Before Lent started, your intrepid blogger was fortunate to attend Orthocon 2011, where many Orthodox vendors and speakers vended and spoke, respectively. Included were children’s books more didactic than a physics lecture; icons consisting of 72-dpi jpeg pictures downloaded from the Internet, printed on an inkjet printer, and mounted on boards made of recycled 2-liter pop bottles; and a sparsely-attended break-out session on the evolution of the toothpick in the Byzantine Empire given by Yeraslav Penguin, professor of historical liturgics at St. Toucan’s Theological Seminary and Roadside Icon Shoppe. But by far the most interesting and exciting things to your intrepid blogger were the exhibits and break-out sessions of Orthodox inventors.
Invention is of course not always looked on with favor in the Orthodox world, as witnessed by the ancient Russian saying, “Invention is the mother of heresy.” But these young entrepreneurs are looking to take the Orthodox world by storm with their exciting new creations. Here are but a few (where “a few” means “three”) of the many new products offered for sale by these bold mavericks.
Left-Handed Chotki – “It’s about time lefties had their own chotki,” said inventor Terry (“The Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste”) Sdelanny. “Too long now southpaws have been forced to use chotki that simply do not suit them. My exclusive prayer ropes are made only by sinister monks at the monastery of St. Felicity the Left-handed on the Greek island of Aristeroxeiras. In addition to being left-handed, these chotki are ergonomically designed to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and gout.” Sdelanny’s store is at Knots Left.
Incense-Scented Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer – “Many people go all week without the beautiful smell of incense,” explains Gordon (“the blessed Miraslav the Sweet-smelling”) Carruthers. “They wish they could carry the olfactory experience of divine worship in their everyday lives, especially in places where burning incense is frowned upon: silage barns, fireworks factories, oil refineries, and the like.” Carruthers said he got the idea while chewing on a particularly tough piece of meatloaf at Denny’s. Scents for sale included Jerusalem Rose, Gaza Gardenia, and Tel Aviv Carnation. All of these scents and many more are available on Carruthers’ website, Stinky Clean.
Artificial Meat-Flavored Extracts – Does Lent get you down because you can’t eat your favorite meats? Inventor Kathy (“St Katherine the Great, what did you expect?”) Marvel has solved this problem by developing meat-flavored drops which can be added to your favorite foods. These drops are 100% artificially flavored so they are completely lenten. “They’re especially great with TVP, but they also make a great marinade for extra-firm tofu,” said Marvel. “They’re terrific on rice, too. Just add a couple of drops while you’re cooking.” Your intrepid blogger asked if these flavors had been tested for carcinogenicity, but the answer was indistinct in the noise of the crowd. Visit Marvelous Flavors to order.
All in all, it was a great con, and your intrepid blogger is glad he went, although sad that the concept car made of recycled semantra is not expected to go on sale until 2013.
Copyright © 2011 by Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.
If you like Alex Riggle’s Orthodox-themed satire, you might enjoy his recently-released book, Is Outrage!, which gathers all (but one) of the Father Vasiliy articles from the Onion Dome under one cover. Just sayin’.