Updating The Menu (Halal Mermaid!)

Via Ed, we hear that there has been a change of dietary heart. Whereas it was apparently once the case that mermaid were officially (there was an official fatwa) off the menu, Ed reports that mermaids A) exist, and B) are halal.

I really never thought I’d have the appropriate excuse to repost this one, but it’s one of my favorites. You have to read it aloud to get the internal rhymes.

A fish connoisseur made paella with Mermaid;
He thought the aroma was nice.
With garnish of seaweed (his sycophants “oui-oui-ed”)
And saffron infusing the rice.
He clarified butter, and started to mutter
“It tastes like it’s really Mazola”
Then added blue cheeses: “the trick, if you please, is—
With Gorgon, you need gorgonzola!”
With minimum bluster, he gutted and trussed her;
You see, in his studies, he’d learned
That the delicate features of mermaid-like creatures,
If left unattended, get burned.
The succulent breast of (as well as the rest of)
The meal, would make proud its creator;
I was told that one bite would bring utter delight,
And I could not refuse… so I ate her.


  1. says

    Hee. I remember that. Good times. I still love your poem. (Too bad the Pharyngula comments aren’t up – I recall that being an interesting thread.)

    Strange: I titled that post “Remind anyone of anything?” and now I can’t remember what it had reminded me of.

  2. Cuttlefish says

    That’s right–it was your post, first! (I have updated to add the link) And no, for the life of me I can’t remember the original context!

  3. Thinker says

    I hope you don’t mind my reposting my thoughts when reading this as well — like you, this is one of my favorites. This version is slightly polished:

    My appetite’s whet, I will rush out and get
    Us some mermaid, and then we shall dine!
    But I stop in my tracks, confused to the max,
    For what is right choice of wine?

    You’ll agree such a catch needs libation to match
    But the experts I ask give me zilch
    (well, except funny looks). And there’s naught in my books.
    I rule out, as a start, Liebfraumilch.

    Is the best siren song just a Sauvignon Blanc?
    Pinot Grigio? Soave? Traminer?
    Would she pair with Sancerre or an Entre-Deux-Mers
    Or an Austrian Grüner Veltliner?

    Would her flavors combine with a Riesling from Rhine,
    Would they clash with Retsinas’ aromas?
    Tell me: how can I know if she’s best with Meursault,
    Or with one of the better Sonomas?

    When the Aussies then say “Semillon Chardonnay”
    The New Zealanders “Marlborough White”,
    Oregonians “Willamette”, I’m frustrated, dammit!
    Can’t anyone tell me what’s right?

    Will our supper succeed if Loired or Chablis-ed?
    Or should such a feast be Champagned?

    In the end, you will find, I’ve gone out of my mind.
    … and thus is the fatwa explained.

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