The Llamalogues

The Llamalogues are a series of monologues I have written over the years for the San Francisco Theater Pub’s Pint Sized Plays, basically an annual short play festival about plays that take place in a bar and in the span of time it takes to drink a beer.

The Llama was actually created by Elena McKernan, who saw him as a sort of vulgar drunk who came into the bar, made a ruckus, downed a beer, spit all over the place (as llama’s do), and then left. It was a short, fun little play but somehow the character, as played by Rob Ready, captured the imagination of the audience and Theater Pub staff alike, and we adopted him as our mascot- unofficial at first, and then totally official by year 3, when we made t-shirts with his slogan/war-cry “I Am A Llama!” on them. Year 3 was also the year I started writing the Llama (he had made a cameo in year 2, unscripted and improved by Rob), and The Llamalogues number from there, starting at III since it was his third appearance. The same year Megan Cohen had created a dancing, drunk bear character (played by Allison Page), who ended the first half of the evening passing out, ostensibly dead from poisoned beer. The second half of the evening began with the Llama making his entrance, discovering the Bear, and reviving him (yes, the bear is male, though played by a woman). A romance is implied, but since we only see the Llama once a year, by the time Llamalogue IV rolled around, it was already over (and served as a metaphor for our decaying relationship with the Cafe Royale, Theater Pub’s home for the first four years). When Theater Pub was born again at PianoFight, Rob and Allison returned, Allison opening the show with a new piece by Megan, and Rob closing it with Llamalogue V.

How many Llamalogues will there ultimately be? Who can say. They are so specific to the time, place, and people involved that it’s kind of hard to see them happening anywhere else or for any other reason, and yet they have become a bit of a cult favorite, so who knows- they could have a life beyond their moment. In the meantime, for what it’s worth, here they are. Enjoy!

Rob Ready, killing it as the LLAMA.
Rob Ready, killing it as the LLAMA.

Llamalogue III (with Megan Cohen)
Featuring Rob Ready as the Llama, with Allison Page as the Beer Bear, directed by Meghan Kathleen O’Connor.
Produced by Theater Pub as part of Pint Sized Plays III, playing July 16, 17, 23, 30, 31, 2012 at Cafe Royale in San Francisco, California.

(The LLAMA enters and sits next to the dead BEAR, who has been deposited at the bar.)

Hey LES- beer me!

(He looks around. See the BEAR.)

Huh. Don’t see a lot of your kind around here. Enjoying yourself?

(His beer arrives.)


(He drinks.)

I’m enjoying myself. I’m gonna keep enjoying myself. Play your cards right and I might enjoy myself all over you, if you get what I’m saying.

It’s been a tough year. I hate change. Shit has gotten overwhelming, at times, even when it’s actually been getting better. Sometimes, if there’s too much at once, good or bad, you can’t tell the difference. You go sort of spiritually blind, the inner eye gets blocked or some crap like that, and you can’t move, physically, emotionally… you can’t move and so you just wallow and let yourself get overwhelmed. But then the tide turns, and if you’ve managed to dig your feet down deep enough… you’re still there, you know? You’re still there when the tide rolls back and then it’s like you’ve won. You’ve fucking won. But you’re still fucking wet too. So it kind of sucks even when you’ve won.

Don’t look at me like I’m not allowed to say these things. I am fully fucking capable of a quiet fucking conversation sometimes.

(He drains his beer.)

I’ll have another of these. Fuck the rules. This fucking play is over when I say it is.

(He is handed another beer.)


You’re right. This is borderline embarrassing. I’m sorry. I’m on my sixth beer. Actually, this could be eleven. Normally I keep track by lining up spit wads but I stopped spitting sometime around Halloween. This emu told me it was disgusting. I told the emu to go fuck itself but then I thought about it and I realized that the emu was probably right. I’m probably disgusting. That’s probably why I’m alone. Don’t get me wrong, if that emu said that shit to me today, I’d still tell it to fuck off. But I’d be nicer about it. I’d be like…. HEEEEYYYYYYY!!!! FUCK OFF. You know, like friends say it.

