I’ve been trying out the new Icon Diet, which is tailored to your personal taste and preferences. But first, I have to explain what an icon is. In Greek, the word icon means an illustration or picture, but in English it either means a religious painting, or the picture not of a particular person, place or event, but a picture of the idea of a particular person, place or event.

Courtesy image

Since one of the Ten Commandments, which Moses brought down from the mountain, forbids the use of graven images, two thousand years later we don’t have any idea of what Joseph, Mary, Jesus, Judas, Peter or Paul, or John the Baptist, or any of them looked like. Problem, because people want to know how they looked, even if it doesn’t really matter, and not just what they said and did, or what the place looked like where they did it. We have the following solution.

Solution, then paint a picture not of Mother Mary holding Baby Jesus in her arms to show what they looked like, but paint a picture of the idea of Mother Mary holding Baby Jesus in her arms, and put a ring of yellow or gold over their heads to indicate these are not people of the flesh. In this way we have a picture that represents the idea of holy people, and not the holy people themselves. Big eyes, because they see everything and small mouths, too, please, because they don’t really need to eat anything.

It’s the same with my Icon Diet. I get hungry in 20-minute swells, and I really love a good steak barbecued with KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce. So, if I suck and slowly lick a teaspoon full of KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce, without the steak, it puts a lovely taste and sting in my mouth, just the idea of the steak without the steak, that lasts about 20 minutes, just getting me over the 20-minute hunger hump.

I love a grilled hot dog in a buttered, pan-fried, New England-style, hot dog bun with heaps of sweet pickle relish and yellow mustard. So, in the same way, a teaspoon full of sweet pickle relish topped off with a squirt of yellow mustard, just the idea of the hot dog, without the dog or the bun, gets me over the 20-minute hunger hump. That’s the Icon Diet, just the idea of a meal without the bulky, fattening part.

When I explained it to George, he wanted to know “How’s it been working?”


“I’m still hanging in there around 220,” I said, “but I’ve stopped gaining weight.”

George said he thought he’d heard enough, so I decided not to tell him about hot pancakes with melted butter and maple syrup on the Icon Diet.

* not yet submitted to or approved by any doctor of medicine or association or board of medical practitioners, and probably won’t be.

Orrin Frink is a Kennebunkport resident. He can be reached at [email protected]

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