Sunday, July 20, 2008


They say you can't always get what you want. But you can get it, just not always when you want it. Well, yesterday we all wanted it, and we got it right when we needed it. Llamafest. Once a year, at the Hare Krishna temple in Spanish Fork, Utah, the llamas come out to play. People come out from as far as the central valley in California to show off, race, and pet their llamas. And we were not disappointed.

There was a little obstacle course for the llamas that had a pool of water they had to cross. I want to say right now, that llamas are not aquatic animals. And, they proved that water was certainly not their favorite by stubbornly refusing to cross the pool. This happened time and time again. I only saw two successful crossings, after watching at least a dozen llama attempts. So that was of course quite amusing.

After the obstacle course there was a race. And, our group submitted a contender. Mike. He grabbed his llama by the reins and was off like a lightning bolt on the first half of the race. However, as he rounded the turn, his llama just stopped. The llama (a disobedient and quite obstinate female) would not go any further. So Mike dragged her to the finish line, placing 2nd to last as opposed to taking his spot on the medal podium. Later he found out why it was so difficult. A local llamaneer (llama raiser) told him that females usually don't do races and things, they're just for breeding. And, when they don't want to do something, they don't (typical of the female sex).

So having watched a llama obstacle course, and race, my friend Eric and I thought we saw from the corner of our eyes, a bunch of midget donkeys. Upon closer inspection, we saw that they were not donkeys, but in fact were midget cows. And they were hungry. So we fed the midget cows from hay that was on the ground right in their own pen. Now, they could have just as easily picked it up themselves and eaten it, but being hand fed is a nice way to go. I mean, think about it. Eating grapes yourself is good, but being fed grapes by someone else is great - even a sensual experience.

If that were all, it would have been a great time, but of course there was a band of opiate stoned crazies playing random mixes of classic rock and Hindu chants. The members of the band were interesting to say the least. There was the lead guitar player, who used what looked like a guitar hero guitar, there was the transvestite drummer, another guitar player, and of course a didgeridoo player to cap it off. And they did a terrific job for as stoned as they must have been.

After checking out the pond behind the band, seeing an albino peacock, and talking to a cockatoo and African Grey parrot, I went inside to eat. And, even though the whole meal was vegetarian, I enjoyed it. Our crew went upstairs as I was eating and after I finished I joined them to be enlightened by a temple devotee who teaches martial arts and yoga. He talked about Krishna, his conversion, how he lives, and mentioned that he was no longer a 'graveyard for dead animal carcasses;' ie: he went vegetarian. Now I respect that, but I am a graveyard for dead animal carcasses, and I see it differently. As the American Indians believe, I take on the soul of the animal I eat. When I eat a gazelle, I am one with the gazelle. When I eat a cow, I am one with the cow, and, considering the fact that Hindu worshippers believe the cow to be sacred, in a way, I am sacred for having eaten it and for becoming one with it. That's my take. I'm still going to eat meat. What are canine teeth for anyway?

So that was more or less our amazing llamafest experience. After that we enjoyed a little ice cream and holky polky in downtown Spanish Fork, and a good time at Sonics. However, some of us enjoyed Sonic more than others. Naomi for instance was walking into Sonic and thought the door was wide open. So she charged right into a giant window. Flustered but laughing, she walked away, trying to avoid any more attention. But then we found out about it. We turned it into a documentary, and Eric did interviews with witnesses to get different perspectives on the event. With a cup full of ice, she did fine, and it was pretty funny.

And so it was, a llamalicious day.

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