and the guy must have done something the llama saw as a threat.)  A little further down there’s an old Monty Python sketch, which is also incredibly random.

A llama shows up in Napoleon Dynamite and refuses to eat ham.  (Since she’s a herbivore, one can hardly blame her.)  There are t-shirts that say “Save the Drama for your Llama” and “You Will Obey the Llama” as well as a multitude of references to the two above-mentioned YouTube videos.  (I may own a Llama Llama Duck t-shirt.)

While I think llamas are awesome, many other people think they are odd enough to be funny.  Their appearance alone can make people chuckle, which in turn adds another level of humor to highly random things.  I’m not sure if I should be amused at this or bothered by it.


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