This year, we enjoyed two: the Israeli mermaid and the Mexican alien baby (more on that one in my next blog post). It was for surea nice break from the overexposed Michael Jackson story (although he sort of fits in the alien scheme of things….)
Let us concentrate for now on our elusive mermaid. She was spotted in the Bay of Haifa during sunset, jumping and doing all kinds of tricks before disappearing. Sound like your average dolphin to me!
However, the small town of Kiryat Yam (“sea resort” in English, located just North of Haifa in case you are too lazy to google it) was quick to offer a cool million US$ to anyone who can supply proof.
Nice PR stunt if I ever saw one and uncannily similar to the whole Loch Ness spiel.
SKY news (UK) and ABC (USA) featured the news, as did other global media. Of course, our mermaid is a comely young woman. Funny, there are never sightings of ugly old fat mermen…..Maybe they dwell in an elderly cave home somewhere at the bottom of the sea and are not allowed to swim out?
Eyewitness Shlomo Cohen claimed, "I was with friends when suddenly we saw a woman laying on the sand in a weird way. At first I thought she was just another sunbather, but when we approached she jumped into the water and disappeared. We were all in shock because we saw she had a tail." Wow, our Shlomi must have been heavily under the influence!
I am still trying to figure out how a fishtail-impaired creature can jump up and dive into the sea in a New York minute. She must be one hell of an athlete, that one!
Strangely enough, our Shlomo did not take a pic with him mobile phone – a standard accessory for almost all Israelis. Pity, it would have made him an instant millionaire. May be he didn’t follow through due to the old Scottish joke (when two fishermen caught a mermaid, one of them immediately threw her back into the water. When asked “why”? he responded “how?”)
While the main media are debating the issue, the Weekly World News had the best coverage on this fishy subject. They quoted one resident as saying, “we are so shocked that they have begun showing up here. They usually observe below the surface, but we think this year they may be looking to spend the holidays with local residents.”
Another witness said: “Those mermaids are usually so snobby, always drumming up excitement and then leaving to go back to the depths of the sea as soon as they get some attention. I hope they choose one or the other before they start upsetting the locals.”
“They just looked like pretty ladies with funny feet to me,” said one elderly resident. “But if they want to observe the holidays with me, I’d be happy to have them!” This laudable sentiment was not shared by one woman who snubbed: “They need to go back where they came from. They are scaring the children and bringing too many strangers to our shore. It’s disrupting the peace.”
The article went on stating that town officials have begun erecting small pools of water in local synagogues in hopes that the mermaids will feel welcome to spend their holiday (Jewish New Year) with residents. “We’ll do what it takes to make the merpeople feel as though they can come together with us as a unified people…of sorts.”
That’s the spirit! No word from the religious authorities if they consider our marine creatures Jewish or not. Ah well, for sure the reform jews will welcome them with open arms!
The whole story reached a new entertainment level (at least in my eyes) when the Israeli online newspaper Ynet claimed that an American organization claiming to defend the rights of mermaids is threatening to appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. I would love to preside over this one as a judge! I would encourage the whole court to conduct a "descente en lieu" (for the legal eagles among my readers) - let's have beach party on the shore of Kiryat Yam and wait for the mermaid to join!
Interesting enough, the organization is Brooklyn-based "Mermaid Medical Association" (MMA). How mermaids can effort US medicare is a mystery to me - even if Obama's health plan reform goes through. No word from the mermaid what her stand on this issue is. According to the local yellow pages, there is a medical service organization on 1704 Mermaid Avenue (Coney Island). My educated guess: the organization took their name from the location, not from the sort of patients they treat! No word from the PR office or managing director of the "official" MMA. They are quite likely thanking their lucky stars for this free publicity windfall......
(Since there is no picture available yet of our Israeli mermaid, I used the painting of J.W. Waterhouse for illustration)