This item might have slipped your news-feed, but it’s so adorable I feel compelled to share.
How often does one find Saudi Arabia adorable?
Not often I would judge. I’ve altered the title to suit, but it follows what is said to be a comment by the Prophet Mohammed to “Tie your camel and place your trust in Allah.” One must be careful about quoting the prophet and I mean no disrespect.
Anyway, the item came to my attention from the Guardian and is titled Camels enhanced with Botox barred from Saudi beauty contest. The idea is so hilarious I could hardly wait to read further.
It seems “Saudi authorities have carried out their biggest crackdown on camel beauty contestants, disqualifying more than 40 “enhanced” camels from the annual pageant, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency. The camels disqualified in the competition, at the King Abdulaziz camel festival, were judged to have received Botox injections and other artificial touch-ups.”
Saudis are known to crack down on all sorts of circumstances, both internal and international, but a biggest crackdown for enhancing the beauty of camels? Talk about putting lipstick on a pig, this really smokes my shorts. It goes on to say,
“The popular festival, which started this month, invites the breeders of the most beautiful camels to compete for about $66m in prize money. Botox injections, facelifts and other cosmetic alterations to make the camels more attractive are strictly prohibited. Jurors decide the winner based on the shape of the animals’ heads, necks, humps, dress, and postures.
“Judges at the month-long festival, held in the desert north-east of the Saudi capital, Riyadh, are escalating their clampdown on artificially enhanced camels, the official news agency reported, using “specialised and advanced” technology to detect tampering.”
When Saudi Arabia escalates a crackdown, the smart Saudi slips into a dark doorway.
“This year, the authorities discovered dozens of breeders had stretched out the lips and noses of camels, used hormones to boost the animals’ muscles, injected heads and lips with Botox to make them bigger, inflated body parts with rubber bands, and used fillers to relax their faces.”
There is very little new under the sun, but this story is a welcome rib-tickler in tough times.
On another matter.
My closest friend and favorite Brit here in Prague writes a Substack column called Roots and Fruits that’s an etymological look at various herbs and other plants. That would normally be the furthest subject from my personal interests, but I read it because I am his friend and now I’m hooked. It’s such an interesting dip into history, so well written and engaging that I recommend you take a peek. King of Herbs is a grand place to start.