Caleb, Joe and Clyde

Close Up Camel

I got a big chuckle the other day when I read that several contestants were banned from the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Saudi Arabia.

A dozen camels and their owners were booted out for using botox injentions to “enhace” their “beauty”.

I’ve never considered camels “good-lookers” but to the Bedoiuns, these creatures are pretty special.

Up to 30,000 camels are brought to the annual event in Al Dhana near Ryadh where the critters face off with racing, an obedience competition and a beauty pageant.

Prize money at this pageant totals $57 million with nearly $32 million reserved for “pageantry”.


Maybe that’s why I paid $2.65 for a gallon of gas.

So, some camel competitors thought if their animal looked like a humpy Angelia Jolie, they might grab the big bucks.

I used to think “camel” and “beauty” was an oxymoron but that’s because I never had to rely on the “ship of the desert”.

Camels are built to conserve water and limit the amount they pass so they’re perfect creatures  for the arid and dusty parts of the world in which they live.

Ninety-four percent of the surviving camels in the world are dromedaries, the one-hump models in the Middle East and  Cape Horn of Africa.

Two-humpers, the bactrian and the wild bactrian, inhabit central Asia and parts of northwest China and Mongolia.

It’s a myth that camels store water in their humps.

Those are just reservoirs of fatty tissue that help these beats survive in hot, dry regions of the world.

Camels can drink as seldom as once every 10 days but they can gulp upwards of 50 gallons of water in as little as three minutes

Camels can live 40-50 years and they’re capable of short bursts of speed to 40 miles per hour but they can maintain a clip of 25mph which means they could get you ticketed if you rode one in a school zone on a school day.

You probably wouldn’t escape notice while driving a camel in a school zone or anywhere because adults can weigh more than 1,300 pounds and stand 7 feet tall.

They obviously can’t dribble or shoot a basketball because some enterprising NBA owner would have already drafted a camel.

However, I have heard about a camel-wrestling event held every January in Turkey.

I assume the ASPCA would frown on that coming to America, so don’t look for camel-wrestling at Banker’s Life Field House any time soon.

Although the earliest camels actually came from North America.

Protylopus, the direct ancestor of all modern camels lived in open woodlands in what is now known as South Dakota 40-50 million years ago and was only about the size of a rabbit.

Camels will only spit if they feel threatened and if you feel threatened by thirst, you can get a camel milkshake made of camel milk in Abu Dhabi.

Wants fries with that?

I started to think if I’ve actually known any camels in my life.

That evil “spokes-camel” for the tobacco industry, “Joe” comes to mind.

There’s also the Geico “Hump Day” Camel.

Did you know his actual name is “Caleb”and he appeared in a Macklemore and Ryan Lewis video and also had a cameo in “Transformer 2”?

But my favorite camel might be Clyde.

Ray Stevens sang about him in the now-politically incorrect  1972 hit by Ray Stevens

called “Ahab the Arab”.

You won’t find anyone humming that at the UN.

I wonder if Clyde ever had batty eyelashes, pouty lips and a perfectly-shaped hump thanks to botox?

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