Friday, June 25, 2010

Mermaid Tales: Screaming Underwater

If you’re new to Straight From Hel (thank you for stopping by and following), you probably don’t know about the Mermaid Tales. Every random once in a while, I tell a tale from my years of swimming as a mermaid in an underwater show at Aquarena Springs. Today, it’s summer shows, winter shows and screaming underwater.

Aquarena Springs was open 364 days a year. The only day we were closed was Christmas day. In the summer, there were probably 5 or 6 shows. Each show had three mermaids performing, sometimes four. The submarine would be packed for each show, probably a hundred or a hundred and fifty people. In the winter, the crowds naturally slacked off, so we didn’t schedule as many shows and there were usually only two mermaids, occasionally only one.

Summer: more people, more swimmers, tighter schedule. Winter: smaller audiences, less rush, fewer mermaids per show.

As you might guess, that led to some antics in the winter shows. One thing we mermaids liked to do was sit on our lily pads during picnic and talk to each other. Of course, the lily pads weren’t close together. They were spaced apart so that no matter where someone sat in the submarine, they could see at least one mermaid picnicking.

So…we didn’t actually “talk.” We screamed at each other.

I imagine the audience thought we were nuts. But, come on, the water was 76 degrees. It was winter and we were freezing our tails off for ten people. So we yelled back and forth.

I’d take a breath of air, yell something like, “Are you going to the keg party tonight?”

Ronina would yell back, “Which one?”

Me: “DU.”

R: “DU, as in, We do, do you?”

Me: “Yes.”

R: “Not gonna hang with a bunch of frat boys.”

Me: “Where you going then?”

R: “Party at the Hillside.”

What? You thought maybe we would be exchanging formulas for science class?


  1. Lol, fun times! I remember as a kid seeing the mermaids at Weeki Wachi in Florida - I thought that was the coolest thing!Always wondered what mermaids talked about - keggers! Who knew?!?

    Thanks for sharing the memories...and jogging a few of my own!

    Nancy, from Realms of Thought…

  2. Oh where was camcorder technology when we needed it? That would've been funny to see.

  3. How funny! Of course, my mind went to safety issues when you mentioned only one mermaid sometimes... How would anybody know if you were in trouble?

  4. Love the post. I've missed the mermaid tales. Good way to start Friday off.

    Thoughts in Progress

  5. Oh, I love your mermaid tales!
    more more more! When I saw the post title I remembered that I used to actually scream underwater to release RAGE! ha ha.

    Laura - are you a Canadian? That was such a Canadian comment. If you don't think you're a Canadian you might check out your lineage...

  6. Love these Tales! Such deep thoughts!

    Giggles and Guns

  7. I actually rubbed my hands together and said "Oh goody" when I saw you were writing about mermaid days again. Which party did you got to?

  8. Wow, that's special, how many of us can claim we were a mermaid. And that's a funny story. Thanks for sharing - I will be back for more.


  9. Oh Helen, I do hope your mermaid tales, in some way, shape or form, make it into a book of yours! Love these.

  10. I'm with Joanne. These are so funny. I can just see you...

  11. Laura, there was always the announcer in the submarine for every show.

    That's cute, Alex. "Deep" conversation.

    Which party did I go to, Liza? Well, let's just say I'm married to a DU.

    You guys are the most supportive bunch. Here I am talking about stuff from eons ago and you're asking for more!

  12. It's important to have fun at your work.

  13. I had somehow missed this colorful piece of your history. I love it! And yes, I imagine that is what mermaids in winter would be planning *snort*

  14. It was a fun job. Not much pay, but fun.

  15. Funny! Love the mermaid tales :)

  16. That's pretty funny. I think of Derek Zoolander as a Merman LOL! Have a great weekend.

    Stephen Tremp

  17. You, too, Stephen. Hope your weekend is great. I just finished the closing breakfast at a conference and heard a very inspirational speaker. Liked his talk so much I bought a book. (A lesson to writers - you can sell your book based solely on your talk.)

  18. I think you should think about combining these mermaid tails into a book. They always make me laugh.

  19. Probably wouldn't be a very long book, Jane. Maybe a short giveaway book at speaking engagements.

  20. I saw one of these mermaid type shows a long, long time ago in Florida. Lots of fun, but I never would have imagined them screaming at each other under water. Pretty funny.

  21. Doesn't sound very mermaid-like, does it Patricia? Perhaps I should have said yelling or singing our siren sound loudly.


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