YET another Aussie icon has undergone genetic modification to make it fit the nuances of the times. The Chiko roll, first sold by Bendigo boilermaker Frank McEnroe at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Show in 1951 – in an early instance of cooperative federalism, Bendigo being in Victoria and Wagga in New South Wales, two rival and fictionally ‘sovereign states’ separated by the Muddy Ditch, aka the Murray River – has been raising cholesterol levels nationwide ever since.
Now, Hector notes, the promotional effort by their makers, now an American company (what else is new?) has been re-engineered to make it more “appropriate”. Since Chikos appeal most to males aged 18 to 25 (who eat nearly 15 million of the things a year, apparently), he wonders why the makers have dispensed with the poster girls in tight leather sitting sexily on Harley-Davidsons with slogans such as "Hit the hot spot" and "Couldn't you go a Chiko roll".
That’s nearly as good a come-on as Harley-Davidson’s own micro-tee-for-chicks that states: “I wanna ride your fat boy”.
However, in these times male adolescent dreams – they extend well past the age of 25 says Hec – are Not Favoured by the Thought Police. Well, not in public, anyway.
So the hot chiko on the Harley has been replaced by a shot of a comely 23-year-old (her name is Annette, which may be a little long for many Chiko devotees) on a push-bike. “Eat Chikos, Get Fit,” seems to be the pitch. So even in this modern age, truth and advertising still do not meet.
A Chiko spokesperson says: "The previous Harley girl posters were done in about 2000 and were a bit controversial. From our point of view these days have changed and it's probably not appropriate to have those leather-clad images."
Damn right. They skin you alive for wearing leather now.