Among the many thousands of converts to our Church every year - whether they are at home, in hospitals, in hotels or motels, in bedsits - or if they're lying on the floor, halfway under the bed for the last two hours, their poor hip broken, as they try in vain to reach the telephone cord with the hand that isn’t trapped in all those tassels between the bed frame and the mattress, with the laptop before them as they read my wonderful sermon, wondering if they will die there - there is a common expression among ALL of these converts. And that expression is:
"Tassels are Hassles!"
Why these unnecessary accoutrements in the Orthodox Church, you might ask?
We don't know. The reasons for tassels certainly go beyond hiding nipples! We will address just a few of the issues faced by our devotees now.
Baba Ghanoush, my husband is a strict Orthodox Christian!
But when he smashes our plates and champagne glasses in the fireplace after the evening meal, he doesn't even notice that he sometimes sets fire to the ends of our rugs because the sparks often bounce out of the fire and land on the tassels!
Let me tell you, Baba Ghanoush, tassels are not on the fire officer's acceptability list!
He has destroyed four tasseled rugs now smashing the dinner plates, and two family homes have burned to the ground!
I don't want to get a non-tassel rug, as this is a mortal sin according to the Book of St. Vladimir. But how do I stop this rug and floor burning destruction?
Any tips from the Orthodox tradition will be of great help!
Baba Ghanoush responds:
Any man of the house is eager to eat and drink right, but this plate smashing can be done with a little less song and dance! It is the wife's role in the marriage to place the fireguard over the fire hearth. If you put that guard over the fire each time your husband smashes a plate or a glass into the fire, this will help to prevent the flying sparks. When he is finished his plate smashing and he goes to bed, make sure that the fireguard stays in front of the fire.
And remember, you don't have to replace the rugs - you can just let the tassels grow back. Keep the tassels that are burnt out of direct sunlight so that they can heal - trim back any blackened ends as far as the knot - but do not break the knot. Unlike plants, tassels grow back better with touch. Rub the tassels and use a brush. And above all else, chat to the tassels. A few kind words to a frayed tassel will go a long way to helping it to grow back out.
More problems to address next week!