Hey. Hey. Hey. Are you alone too?

Do you never answer because you’re ignoring me or do you never answer because you’re dead?

Cause it’s occurred to me that you might be dead.

I’ve seen weirder shit happen here.

(He drains his beer. He considers the BEAR.)

Okay, now I’m creeped out. Now I’m really creeped out. Hello! Hello in there! You alive?

(He pokes the BEAR. No response. He pokes hard. Still none. He hits the BEAR. Nothing.)

Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh shit! What do I do? What do I fucking do? Don’t panic. Don’t panic. Just breathe. Breathe. Okay, now help the Bear breathe. Yeah, that’s right. That’s what you do. You help the Bear breathe.

(The LLAMA performs CPR, hilariously, on the BEAR. It is successful and the BEAR comes back to life.)

Cough… cough… OH MY GOD… cough… cough… where am I? What happened? Is this Heaven? Cough… cough… who are you?

I am a llama.

(A long moment. Their eyes meet. It’s magic. But the LLAMA is suddenly shy.)

Anyway, um… hope you’re okay. Have a good night.

(The LLAMA goes back to the bar. He orders another beer. A long moment. The BEAR is watching. The BEAR clears his throat, gets up, and goes to sit next to the LLAMA.)

So….you… um… come here often?

(Blackout. End of Play.)

Llamalogue IV
Featuring Rob Ready as the Llama, directed by Colin Johnson.
Produced by Theater Pub as part of Pint Sized Plays IV, playing July 15, 16, 22, 29, 30, 2013 at Cafe Royale in San Francisco, California.
Lyrics to the song “Some Nights”, written by Jeff Bhasker, Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, and Jack Antonoff, reprinted and sung entirely without permission.

(The LLAMA enters.)

Bet you thought that bear was coming back this year, huh?

Fuck that bear. There is no bear. There is only Llama.

(He walks over to the Bar, calling to the Bartender:)

Les- Beer me.

(He gets a beer from the Bartender after some improved banter, then goes back to talking to the audience.)

Funny story about that Bear. Right after we started hanging out, you know, like right after I saved that Bear’s life, everything was pretty chill, for a while. Everything was pretty awesome, actually. And then along comes this baron whose name is like Sir Owns-A-Start-Up-He-Runs-Out-Of-His-Castle-He-Bought-With-All-The-Money-He-Made-At-Facebook-The Third and guess what? Within a week we’re having the old, “It’s not you, it’s me,” conversation and yes, in fact, it was all about that Bear because that Bear sucks.


But I’m sure it was kind of about me too.

(A moment. He drinks.)

Christopher Durang once wrote- What? Don’t look at me like that, I go to the Theater, okay? I know it might be hard to accept, but I’m just your typical, every-day, hyper-articulate, overly-intoxicated, theater-admiring llama, okay? God…

(He spits.)

Anyway, Christopher Durang once wrote, “Don’t depend on people!” He has a character say this to another character, right before she strangles her. Actually, it’s a pretty amazing moment, because the Now-Dead-Girl was looking for someone to solve her problems and the Kills-Her-Woman basically does that for her, but, like… forever, you know? Which was probably not the solution the Dead Girl was looking for… but you can’t say it didn’t work.

Every time I think about that Bear, I think about that play.

And how I probably should have strangled that Bear.

But I guess I’m glad I didn’t.

(Beat. To an audience member, confidentially:)

Don’t depend on dancing bears. They are not reliable.

(He drinks. He once again address the whole audience.)

There’s another side to it all, of course. And maybe I’m making it more than it is. I mean, the sun always rises again, blah blah blah. Like, if that Bear can find another Baron, something that was, statistically speaking, pretty fucking unlikely, then I can probably find another Bear. If I want to.

I’m just not sure that I want to.

You see, I never really wanted a Bear, until I had one, and then I didn’t have one. So sometimes I think I want to get the Bear back… but sometimes I think I just want to get back to what I was before I ever knew there was a Bear to have in the first place.


Because I am a Llama. And frankly, that’s already too much jelly for anybody to handle.

(He drinks.)

