GateHouse — I can’t be sure about you, but I know that every single time I come across a full-grown camel in my everyday travels, the absolute first thing I think is: I got to get me some milk from that.
Which makes this the best week ever, because I have just read that camels, in addition to being some of nature’s most gorgeously attractive beasts, represent the bright shining future of American milk production. You hear that, cows? Your days are OVER, jerks, with your incessant mooing and walking everywhere in groups and being easily seasoned. Camels are the way to go, as they can produce a cappuccino-esque beverage with magical properties and all you have to do to obtain it is tickle them a little bit near their udders. DONE.
The idea of camel milk was brought to my attention by this article last week in the Wall Street Journal on its “front page,” where it was located because there’s really not a whole lot else going on in the country. It turns out there’s a farm in Raleigh, N.C. — an area long known as the Camel Capital of the Carolinas — where a woman with the actual North Carolina name of Millie Hinkle runs a company called Camel Milk USA, which means exactly what you’d expect and was also the theme of my high-school Homecoming.
Hinkle’s idea is to make camel’s milk as ubiquitous in the United States as cow’s milk, which, to be honest, has not been upgraded or rebranded in like 100 years. In fact, I’ve got three words for the dairy industry: Milk. Is. Boring. Can’t you guys take a tip from the cereal-conglomerate playbook and have, I don’t know, iCarly-Approved Totally Radtastic Milk Blasts, or, like, stir some sprinkles in there or something? Milk has never once been even REMOTELY extreme. It’s called engaging the youth market, Farmers of America, look into it.
In fact, I’ve even got an advertising hook for you lazy punks: Camel’s milk, the article argues, is said to have “magical powers and is drunk by elderly men in nomadic tribes to increase virility,” which is a sentence that gives you about 50 reasons you should avoid elderly men in nomadic tribes but would mean great things for America: Drink camel’s milk, and become fiercely super-virile! If this catches on, NFL commercial breaks would be basically Viagra / camel’s milk / Viagra / camel’s milk / Viagra / something with Howie Long / camel’s milk.
Anyway, back to the farm: In April, says the Journal, Hinkle secured approval from the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments, which is basically a three-day drunkfest but whatever, to put the milk on the market. All she is waiting for now is approval from the “U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” which is one of those overbearing federal entities that wants to run your life and kill your grandmother when it’s not playing all Big Government with your God-given right to drink milk from an animal that appears to be one of His cruelest mistakes.
But, the article continues and I’m quoting this because it’s genius, “There are several humps to overcome before camel milk is widely available in the U.S.” For instance, there are not a lot of camels here, except for the couple hundred still in the Neverland Ranch (too soon?). Also, and here’s a catch: People, shockingly, don’t want to drink it. Try it: Walk up to anyone at the grocery store and ask them if they’d like a sip of your cool tall glass of camel milk, and I’m guessing they’ll give you a look like Brett Favre just stuck his head out of your left ear.
But here’s the main problem: Camels — and in this regard they are like most animals I’ve encountered — do not wish to be milked. Luckily, camel experts — and you can verify this with your own neighborhood camel expert — say that the animals are particularly ticklish around their udders, which is something that someone has apparently spent time researching, God bless him, and that the process can be difficult, especially the part of the process where you have to tickle a camel’s udders.
Quick poll: How many times so far in this story would you have quit if you were Millie Hinkle, because it’s like 12 for me.