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Greetings from Ancient Greece

A factual* account of the invention of the greeting card

Once upon a time when the Earth was young, a band of heroes mighty and brave walked the land. They were the gods and goddesses of the ancient world and, under the formidable eye of Zeus, they ruled over all. Among them was Lanther, the god of greetings. Everyone who passed him was met with polite and cordial words of acknowledgment. "Good morning!" "How goeth it?" "Yo!" There was no one on earth, neither god nor mortal, that Lanther could not greet with flair and panache. No one except Mavrianna.

Mavrianna was a waitress at Apollo's Chicken Shack. Her long, silken hair was as black as a black cat's fur and her large, piercing eyes were as black as a black-eyed cat's eyes. The first time that Lanther had witnessed her gliding gracefully across the crowded restaurant carrying a tray of Godweisers high above her head, he fell entirely and hopelessly under her spell.

"I shall greet her!" he announced to himself. "And my greeting shall be at once majestic and moving, and she will swoon into my waiting arms and forever be mine!" He gargled a sip of warm water lightly flavoured with fresh lemon, adopted a powerful stance which blocked the path of the approaching Mavrianna and swept his arm to the side in a confident flourish. He took a deep breath and flashed a pearly white smile, his eyes glistening in the candlelight. Had you been able to look beyond those eyes into the depths of his brain, you would have been able to pinpoint the exact moment that all of the lights in the cockpit went out. You would have seen the captain slumped over the controls and you would have noticed Lanther's tongue tie itself into an intricate knot which resembled the one which had suddenly developed in his stomach. Lanther was alone, without his brain, his tongue or his nerve, like a general who has marched out into the field of battle to discover that his men have not followed him and he is armed only with a spoon. Disastrously for Lanther, speaking mode had already been initiated and when Mavrianna was but a few inches away he opened his mouth and blurted out the only words that presented themselves for duty... "ONION RINGS!"

Onion rings. Lanther, the mighty god of greetings, the star of salutations. The moment had come for him to greet like he'd never greeted before and all he could muster was a request for a side order. Riddled with disappointment, he left three golden coins on the table and dragged himself back to his sea-view apartment on Mount Olympus before Mavrianna returned. He remained there, consumed by melancholy and woe until Helios had driven the chariot of the sun across the vast and unsympathetic sky seven times at which point he decided to god up and try again. His next attempt played out in much the same way, as did the one after that. He returned to the Chicken Shack a total of 52 times until he had ordered all 52 items that the menu had to offer. It was not until he found himself faced with the 'Pollo Pollo Chicken Combo' sharing platter for six, complete with choice of dips, that he realised he needed a new plan. He grabbed the thickest napkin he could find and folded it in half. One the front he scrawled, "Twleve gods and several hundred mortals on earth and I found you" which he completed with a childlike illustration.

What he wrote inside, nobody knows. Historians have dedicated lifetimes to the search for the sweet nothings within, but all we know is that Mavrianna and Lanther fell in love and the rest, as they say, is Ancient Greek mythology.

Many millennia later, Lanther Black are on a quest to keep alive the legacy of the great god of greetings. They have created a collection of cards in the style of Lanther himself, which inspire romance with a power greater than all the bows of Eros. Click here to see the full collection. Because no great love story ever ended with onion rings.

*By factual we mean... not entirely factual.


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