Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Lebanese Samurai Mermaid Island

Proof that spending a long enough time on Wikipedia will eventually learn you somethin’ awesome, numbered with step-by-step directions in case you too would like follow the treasure trail.*
  1. For whatever reason, the thought Is Samurai Shodown II out for the Wii Virtual Console? pops into my head around lunchtime. Finding no definitive answer on that game’s page, I check Wikipedia’s list of North American Virtual Console releases…
  2. Which leads me to Adventure Island, a series of Mario-esque games I enjoyed as a lad… The protagonist of these games — a guy who in North America is known as “Master Higgins” but in Japan in named for Takahashi Meijin, an executive at Hudson Soft, the company that developed the game. In Mexico, however, he’s named “Capulinita,” after a famous comedian, Capulina, because they apparently look alike…
  3. Which leads me to the page on Capulina
  4. Which is included on Wikipedia’s list of Mexicans of Lebanese descent….
  5. Which includes people like Selma Hayek, the amazingly named Bibelot Mansur, and the someone with the curiously capitalized named of Charlotte yazbek
  6. Who made me think of Amy Yasbeck, John Ritter’s widow and an actress who was in both Problem Child movies, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and was also on Wings for its final few years. Despite looking about as Irish as the day is long, Amy Yazebck, it turns out, is also of Lebanese descent…
  7. She also appeared in Splash, Too, a TV movie sequel to Splash that I had no idea existed…
  8. Which then led me to the page for Tail Man, a company that produces prosthetic mermaid tails for movies, TV, commercials and weirdo mermaid enthusiasts. You can actually buy these for your own use, if you so choose, and freak out squares at the beach. The last sentence on the company mentions that “Tail Man founder Thom Shouse claims he saw three real mermaids while snorkeling off the coast of Palos Verdes, California, at age 15.” You’d think this sentence, marked “citation needed,” might turn me off of Tail Man altogether, but no. I actually clicked through to the company’s official site,

Wow. Just wow.

The very knowledge that you or I or anybody else could throw a mermaid party for what I’m sure would be a large sum of money. And that anybody could make a name for themselves as a designer and renter of mermaid tails. The advantage of putting your sixteen-year-old in a mermaid tail, I suppose, would be that she’d be unable to run away from you, at least during the party itself.

Footnote to a footnote: Tail Man provided mermaid costumes for the initial video for Incubus’s “Wish You Were Here,” which, released just post-9/11, was banned from MTV for reasons that I don’t completely understand.

I’d like to thank Samurai Shodown II, the Wii Virtual Console, Master Higgins, Capulina, Charlotte yazbek, Amy Yasbeck, and, ultimately, Tail Man for existing on Wikipedia in such a way that my dreams of Super Fun Mermaid Princess Party can finally come true.

* Not that kind of treasure trail.

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