Why I Tweeted This by @dwaghalter


Welcome to “Why I Tweeted This” – where our contributors explain what they were thinking when posting a particular tweet.

Watching the Reese-Witherspoon-Oscar-Season vehicle “Wild” feels very much like taking a long hike: interesting at times, boring at others, you’re not sure why you’re doing it in the first place, and you need to take a long, hot shower when you get home. And like the hiker portrayed in the movie, I came away with a life-changing realization.

Near the end of her grueling, arduous journey up the Pacific Crest Trail, as Reese finds herself in a rain forest somewhere in Washington State, she spots a llama in the woods. This seems odd, given that the llama is not a woodland creature native to the Pacific Northwest, and odder still once you notice that this llama is bridled up and carrying a number of camping-related items on its back. No sooner does Reese take the reins of this bewildered beast than an elderly woman and her grandson appear and thank her for catching their llama.

The scene that unfolds leads to an emotional breakthrough for Reese’s character, where she sees through the innocence of a young boy’s song that she is free to forgive herself her sins, that all she has is her future, and that future is hers to own. But all I could think about was the llama.

Why do these people have a llama? Where did they get the llama? And almost as important, why doesn’t anyone find this the least bit unusual? If I just met a pack llama in the middle of the forest, the first thing I’d do, the thing I’d have to do before I could do anything else, anything else in my entire life, would be to ask about the llama. But the llama is taken for granted – of course people hike with llamas. It’s the most normal thing in the world.

I immediately tweeted to Cheryl Strayed, the real-life llama-ignorer played by Ms. Witherspoon. She ignored me as well. Then, much to my wife’s annoyance, I started spit-balling possibilities. Just to shut me up, she suggested that maybe they rented the llama.

Rented the llama? Rented the llama! That’s so crazy it just might work! So I googled “pack llama rental”.


Reader, believe me when I tell you that millions of hits appeared before my eyes, including PAID ADS, Yes, advertisements paid for by companies with enough llama-rental competition that it made sense to PAY FOR LLAMA RENTAL ADS. But I dared not click on any of these results, paid or unpaid. Because I knew this simple fact: If I clicked on a llama rental link, I was gonna start rentin’ llamas.

If there were any local llama rentals, I’d rent one for myself. Maybe I’d take one to a farmers market, where I’d load up my llama’s pack bags with organic foodstuffs, then playfully feed my llama a delicious, pesticide-free apple.

If there were llama rentals only in places where crafty, wise grandmothers explored nature with their cherubic, golden-voiced grandchildren, I might type my precious credit card numbers and let the world know that the next ten llama rentals are on me!

So I dare not click, and I dare not rent. I have sworn to myself that only in one scenario can I ever allow myself to rent a pack llama: If I hike the Pacific Crest Trail. You’d be crazy to do that without one.

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