Dial 911

Sugar Mule 2002

I hit a llama with my car last night. I was doing about 40 mph in a 45 mph zone when I spotted him twenty feet in front of me. I jammed on the breaks, anti-lock of course, and drove right into him, head on. Our eyes met just at the moment of impact. I have never looked into a llama's eyes before so I had no frame of reference for his (?) look. The next thing I knew the llama was shooting straight up in the air and My Ford Explorer came to a screeching halt and I heard the second thud. The llama landed on my roof, pushing in the back passenger section a good foot or so.

It was a little after midnight and I was on my way home from my monthly poker game. I wasn't worried about the sobriety test unless they checked for Fritos and Pepsi so I called the local police on my cell phone.

"Is this an emergency?" the dispatcher asked.

"I don't think so," I said. "But . . ."

"Well why did you call 911?"

"I hit an animal while I was driving on Route 79," I told her.

"Are you hurt?" she asked. "Do you require medical assistance?"

"No to both," I said.

"Then you shouldn't have used the emergency number," she said showing her annoyance at my ignorance.

"Perhaps. Do you want me to call back on another number?"

"Standby," she said.

"Sgt. Prover here. What seems to be the problem?"

"Hi Sgt. I was driving down Route 79 and I hit a llama that was standing in the road."

"Any injuries?" he asked.

"Only to the llama," I told him.

"What kind of injuries?" he wanted to know.

"I don't know," I said. "But they killed him."

"Is your vehicle mobile," Sgt. Prover asked.

"Yes."

"Why did you call in on the emergency number if there is no emergency?" he wanted to know.

"It seemed like the right thing to do. My car is damaged, and what the hell-a person just doesn't kill a llama every day."

"Where's the llama now?" he asked. "On the road? Is it blocking traffic?"

"No," I said. "It landed on top of my car."

"Well, that's convenient. How about driving down to the station?"

"Why?" I asked.

"Because I told you to," he said. "Are you sober?"

"Yes. I'm sober and I'll be there in a little bit."

The llama landed feet (hoof?) first on my roof and three legs were buckled in kind of a squashed kneeling position and the fourth went right through and was dangling behind the driver's seat. Looking at the car it reminded me of those chicken delivery cars that have a chicken on top and then I thought of the time I was in Florida and saw a pest control car with a cockroach lying on it's back atop it. What could the llama be advertising I wondered? Sweaters? Petting zoo?

When I arrived at the police station two officers and the dispatcher came out to look and also there were about five or six other people who were waiting for me. They spend their time listening to the police scanner and this was major for them.

Sgt. Prover gave me a ticket for not securing the llama to the roof rack and since their regulations covered deer, horses, raccoons, bats, dogs, and cats only, they refused to help extricate the llama.

I called my wife and she came to pick me up. I decided to leave the car at the police station and call my insurance company in the morning-which I did. I met my agent there and he said that he'd have to call his home office to see what to do.

Meanwhile, there was a parking ticket on my windshield and the flies were getting pretty thick around the llama. So was the smell.

The next day my insurance man still had no answer and there was a second ticket on the windshield. The town Health Officer showed up and declared my vehicle a health hazard and issued an order to impound it. I was so grateful for that I sent her a bottle of scotch.

She reported the bottle to the town attorney who had the police issue me a summons for attempted bribery of a town official.

No one claimed the llama.

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