Exciting Business Opportunity!

by Marinka on February 3, 2014

A few weeks ago I had a brilliant idea.

It shone so bright that I had little choice but to accept the fact that it was inspired by nothing less than genius.

I decided to share it with Mama and Papa and Russian Aunt, Mama’s sister, who is visiting from Russia for a few months.

“I had a brilliant idea,” I warned them in case they were unaccustomed to flying too close to the sun.

“Tell us!” they said in unison, Greek-chorus like. “Tell us, for we want to know!”

“I will tell you,” I could afford to be magnanimous because I had decided early on that I wasn’t going to be one of those Evil Geniuses you hear so much about. It’s really an awful stereotype and I will devote myself to dispelling it.

And then I told them.

My idea is that we would invent something and it would make us super-rich. Well, mostly me, but if they played their cards right, they would be “comfortable”. Because I would buy them fuzzy socks and once you slip those on it’s impossible not to feel cozy!


I’ve been watching Shark Tank and it really inspired me. Shark Tank is a reality show where normal people who are aspiring entrepeneurs pitch potential business/inventions to a panel of bitchy millionaire and billionaire investors. The potential investors grill the normal person/potential entrepeneur about their business, asking such personal questions as “how much money have you made thus far?” and “how did you come up with the valuation?” And then they decide if they want to invest or not.

Seeing some of the crap people invent really inspired me. These two guys invented some kind of a grilled cheese and tomato store. I decided I wanted in.

“We will invent something and it will make us rich,” I shared.

Mama and Papa and Russian Aunt all wanted in.

“Da!” They said. “Yes, we will do this.”

Fantastique!” I said, because I decided that once I’m rich I will sprinkle French words throughout every conversation. Words like Dom Perignon and Merci (for the caviar) and this was a good opportunity to practice.

I settled back to plan for my financial success. First thing, I will have to join the Tea Party because I don’t need to pay any bullshit taxes on my hard earned fortune. If you think it’s so easy having brilliant ideas, why don’t you go ahead and have one of your own instead of wasting your day reading mommy blogs, genius.

“I almost invented something once,” Mama said.

“Oh?” We all perked up. Perhaps Mama was a natural and would lead our Development Team.

“Yes, but someone invented it first,” Mama looked sad. And then she told us how she had this great idea for a camera that attaches to a cat collar and records wherever the cat roams. Apparently some other couple came up with this idea and are now sitting on a pile of cash that’s surrounded by gold.

“I can’t imagine this would make a lot of money-” Papa started and I agreed with him. It is important to keep the crazy at bay. Who the hell wants to see where their cat is? It’s one thing if your cat travels intergallactically or is some sort of crime-solving cat but do I need to know if Nicki has been on the couch vs. the bed all day?

“Also there was a couple who invented kitty litter made out of newspaper,” Mama continued. “That was my idea too.”

I don’t know if it’s the same cat-market-cornering couple that created the hidden camera, but it quickly became obvious to the us that either Mama’s thoughts were being raided by some entrepreneurs or Mama was, as we would call in the industry, a weak link.

“Moving right along,” I said, hoping to move the meeting right along. “Does anyone have any other ideas? Something that hasn’t been invented yet, preferably” I added helpfully because I could see that this Dream Team was going to need a lot of guidance.

“A woman invented Rent a Husband,” Mama offered, apparently confusing this for a meeting where we review other items that have been invented.

“That sounds like nightmare,” Russian Aunt said.

“No,” Mama defended the invention. “Let’s say you need a man to do something, like fix refrigerator, you can call Rent the Husband and he comes to fix refrigerator and then maybe you go on date-”

“This is prostitution, pure and simple!” Papa interjected, completely overlooking the fixing the refrigerator part. Which didn’t even make sense to me, because what if it was under warranty and you only had to pay for parts?

I was starting to feel discouraged, fearing that I picked the wrong partners for my genius-money making venture.

“Do you have any ideas, precious Marinka? You are always so filled with wisdom and virtue!” Russian Aunt asked. (This was in Russian, so I am paraphrasing.)

“Well, Russian Aunt,” I addressed Russian Aunt. “As a matter of fact, I do. I was thinking something that would really fill a void in the market, something that many people would buy.”

“Like what?” The Russian-Greek chorus sang.

“Like, oh, I don’t know. Wine for diabetics, maybe?”

There was some mumbling about fermentation and wine for cats but then Papa took the floor.

