A brief, tense llama chase around Phoenix is, it turns out, the perfect escapist antidote to the late-winter, late-week, late-afternoon blues.
As a pair of llamas (or possibly alpacas) ran around the Arizona city Thursday afternoon, the Internet's drones were briefly transfixed. The llamas were ideal heroes for the urban worker—renegades against civilization, trampling on lanes and across medians, resisting the police, and running free. Seeing these animals—theoretically domesticated and yet uncontrollable, refusing to yield to any of dozens of huge black SUVs filled with sheriff's deputies—seemed like a perfect symbol of nature revolting against the strictures of suburban life. The manicured, desolate sprawl of the desert 'burb created the ideal stage for such an absurd disruption of the most quotidian day.
The obvious analogue here is the high-speed car chase. Yet the low-speed llama chase is by any standard better. The protagonists are entirely sympathetic, not even suspected of car theft or drug use or violent crime. The stakes are low: You knew no one would flip a car or die or crash. Bystanders were in no serious danger at any point. The desk-shackled officeworker could admire these llamas without reservation.