Kahlza, we get it: You want to suckle us with sweet love offerings

Want a drink? "Come to mama"; who you callin' a potato? Queensland's Hanson, better at dishing it out than taking it, bristles at spud slur. Plus: Art world breakthrough: Otter shakes a tailfeather, creates masterpiece.


Douglas Cruickshank
June 26, 1999 8:00PM (UTC)

The tiny type at the bottom of the advertisement reads, "Please enjoy our products responsibly." Fret not, Allied Domecq Spirits USA, you can be sure we will take what you offer gently into our quivering mouths. (Some may even slowly trickle from our lips.) Yes, those clever mothers at Allied Domecq are currently marketing their "hecho in Mexico" Kahlza liqueur with a canny new old idea which is certain to significantly increase the number of love-starved consumers who feed on the syrupy alcoholic beverage. Having given up trying to capitalize on the fun 'n' festive Mexican angle, the Kahlza folks are now promoting their drink with torrid full-page Freudian lactation fantasy photos in upscale mags like Esquire.

One recent Kahlza ad -- which in the past might've featured images of Mayan statuary, swaying palms, a tropical beach -- depicts a voluptuous Swedish milkmaid type spilling out of her tattered 19th century gown while pouring gallons of fresh milk down her own taut, tanned leg. 'Scuze me, I gotta go take a cold shower. OK, I'm back. Anyway, the young woman, whom we, the idle page-turners, seem to interrupt during a moment of spontaneous ecstasy in the cow pasture (she's surrounded by dispassionate Holsteins), looks like she belongs on the embossed cover of a romance novel. (Her breasts are nearly as large as Fabio's!) What has gotten into this tousle-haired gal? What exactly have we interrupted? Who knows. Let your imagination run wild, but keep your hands above your waist.

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Now, for that infinitesimally small minority of Salon readers who've never milked a cow by hand, allow me to inform you that they don't call it a chore for nothing. Yet our ravishing (ravished?) farmer's daughter -- so overheated she must cool herself with a massive application of raw milk -- apparently thinks little of bathing her luscious legs in gallons of fresh cow juice. One can only assume that in the prequel to this sultry scenario, the buildup to the decisive moment that Kahlza grabbed for its ad, the piquant milkmaid hand-milked the cows (after all, there's no bovine breast pump in evidence) and then transferred her hard-earned liquid harvest from a bucket to the milk can that she holds below her ample bosom at about -- what a coincidence! -- womb level. What precisely occurred after the milking and before the milk bath shall forever be a mystery.

But whatever it was that got Helga the Hottie's motor running must have been somethingelseagain because nothing short of government-imposed price controls could ever get a dairy farmer, or a dairy farmer's daughter, to just dump milk like that. Ah, well. Who ever said advertising had to be logical. Besides, as the Kahlza tagline clearly states: "Anything goes." (And, no -- I refuse to take the cheap shot and say that Allied Domecq's ad campaign sucks.)

Speaking of low-level sucking sounds, Pauline Hanson, an out-there Australian politico (imagine, if you will, a David Duke type in drag, albeit one who's substantially more successful as a politician) seems to have at least temporarily prevailed in banning a spoof song that was aimed at her. Hanson first made the Australian political charts a few years back when she captured the attention of Queensland's considerable redneck contingent with a steady stream of bigoted, nationalistic rhetoric. In 1996, the right-wing redhead won one of Queensland's federal seats as an independent, and in June of '98, her own One Nation party took 11 of 85 seats in the Australian state's elections, making it an unfortunately significant force in Oz politics.

Last week, the Sydney Morning Herald said that "the future of political ridicule in Australia remains in limbo" after the Australia High Court (that country's equivalent of the Supreme Court) rejected an appeal from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation of a lower-court ruling banning a spoof recording of the song "I'm a Backdoor Man."

The song, recorded by a certain Pauline Pantsdown, a satirist and Senate candidate (aka Simon Hunt), caused quite a stir in 1997, before Ms. Hanson succeeded in her bid to have it taken off the air pending trial. The Sydney paper reported that "Ms. Hanson wept as the song was played in court." Pantsdown's composition is described in the article as "a cut-and-paste job of odd fragments of Hanson-speak that apparently has her claiming to be a man, a member of the Ku Klux Klan, a transvestite, a homosexual and 'a very caring potato.'"

How this grave issue will be resolved remains to be seen, says the Morning Herald. But "ABC lawyers were taking comfort last night that the judges had apparently restored their right to try to convince the jury that 'Backdoor Man' is a satire and not, as Queensland courts insist, literally true." Not surprisingly, Pantsdown agreed with the lawyers, declaring: "Any reasonable listener would not accept that Pauline Hanson believes she is a potato." No, she's more radish-like: red, white and bitter.

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And so as not to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, let's close with this tale by Simon De Bruxelles, correspondent for the Times of London. What is it about animal artists? Seems like they're popping up all over lately -- painting cats and gorillas and wasn't there even an elephant a while back? It's weird, no? Now Beenie, a 16-month-old female otter, has a whole frickin' exhibition of her watercolors, I mean watercolours, on display at the Wildlife Art Society's summer exhibition in Bath, England. And not to unfairly single out the Brits, but isn't it just the kind of thing they'd do over there in the Land of People with Too Much Time on Their Hands?

"Two of her five canvasses sold within minutes," De Bruxelles writes. "The paintings, which can best be described as abstract, fetch up to #275 each." That's #275 each! I mean, we're not talking about Eric Clapton's guitar here; how do you play "Layla" on an otter?

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The otter's painting career took off "eight months ago," De Bruxelles continues, when Beenie's owner, "Sophie Neville, 38, a wildlife artist who lives in South Africa, came home to exhibit her work. Her parents are licensed to rear otters at their home in Frampton Mansell, near Stroud in Gloucestershire." (Stop right there -- I don't care what kind of license they've got, no one should rear an otter except another otter, and then only after a candlelight dinner and a dip in the hot tub.)

Whatever. Apparently entertainment's hard to come by out there in Frampton Mansell, near Stroud in Gloucestershire and otter rearing does indeed leave one plenty of free time, judging from Bruxelles' report: "After watching Beenie scurry around, Miss Neville put some watercolours on two plates and laid a parchment board on the grass. The otter paddled straight through the sap-green and rose paints and set to work on the parchment. A swish of the tail gave greater variety; the animal even rolled around on the paper for a smudge effect." I dunno. I just dunno anymore. But I'm getting a very, very hot idea for a Kahlza advertisement.

Next week? We have a winner! Two brains named Bob and Jayne aced the crocodile's birthday etymology contest -- and would be taking home several armloads of prizes if I hadn't lost their e-mail. It happens more often than I care to admit, but then we do save a lot of money on prizes that way.

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Douglas Cruickshank

Douglas Cruickshank is a senior writer for Salon. For more articles by Cruickshank, visit his archive.

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