Friday, November 21

Products Made With Greeks In Mind

I'd never seen the catalog before but Mia said it arrives every year before Christmas. Ellinas Multimedia's shopping booklet, enthusiastically putting the Greek in Greek-American, at five pages, isn't quite long enough to be hilarious. We don't belong to any Greek organizations that would have our Los Angeles address, so either E.M. has access to an invasive database of pure blood Greeks, or our mailbox number was given to E.M. by relative with whom we have trouble relating.

Without an actual cover, the catalog's outer page is the first page, advertising a new product to the Ellinas Multimedia holiday line: Baklava-flavored Popcorn, available in one and two gallon tins. "We took Yia Yia's [grandmother's] secret Baklava recipe" and put it on popcorn, and then put the popcorn in "designer tins that say Merry Christmas in Greek! (after Christmas lids will say, 'Baklava Popcorn' only)."

You can also order mugs that read a literal, "Good Christmas," and mugs that read, I <3 Theo! [uncle], Thea!, Yia Yia!, Papou! [grandfather], Nouno! [godfather], and Nouna!, the <3, of course, is a navy-and-white striped heart with a small white cross in the top-left chamber, in turn reading a literal, "I Greek-love uncle!" There are also ageist license plate frames that warn, "Prosexee! Yia Yia is Driving."

The catalog has two pages [of the five] featuring bottled olive oil and olive oil-based soaps, if you can believe it.

On sale for $29.95, down from $34.95, is Taki the talking and singing [in Greek] stuffed bear, who has a red fez that reads, OPA, which matches his traditional, red tsaruxia shoes [with black pompom at the toe]. An animated Taki also appears on pillowcases that read Good Morning and Good Night in English [beneath the Greek].

There are drink coasters themed with your favorite Greek island [Mykonos or Santorini, guys?] and children's books/flashcards/education CD-roms of "Greek4Kids" and "My First Hundred Words In Greek" [which I need].

I also need the baby bib with Greek Food Groups because it's corny and accurate.

Mia pointed out the Super Papou t-shirt, which obviously mocks the Superman emblem, and then sighed, "I wish we had gotten this for him before he died." It was surrounded by aprons that read, "DESPERATE GREEK HOUSEWIFE" and "↑ Definition of a Greek God." I considered ordering the "got ouzo?" t-shirt but the largest size it comes in is XL.

On the last page they have a selection of Christmas Cards. My favorite is the one with dancing Christmas characters that reads, "Merry Greecemas," because at first it looks fucking stupid but then when you say it aloud, it really does sound like you have an eastern European accent. The other cards make reference to Santa Claus coming down the chimney late to deliver presents, referring to his lack of punctuality as following, "Greek time."

I have feta cheese on my salads everyday, and call my grandparents and godparents by their official names. I actually love ouzo, especially when you pour a little cold water in with it, or take a shot of it when it's been mixed with lemonade. I'm also late for everything, which is why I get these jokes.

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