Written by Gail Farrelly

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

image for A #MeToo Story by a Mermaid #MeToo spreads to the ocean!

Being the chair of the local Mermaid Public Relations Committee isn't all it's cracked up to be. Like today, for example, I'd like to be out swimming around in the ocean with the other mermaids. Instead I'm tasked with reading the entries of my fellow mermaids to a short story contest by a local magazine and choosing the ones that will proceed to the next round of the competition. The magazine editors will choose the top three winners, but it's my job to do the preliminary screening, reducing the field of forty entries to about ten or so.

My job isn't an easy one. It's a beautiful day, and instead of being stuck in my cottage by the sea, I'd prefer to be swimming around IN the sea. Oh well, the sooner I start the sooner I'll finish I tell myself as I reluctantly turn to the stack of contest entries.

As you might expect, some of the entries are very good. Excellent characters and plots. Some are awful, and I can quickly stick them in the rejected pile without even finishing them.

But one stands out above all the rest. It's funny, moving, a real masterpiece, I would say. Clearly the best entry of the bunch. By far. Who's the author? I'm wondering. The name's at the end of the story, but it's in very tiny letters, and I can't read it without my reading glasses. As I make my way over to my desk, I review in my head a list of possible authors. No one I can think of seems likely.

Back in my easy chair, this time equipped with my reading glasses, I look at the author's byline and I shriek. No, it can't be. But there it is: "Maurice the Merman." The nerve of that guy. With no gratitude for our admitting him to our group, he charges ahead and writes a story that's clearly outstanding. Outrageous. It's one thing to allow him to be one of us. It's another to permit him to surpass us. It just isn't fair. Males try to run everything in the world. Give them an inch and they'll take a mile. Every time. So far, mermen just didn't have much traction in the sea creature community. They're kind of klutzy, and I don't plan on helping them to work out of their klutziness. Who cares? Let them eat cake.

I take immediate action. I grab the offending entry, rip it up, and dump it in the trash can. Mission accomplished.

Males might take over everything else in the world. They have no right to stage a takeover of the beautiful, graceful world of mermaids. At least if I have anything to say about it. Judging the contest for mermaids -- and mermaids alone -- means that I do.

Can't Maurice read for Pete's sake? This is a contest for MERMAIDS, not MERMEN. No mermen need apply.

A MERMAN isn't qualified to enter. That's that. My final ruling. Case closed.

I calm myself down by taking great care to look nice for my trip to the magazine headquarters to deliver the entries that have made it to the next stage of the competition.

I choose to wear a Juicy Couture bathing suit of sparkling blue with a brand-new cover-up made of white lace. At the last minute, on my way out, I don a Harry Winston diamond necklace to add more pizzazz to my outfit. I found the necklace at the bottom of the sea one day last year. It comes in handy when I want to look extra special.

Today is one of those days.

Mermen, try as you may, you'll never be in the same league as your female counterparts! So there....

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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