For years, the word llama has made me laugh.
Almost exactly ten years ago, I posted this:
My husband is watching the 10 pm news. I've given up watching the TV news and now just listen to NPR when I'm driving or making dinner.
The announcer just said, "When we come back, learn why this llama paid a visit to a group of senior citizens." The B-roll showed a brown wooly llama, wearing a harness, nuzzling a confused eldery woman as she sat on a couch. And this was only 15 minutes into the program, when they should still be doing some hard news. They hadn't even talked about the Middle East yet.
Which reminds me...
A few months ago, my brother called me to tell me about his day. He sells farm equipment. He had gone into a barn trying to find a farmer, when he heard an unearthly groaning from a corner of the barn. It was two llamas, mating.
He told me a little more than I really wanted to know about llamas mating, esp. since he's my brother. There's something off-putting about discussing llama sex with a blood relative. Or, in this case, listening to a one-sided story.
Later, I was telling my husband about it. As I spoke, his expression went from disgust to pure horror.
It turned out he thought I said, "It was mama, mating." He thought my brother had stumbled across my mom, mating with some farmer in a barn.
Even for a girl from Southern Oregon, that would be a hair-raising story. For two weeks, if I needed a laugh, all I had to do was think of his face before I told him what my brother had actually seen.