Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2000]
She sent in her entry and about a week later, a black limo drove up in front of her house. A man got out and said, "Carnation LOVED your entry so much, we are here to award you $1000, even though we will not be able to use it."
Here is her entry:
Carnation milk is best of all,
No tits to pull, no shit to haul;
No buckets to wash, no hay to pitch,
Just poke a hole in the son-of-a-bitch!
Origins: Although milk has long been a staple of the American diet, a century ago many people did not have access to fresh milk. Because of the comparatively primitive states of the transportation and refrigeration industries back then, milk — a highly perishable food item — could not generally be transported over long distances efficiently, and therefore those who did not live sufficiently close to a dairy supply source (or keep their own cows) could not count on having regular access to safe, unspoiled milk.
The solution to this marketing roadblock was the development of evaporated milk, a product created through a process which greatly reduced the volume of whole milk by removing about 60% of its water content via evaporation and ensured it remained fit for consumption much longer than fresh milk by subjecting it to heat-treatment sterilization and sealing it into cans. The finished product could be transported over long distances much more easily than whole milk because it was considerably reduced in volume and weight and did not require refrigeration. By adding water to the contents of a can of evaporated milk, consumers could obtain a reasonable substitute for fresh, whole milk and be assured that the product was
(Although the terms "evaporated milk" and "condensed milk" are often used interchangeably, the latter term can refer to either of two very different products. Evaporated milk and unsweetened condensed milk are both products made by removing approximately 60% of the water from whole milk and sterilizing the remainder through heat-treatment. Sweetened condensed milk is produced by adding a good deal of sugar to milk prior to removing 60% of its water, producing a sticky, sweet mixture which does not need to be heat-sterilized [because the added sugar acts as a natural preservative] and which cannot be turned back into a drink similar to whole milk through the addition of water.)
One of the pioneers of the evaporated milk business was a grocer from Kent, Washington, named Elbridge Amos Stuart, who in 1899
Stuart was as concerned with the ingredients that went into his product as he was with the process of making it, and he maintained the firm belief that a steady supply of good-quality milk could be ensured only by obtaining it from healthy cows. To that end he furnished his suppliers with purebred bulls to help them breed better milk cows, and he eventually established his own breeding farm, known as Carnation Farm. Stuart's philosophy of "contented cows give better milk" is reflected in this ad copy from a 1909 Carnation Milk newspaper advertisement:
Such was the fame and ubiquity of Carnation Evaporated Milk in America that it became the subject of an affection expressed through humorous, satirical rhymes. Just a schoolkids of my own era (the 1960s) spun nonsensical riffs on popular songs, television theme music, and commercial jingles, so those of an earlier time delighted in inventing and repeating variations on a bawdy bit of verse about a familiar household product:
no teats to pull, no poop to haul.
Got no nasty tail to switch;
just poke a hole in the son-of-a-bitch!"
Summer, winter, spring or fall,
Carnation milk is best of all;
no tits to pull, no tails to switch,
just punch a hole in the son of a bitch!
Carnation milk is best of all,
comes in cans both short and tall:
No tits to pull,
no hay to pitch;
just punch two holes
in the son-of-a-bitch.
Carnation Milk is best in the land;
it comes in a little red-and-white can.
No tits to pull, no hay to pitch;
just poke a hole in the son-of-a-bitch.
Although catchy rhymes and consumer participation contests are methods which have been used by a number of companies over the years to promote their products (see our
Printed references to this verse indicate that it might be almost a century old itself. For example, the following presentation appears in a college literature textbook:
Anonymous (American oral verse)
CARNATION MILK (about 1900?)
Carnation milk is the best in the land;
Here I sit with a can in my hand -
No tits to pull, no hay to pitch,
You just punch a hole in the son of a bitch.
"This quatrain is imagined as the caption under a picture of a rugged-looking cowboy seated upon a bale of hay," notes William Harmon in his Oxford Book of American Light Verse
Last updated: 5 May 2011
Hollie, Pamela G. "Carnation: A Family Company's Evolution." The New York Times. 5 September 1984 (p. D4). Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Pearson Longman, 2001 (8th edition). ISBN 0-321-08768-2 (pp. 647-648). Sherman, Josepha and T.K.F. Weisskopf. Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts: The Subversive Folklore of Children. Little Rock: August House Publishers, 1995. ISBN 0-874-83444-9.