Been a while since I told a Mermaid Tale, but yesterday’s post on cookbooks and food made me think of mermaids picnicking. And we did. Every show.
Before the show, we’d pack our picnic bags with fish food, salt shaker, celery, and a drink. The bag had a draw string that we looped over our wrist. And the draw string had a bottle opener tied on.
When we heard our cue, we’d swim out to the show area, sometimes in our tails, sometimes not. (We didn’t always wear the tails. That’s another story for another day.) We’d swim to the lily pads, which were fixed atop a metal pole. The poles were lying on the ground, so we’d use our air hoses to inflate the contraption and raise the poles upright. Then we’d swim up and sit on the lily pad.
As you might imagine, though, sitting on the lily pad and trying to eat our picnic would be hard since we’d keep floating up, what with breathing from the air hose and the buoyancy of the tails. Never fear, each lily pad had a L-shaped bar that we would slide our legs under. Being anchored was important because the first thing we did, after waving to the audience, was remove our face masks.
We then could see nothing. Squat. Everything’s a blur.
But that didn’t matter. What was important was that the audience could see our lovely faces.
First, we pulled out the fish food and crumbled it in our palms. Hundreds of small fish swarmed us. We waved our hands and released the food. The fish darted and gathered, eating the food as it floated down. Once they disappeared along with the food to the bottom of the show area, we began our picnic.
With great showmanship and flair, we pulled out our celery and the salt shaker. We salted our delicious meal. Okay, it wasn’t actually salt. It was sand. Salt kinda disappears when it gets wet. Then we waved our celery around so the audience could see it (and so we could wash off the sand). Then we ate. And in case you’re wondering about those pesky veins in celery that tend to get stuck between your teeth…we stripped those before going in the water. We stored the leaves back in our picnic bag.
Then pulled out our colas. Okay, they weren’t actual colas. We filled the bottles with Hawaiian Punch. Hey, before you condemn, have you every burped underwater? Using our bottle opener, we pried off the cap. When you remove the cap, you have to be fast in putting your thumb over the opening. Drinking a cola under water is actually easier than you might think. It’s just like drinking on land. Take a breath of air, put bottle to lips, exhale air into the bottle which causes the liquid to go into your mouth. Remove bottle from lips, quickly sliding your thumb over the opening. Swallow. Take a breath of air. Repeat until cola is gone.
Then, holding the empty bottle upside down, we twirled it so it went upward, then tipped and, filling with water, began to sink. We caught it in our picnic bags. People, of course, clapped, so we grinned and waved.
Then we cleared our face masks and put them back on and waved some more. Then we released the valve on our lily pads and, as they began to collapse and float back to the bottom, we gathered our picnic bag and swam back to the volcano.
You’d be surprised how filling a celery stick and Hawaiian punch are. Three to four times a day. Three hundred and sixty-four days a year. For three years. Wish I could stick to that diet now.
5 months ago