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The Legend of Larry the Llama

It seems appropriate, that on the last lay day of the Ripcurl Pro Larry the Llama has been found.

In the hands of God.

After a sex change and a new alias ‘Tina’.

The only real reason anyone from the Bells Beach area actually likes the pro coming to town is the hordes of ridiculously good-looking people that make themselves at home in particular locations at particular times.

Like six thirty in the afternoon in the fresh produce section of Safeway, nine thirty in the morning at the hippest cafes in town and late at night at the pub.

It’s a worthy sacrifice, luckily temporary, for overcrowded waves and traffic jams for miles on the Great Ocean Road.

The Easter weekend is never really about the trip down memory lane from Tommy Petereson or the heat-by-heat analysis from Claw. Nor is it about the quality surfing we all get to see or the air of history that lingers over the contest.

For those with a particular local knowledge, it’s about finally having some nightlife in the town, free alcohol if you know the right people and the scandals that go down.

Of taking some guy home whose name you can’t remember who pees in your cupboard and you awkwardly see everywhere for the rest of the contest.

Which brings me back to the story of Larry.

Larry is a llama, life size and made from glossy plaster of Paris.

Some might have relegated him to the lowly status of ‘prop’ but in reality, like the rest of us, Larry likes to party.

Last Thursday night he stood in the corner of the first big party of the pro. Lit up by flattering coloured lights, surrounded by indoor plants and watching aloof from his vantage point as the scandals before him unfolded.

As the night moved on, the floor got stickier, eyes got blurrier and Larry got more frequently and seriously sexually assaulted, it didn’t take long for someone to get the grand idea of taking him to the roof.

It was short lived as he soon tumbled violently to the concrete and tragically smashed his ear.

He was then left, alone and abandoned in the middle of the highway.

By morning, Larry’s problems were forgotten as he had mysteriously vanished.

A few days later, a granny sipping her extra hot ‘mugacino’ aggressively confronted the owner of the venue that hosted the party, asking if he knew the origin of an oversized llama. A llama that her son had hit in the wee hours of Friday morning, writing off his brand new car.

She would definitely be contacting the police, as Larry’s crimes were apparently punishable by law.

And sadly, Larry’s weekend escapades seemed to be over.

In a drastic new development, late Tuesday afternoon saw the manager of the venue driving down the coast to get some rest and recuperation after a hectic weekend of late nights and early morning, spying Larry.

Our Larry. Strapped to the front of a trailer towed by some stoked looking teenagers who had just acquired a new item of pride.

Larry the Llama was alive. Just.

Missing leg to match his missing ear. Him looking how we all felt.

So this morning, as we lurked in the talent rich café of Jan Juc, the icy fingers of the southerly wind fresh out of a steamy night with Antarctica bumping and grinding the front door, we discovered the final destination of Larry.

The wind had sent the contest into lockdown. We strategically chose our time and location to get a full scope of the pros, hoes and wind swept looking big deals, cool by association and definitely knowing it; there was Larry.

All over Instagram.

Rescued from the ninth hole of the Sands golf course, found in the early hours of Sunday morning and carried on the Christian Surfers Easter paddle out.

Goofy faced, renamed Tina and reconciling his sins of the weekend.

Like the locals, Larry lives for the lay days.

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