I don’t know. Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck and some nights I call it a draw, you know? Like… some nights I wish that my lips could build a castle… but then, like… that Bear would probably want to move in. And fuck that.

(He goes back to drinking. A moment, and then he sings softly:)

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh, Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for oh
Whoa oh oh (What do I stand for?)
Whoa oh oh (What do I stand for?)
Most nights I don’t know anymore…

(And suddenly the CHORUS enter, joining in as needed.)

Oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, oh,
Oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, oh

This is it, boys, this is war – what are we waiting for?
Why don’t we break the rules already?
I was never one to believe the hype
Save that for the black and white
I try twice as hard and I’m half as liked,
But here they come again to jack my style

That’s alright
I found a martyr in my bed tonight
She stops my bones from wondering just who I am, who I am, who I am
Oh, who am I? Mmm… Mmm…

Well, some nights I wish that this all would end
‘Cause I could use some friends for a change.
And some nights I’m scared you’ll forget me again
Some nights I always win, I always win…

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh, Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for, oh
What do I stand for?
What do I stand for?
Most nights I don’t know, anymore!

Well, that is it guys, that is all – five minutes in and I’m bored again
Ten years of this, I’m not sure if anybody understands
This one is not for the folks at home;
Sorry to leave, mom, I had to go
Who the fuck wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun?

My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she call “love”
When I look into my nephew’s eyes…
Man, you wouldn’t believe the most amazing things that can come from…
Some terrible nights…

Oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, oh,
Oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, whoa, oh, oh

The other night you wouldn’t believe the dream I just had about you and me
I called you up but we’d both agree

It’s for the best you didn’t listen
It’s for the best we get our distance…
It’s for the best you didn’t listen
It’s for the best we get our distance…

(Silence. The CHORUS slinks off. The LLAMA finishes his beer. He straightens his back. He leaves. An empty place, for a moment, and then the lights go out. End of play.)

Llamalogue V
Featuring Rob Ready as the Llama, directed by Meghan Kathleen O’Connor.
Produced by Theater Pub as part of Pint Sized Plays V, playing August 17, 18, 24, 25, 2015 at PianoFight in San Francisco, California.

(The LLAMA enters. Siddles up to the bar. Stops. Notices a customer staring at him.)

What. What? I’m back. Deal with it.

And Stop staring at me like I forgot to take off my slutty Supreme Court Judge costume. Oh don’t look at me like you don’t have one too. I know you. This is America.

Like the country we are in is America. Not like, here, specifically. Not like this… this… bar. Though technically that is also true because this bar is in America and we are in this bar.

America is all around you. And me. Us. It’s like… the air. Only more expensive. Though 99.9% of it is less expensive than San Francisco. I’ll give you a moment to catch up. You think about that, while I drink more.

(to the Bartender)


So yes, I went away and it was not half bad. But I came back. I came back.

(He gets his beer, starts to drink, stops when he notices a customer.)

What. What? I’m being provocative here, okay? Stop judging me. Stop… like… being in your judgement pants. Yeah, I know how you are. I can see how you do. Judgement Pants. You got ‘em. You put them on this morning at like… 7:30 AM. That’s a time I have heard exists, so I could be wrong about that as I have never in my life been there unless I was drunk in which case I may or may not have put on any pants, actually I probably didn’t, but I assume you were not drunk this morning and so there you go: you put on your Judgement Pants at 7:30 AM and then you ran to catch your train so you could get to work and get on the internet. Cause that’s how you do. That’s how you be. Not me. I’m supposed to have all kinds of opinions on all sorts of things, but I don’t. And you know what, Pants? I’m like way happier.

(He moves on to another customer.)

Hey. Hey. Hey. Want to hear a joke that’ll make you want to swallow a razor blade?
Well, too bad, because Dr. Giggles is in the pub.

(He runs up to the stage and takes a mic. It’s live.)

Okay, here we go: how long does it take to completely wear out your welcome? Actually, I’m not going to answer that.

(He backs away from the mic, and goes back into the audience. He looks at a customer.)

Did you miss me? Well yeah, you would.