“We make cat food that is good enough for owner to enjoy,” he proclaimed.

“?” the rest of us said.

“Yes, cat food. But also human food. Cat and owner dine together. Beautiful bonding experience.”

“I think that’s tuna,” I suggested softly. I didn’t want to make any sudden movements because clearly he was abut to snap.

“Not only tuna!” Papa was off and running. “We have chicken and beef entrées, and also vegetarian.”

“Maybe vegan for popular people,” Mama chimed in. “And glutton-free.”

“Glute-” I started, but before I got to the n I decided it wasn’t worth it.

“And ethnic cuisine,” Russian Aunt was suddenly onboard, probably envisioning a Cat/Person Borscht line with a Creamed Herring appetizer.

“I don’t…” I started. But then I stopped. Because what if they are right? What if Cat/Human food is the next frontier and I am too grossed out to see it? What if I am sitting at the front door of Tomato and Grilled Cheese shops for owner and cat?

There’s a lot to do, of course. There are recipes to develop, cat studies to perform. But who knows? This could be the next big thing.

Let me know if you would like to invest.

One year ago ...

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Guilie February 3, 2014 at 9:35 am

You had me giggling from, like, line two. As a non-cat-owner I’m sadly unqualified to comment, but perhaps you might expand later to include dogs. I have seven of those. I’ll even volunteer to take part in the research 😀

Great post. You have a gift for humor. I’ll be back often (whether you take me up on my volunteering offer).


Susan Weinstein February 3, 2014 at 11:05 am

Before I was married, my husband and I had the idea of “A fresh pair,” We deliver your underwear. The idea was to deliver to women (and we could add men) whatever their preferred brand and style was. We were going for subscriptions. And figured out the access to wholesalers we needed for inventory.

Unfortunately, the Internet was in its infancy then, so we were a source of ridicule for investors. Now there are, in fact, several prospering companies providing the same service.


February 3, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Rent a Husband aka Муж на Час is quite popular in Russia!


Kizz February 3, 2014 at 1:01 pm

My cats already eat better than I do. Perhaps there’s something in this for me.


Laurie February 3, 2014 at 1:10 pm

I invented PayPal. Well, more like I said there was a need for something like PayPal and then someone else did all the hard work but I think I should get some of the reward anyway.


Laurie February 3, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Hey…wait a minute. This is just a trick to give us your big idea, isn’t it?


Laurie February 3, 2014 at 1:15 pm

I mean, us give you our big idea. Clearly, I’m going to be outwitted here.


anna whiston-donaldson February 3, 2014 at 3:18 pm

I invented a glow in the dark pacifier, except someone else did, too! I ‘ve been watching A LOT of Shark Tank lately, too. I thought the cereal flavored milk people should have gotten an offer. Your idea is a little to cat-like for me. Maybe throw us dog lovers a bone now and then?? A bone. Ha ha. Cracking myself up.


tracy@sellabitmum February 3, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Vegan for popular people. Hilarious!


Michelle February 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I had the idea once of being a maid, but I’d wear a super short French maid uniform. I had quite a few guys offer to pay me to clean their house all the sudden, but I don’t have a French Maid’s uniform, or a feather duster, so then I was like, “I’m going to need some capital.” But then I got to thinking, “I’m thinking way too small here, instead of being the maid, I should be the madame who pimps out maids in sexy French maid uniforms,”and then I realized no woman was really interested, and what if we get icky guy clients, like then I’d have to hire a bouncer to go with every maid, which means for every house to clean, I’d have to pay the salaries of two people then I’d barely break even….


Michelle February 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Now the million dollar idea I have that I will never do due to my moral compass… A casino. On a cruise ship that sits in international waters where there are no rules about drugs or prostitution. International waters is the new Vegas waiting to happen. You keep the cruise ship out there all the time with fairy boats (that you charge for) taking people to and from the cruise ship. You could probably do it also on an uncharted island.


Ann February 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm

That quirky guy who owns the tomato and cheese shop is so hot! I just have to visit that someday.


February 4, 2014 at 8:10 am

I’m sorry, but live-readings have me buried in gold and precious gems. I’ll have to get back to you.


Mama bird diaries
February 4, 2014 at 10:12 am

I used to work at a gourmet dog food store and the dog biscuits were all natural so we would eat them when we got hungry.


dusty earth mother February 4, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Whenever I’m around you, I feel like I’ve flown too close to the sun. Which makes me think of inventing a line of Marinka-block.


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