Quiet Desperation

Want to be a mermaid? Fin, have it your way

Column by Craig Marshall Smith
Posted 8/28/19

I just heard about something called “mermaiding.” It’s been around for a while, but I do my best to stay out of touch, partly because some of these things come and go almost overnight. The …

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Quiet Desperation

Want to be a mermaid? Fin, have it your way

Posted

I just heard about something called “mermaiding.”

It’s been around for a while, but I do my best to stay out of touch, partly because some of these things come and go almost overnight.

The first professional mermaids appeared around 2004.

Nonprofessional mermaids swim in local pools, lakes, river, and oceans. Some don’t even swim. They just pose.

I watched a video that described the appeal of mermaiding. It didn’t sound any different than swimming without a tail.

Speaking of tails, you can order them online, and they come in all sizes and colors. Matching tops can be purchased.

They are mostly marketed for girls, young women, and women. Some are marketed for boys.

There are high-end prosthetic tails that cost thousands.

I grew up with crayons. Later I was given a bicycle. After that, I was handed a baseball glove.

It now looks like I was an uneventful and hapless little tyke. If only I had a tail. Or a goat.

Yoga used to be yoga. Then it was yoga with yoga pants. Then it was yoga with yoga music, yoga food, yoga antlers, and now, there is goat yoga.

The expression “Leave well enough alone” is un-American.

I saw a 1948 film on televsion titled “Miranda” when I was in high school. It stars Glynis Johns, as a mermaid named Miranda.

Johns was a shapely woman with a distinctive, husky voice. Modern audiences have forgotten about her. But not me.

A married doctor goes on a fishing trip, and catches Miranda, who pulls the doctor into the water, and keeps him in her underwater home until he agrees to show her around London.

Spoiler: The final scene shows Miranda on a rock, holding a merbaby.

Don’t ask me.

Jennifer frequently attends yoga classes. Without a goat. She tells me stories about some of the other students.

It sounds like they are there to be seen.

I have never seen one, but there once were dance marathons. And flag pole sitting contests.

In Paris in 1864, they opened a morgue behind Notre Dame to the public. As many as 40,000 tourists a day took the opportunity to view dead bodies.

Today we have something called “immersion art exhibitions.” Instead of being a passive consumer of something as humdrum as a painting or a sculpture, gallery and museum visitors are immersed in the art, engaged with the art, one with the art.

The thought of it gives me a headache.

I acknowledge that I am a dullard. I don’t need a tail, or a goat, and I don’t need to immerse like a tea bag.

I’m not sure what I would do if I came home and found Jennifer in the tub wearing a tail.

Maybe I’d say, “Are we going to need to get a water bed?”

I tried to find some good mermaid jokes, but there aren’t any. The punch line of one of them is “algebra.” You can probably figure it out for yourself.

In 1984, Ron Howard directed “Splash.” It stars Tom Hanks, who falls in love with a mermaid played by Daryl Hannah. He names her “Madison” after Madison Avenue.

Ironically, Hannah had been swimming with her legs bound together since she was a little girl, after reading Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid.”

(Disney’s film “Ariel” was based on Anderson’s story.)

Pass the fish and chips.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.

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