CLEVELAND — A University of Akron student from Cleveland fulfilled a strange promise he made to his sister five years ago by bringing a llama, clad in a custom-tailored tuxedo, to her wedding.
A photo taken of 21-year-old Mendl Weinstock with the llama, with his sister looking understandably flummoxed, went viral on Reddit earlier this week, amassing over 150,000 upvotes. After that, Weinstock made local and national news, with reports from CNN, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and the Akron-Beacon Journal about the llama drama.
Weinstock said the promise was made during a 2015 road trip from Indiana to Ohio. Even though his sister Riva was only 17 and not even dating at the time, she spent the time talking about her future wedding. As brothers do, he told her he wasn't going to come to her wedding, "just to tick her off," he told Buzzfeed.
Riva didn't take kindly to that, so Weinstock came up with an unusual compromise: "if you make me come to the wedding I’m going to bring a llama with me," he told Buzzfeed.
Cut to October of last year - Riva got engaged, and Weinstock knew what he had to do. He arranged to rent a full-size male llama named Shocky from a local farm for the day for $400, he told Buzzfeed. He even had a coworker sew a llama tuxedo and a topped him with a yarmulke for the special day.
When Riva saw Shocky, she was, well, shocked.
"My sister walked outside and had this humongous gaping looking on her face," Weinstock told Buzzfeed. "There’s nothing that can really prepare you for walking outside and seeing a llama."
After the Shocky shock wore off, she agreed to exactly one photo, though they managed to get a few, including the now-viral picture that Weinstock posted to Reddit.
"She might have been a little mad at first, but she was in on the joke and she definitely realized it was funny and she hasn’t held a grudge or anything," Weinstock told Buzzfeed. "But she did say she’d get me back at some point in the future."