on her fierce-looking alligator seems oblivious to her perilous ride. Her garter belt is peeking out, but she only cares for her new handbags. ‘Beim Alligator in Wien’ is a publicity song issued by the Viennese Alligator workshops and stores, selling (alligator) handbags.
We checked the addresses of the old ‘Beim Alligator‘ stores in Vienna. To our pleasant surprise we discovered that one of the shops still exists.
The sheet music dates from the late 20s or early 30s, a period at which the
illustrator might have read about The California Alligator Farm.
This was a strange amusement park founded in 1906 near Los Angeles. With over a thousand alligators on exhibition the farm offered weird attractions. One could watch the alligators being fed with live chickens…,
The farm’s brochure boasted about its speciality: ‘Alligator Bags Ornamented with Genuine Alligator Heads and Claws’. A promotional photo shows a large alligator-skin bag on top of an incubator full of cute alligator babies. The caption reads: ‘From start to finish’. Gruesome!
Also sickening is the undercover documentary
from the animal rights group PETA. Still today, alligators and crocodiles on farms in Texas and Africa are cruelly bred, skinned and slaughtered. It moved Jane Birkin to try to dissociate her name from the luxury ‘Birkin crocodile handbag‘ made by Hermès.
Well, I’m relieved that I never owned a ‘gator bag’. Probably couldn’t afford it either…
See you later.