Tots to Teens, Star 2 on Sunday
I’M told that mermaids are the next big (floppy and wet) thing in YA fiction. A rather anatomically inconvenient mythological creature to write about if you ask me. The tail, of course, would be an excellent method of birth control. In fact, it would prohibit sexual intercourse altogether (wouldn’t it? My knowledge of aquatic vertebrate anatomy is practically non-existent) and this would surely meet with the approval of nervous parents and those who promote sexual abstinence among the young.
And what about the settings of these books? Mermaids have restricted mobility and any action would have to take place by the sea, on the sea or in the sea. I’m not sure if they need salt water to survive. If not, then at least these mermaid characters could also hang out in a swimming pool, or bath-tub. At a pinch they might also be propped up in a shower stall with the water running.
In The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, a mermaid manages to replace her tail with legs and feet, but at great cost. Every step she takes with her new feet, feels like she’s walking on sharp knives. I have always found this story really off-putting because of the extremes this little twit is willing to go through for a man.