I missed you too.

(He moves on. Looks around the venue. He drinks.)

There was a moment where I strongly considered not returning. It seemed like a lot of work and I am a lazy bastard. Also… putting on pants is clearly not my preferred thing to do. And places require pants.

Most people do too.

Most people also need new things.

I am not an exception to that.

Except for the part where I’m not a person.

(He starts to cry, then pulls it together.)

But then I thought about it and I thought “no.” No. Go back. Why not?

Why not?

Go back.

Cause I can.
Cause I will.
Cause of the joy.
Cause of the potential.
Cause of the sound and the fury and some shit I read on Wikipedia about merecats.
Cause this is America.
Cause this is the 21st fucking century.
Cause hey- free beer.

Cause… I… AM… A… LLAMA! That’s why.

(He finishes the beer and spits, triumphantly. Notices everyone looking at him.)

What. What? What.

Oh, hey. Hey. Hey.

Welcome back.

(He exits. End of play.)

Llamalogue VI
Featuring Rob Ready as the Llama, directed by Emma Rose Shelton
Produced by Theater Pub as part of Pint Sized Plays VI, playing August 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 2016 at PianoFight in San Francisco, California.

(Enters. Sidles up to bar and gets a drink. Turns. Notices everyone staring at him.)

Yeah- it’s me again. What? WHAT?!?


I thought so.

(Drinks, starts to move on, stops addresses a patron.)

Look, I hate tradition as much as the next person, okay? But one day, probably, I won’t be here- and you’re gonna miss that. You’re gonna be like, “Oh shit, it’s almost Christmas, where’s that hella drunk llama?” and I’m gonna be all like, “I’m starting a family, okay? I’m on vacation, okay? I’m getting my mother fucking degree, okay? I’m OLD and TIRED, OKAY?” And then we’ll both feel like shit, but one of us will still be drunk and guess what, Bojangles, it’s probably not gonna be you.

(Drinks, starts to move on, then stops and addresses the room.)

Things change. That’s my point. In ways, predictable and unpredictable. And that’s life. And in the past, I used to be all like…. OH BOO FUCKING HOO AND I’M SO HURT BY THE INEVITABILITY OF IT AND HOW POWERLESS I FEEL and now I’m like, “Beer me, Les. Or whoever. All you booze monkeys look the same to me.”

(Stops; confidentially, to a patron:)

Of course, I don’t mean that. I mean no disrespect to the booze monkeys. They work hard, it’s a noble profession, yadda yadda yadda…

(Suddenly screaming at the bartenders:)


(Back to the patron, once more conversational:)

I just mean, that no matter how much you grow to love one, all the booze monkeys just come and go- all that matters is the booze must flow.


Pretty sure I got that from Meliana Trump’s speech writer.


But it may have been Michelle Obama’s.

(Drinks. Quietly, to the patron.)

Don’t tell anybody, but all humans kind of look the same to me.

(He moves on.)

I am sure that everyone here is familiar with T.S. Eliots’s The Wasteland, yes?

(He looks around.)


(Sees most people are not.)

Well, then forget what I was going to say. I can’t remember it anyway. Must not have been that important. He’s kind of a hack anyway. Fucker wrote fucking CATS.


Oh, yes!

“He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience.”

How is that for happy thoughts, huh? But you know, not… not… UNTRUE. And you see, if you can accept that, and like, not be afraid of it, maybe it is kind of a happy thought. You know? You know, for like… reasons. Like, maybe you don’t die you just change into a butterfly. Or a proctologist. Or someone who just isn’t drunk all the time. I don’t know. One door closes, two doors leave… or something.

Llamas come and llamas go, this time you’re a llama, next time you’re… an… eskimo.

That was definitely Melania’s speech writer.

(Drinks, moves on.)

I kind of hope, next time, I come back, I’m like… a giraffe.

Nah, I don’t mean that. I am a llama. And I always will be.

(Spits. To a patron:)

But if next time you’re a giraffe, I’m okay with that. Just so you know. I love giraffes.

(He finishes his drink. He sidles off into the night. End of play.)