''Ello there sir. You look like the sort of man who knows what he's looking for, if I may say so. Let me be the first to say that you've come to the right place: here at Old Nick's New and Second-Hand Camel Emporium we've got 'em all, from super-charged top-of-the-range ships of the desert to more affordable economy models.
Now what sort of camel were you looking for, sir? A new one perhaps? Let's see, your baby camel starts at 3 ft tall, and all you have to do is to feed him cow's milk until he turns into one of the strapping young lads we've got over there. If you're looking at a nice adult camel, we've got 'em starting at Rs7000 and going all the way up to Rs20,000, depending on the strength and age of the model: I'm sure we can find something to suit your needs...
What's that? Running costs? Well, you'll get about 50km per day out of your average model, and all it requires in terms of daily consumables is 20kg of grass, which will cost you in the region of Rs100, and between 30 and 40 litres of water, depending on the weather. The beauty of your camel, though, is his ability to go for a week without any water at all, so he's great for the desert: if you don't put any water into him for more than a week, the one-year guarantee's null and void, but even the driest desert will have filling oases dotted about that you can get to in a week, believe you me.
Maintenance is simple: as long as you put in the food and water he'll look after himself, chewing the cud at any available moment and parking himself for the night without a problem. We recommend you tie your camel up for the night, just as a precaution, but if you do decide to let him wander then he won't run off, especially if you're good and regular with the feeding. I know what you're thinking: how on earth can something with all those joints and spindly legs not go wrong? Well, we get an average of 24 years out of each model, and I'm sure if you treat yours well he'll give you even more years of satisfactory motoring.
See those legs? Two joints and three parts to each one, a brilliant bit of engineering, I must say. Looking from the side you've got your front legs on the left that bend in a Z-shape, and you've got your back legs on the right that bend in an S-shape, and there are specially hardened pads of skin in the right places, the bits that rub against the ground when the camel's sitting. Give the 'sit' command and they fold up in a beautiful way, one that you wouldn't believe possible: the camel kneels on its front knees, then folds its back legs up, and finally tucks the rest of its front legs under its belly. You won't find a system so well designed outside of a Swiss Army knife, but try to explain it in a brochure and you'll see it's like trying to illustrate how a compact umbrella works to someone who's never seen rain.
At the bottom of your legs you've got your foot pads. No, they don't need replacing either, or shoeing like your horse, and they're good for all sorts of terrain. Look at him walking: they squash out like silicone breast implants, know what I mean sir? Beautiful work.
Not as beautiful as the face, though. Look at those lines, with the sleek, aerodynamic head and long neck for reaching all those tasty neem leaves: did I mention that you can fill up for free by letting your camel find his own food? A nice optional extra is the set of long eyelashes that give your camel that extra bit of appeal, and along with the flapping ears I have to say that almost everyone chooses this option: a camel without pretty eyes is like a donkey without a tail, wouldn't you say so sir? What's that? No, you don't have to worry about your camel looking like a female: we only sell male camels for transport, because if you take a mixture of females and males out into the desert, the males will fight over the females, so we leave the females back at home, just like you do in your life, sir, if you'll pardon my mentioning your wife. And on that subject, you don't want to involve your camel with females without expert supervision, sir: with those legs, mating is a sight to behold, I can tell you! You just bring him in for his regular servicing as per usual...
No, he's not in a bad mood, he just looks like it. Your average camel is a happy, docile beast; he just looks like he's in a permanent sulk. It's the lower lip, sir, hanging down like that all the time, as if something's wrong. You look at the thing and all you can think of is Marvin the Paranoid Android or Eeyore the Donkey, but Terry Pratchett reckoned camels were the best mathematicians in the world, and Johnny Morris just loved them, so don't judge a book by his cover, sir. Besides, if your camel does develop a bit of an attitude, tie a rope between his two front legs and let him go off into the desert with a friend, and they'll wrestle it out of their systems. Yes, wrestle. Has to be seen to be believed! There they are like two lanky diplodocuses, wrestling. To start they cross their necks, just like swords in a sword fight, and then the fight's on. The idea is to hook your neck behind your opponent's front legs, forcing him to kneel down. There's lots of playful biting of foot pads, necks and tails, and a heck of a lot of noise, but don't let that worry you sir, it's quite harmless. If you don't let them have a wrestle every now and then they might end up picking on someone else: I saw a camel try to pick up a goat in its mouth as a joke, but the goat didn't see the funny side, if you see what I mean.
Did I mention night-time? That's when your camel gets a lot of its cud chewing in: camels eat their food plenty of times, so don't be put off by the night-time noise. You'll hear farts, burps, rumbles and the regular clock-like side-to-side chewing of its huge teeth, and if you're sleeping close by it'll stink like a dodgy food disposal unit in a blocked sink. But after a while you'll find it comforting, and it'll be the nights that you're not with your camel that you'll have trouble sleeping.
So, can I put you down for one? Or would you like to take a test ride? There's no manual, but it's simplicity itself: steer with the nose-rope, and learn the commands for Stop, Sit, Stand and the speed controls. Easy, isn't it sir? I just know you're going to love it.
In fact, I've got one here that's just perfect for you. One previous owner, low mileage and a personality that makes John Major look positively hyperactive. Would you care to make a deposit now, or would you like to pay cash...?