From the couldn't-make-it-up-if-you-tried file
I think people take hallucinogenics in order to induce experiences like this. I just travel covering a baseball team, and sometimes they find me. Not necessarily cheaper, but hopefully fewer long-term side effects. Anyway.
This afternoon, after lunch and before the ballgame, I crossed the Clemente Bridge to visit the Starbucks that lies within walking distance of PNC Park. It was chilly crossing the river, but after they ran out of coffee in the 2nd inning here last night, it was undoubtedly worth it. As I returned to the ballpark, coming off the bridge and approaching the actual grounds of PNC Park, I spotted an odd sight.
A gentleman was leading around an animal of some sort. At first, from a distance, my brain registered emu or ostrich. Nope. Llama. (hi, Dustin!) The man was showing off his llama, and why not — said llama not only had on bunny ears and some Easter-y colored garments, he also was wearing Pirates duds. All on a llama.
I like animals. So I slowed down to admire the llama. Very pretty animal, no doubt about it. And the gentleman asked me if I would like to donate to Pittsburgh Childrens Hospital. I’ll be honest — seeing a dressed-up and well-behaved llama at a baseball park was assuredly worth two dollars to me. So I stuffed a couple of ones in the pouch the llama was wearing on his side. He’s named Pepe. Sir Pepe, more accurately. Apparently a llama of noble descent. And his fur was indeed very soft, as I got to give Sir Pepe a little scratch on the back of his neck. (I did make sure to wash my hands afterward.)
And then I walked on, and the gentleman shepherding the llama continued on. So either I got scammed out of two dollars — and if so, let’s be honest here, it was totally worth it, or the Pittsburgh Childrens Hospital has a show llama on retainer as a fundraiser. Either way, that’s just something you don’t run into every day.
God bless Pittsburgh, city of "It’s time to shoot some hot dogs," the Franco Harris/George Washington statues… and Sir Pepe the llama.