Sunday, October 22, 2006
Further Adventures of the Zymoglyphic Mermaids
Jenny Haniver and her cousin, the Zymoglyphic Mermaid, featured here recently, have been conscripted by the Museum of Dust to help out in Terra Incognita's impending war with the Republic of Tinselman. This so-called "republic" is actually run by a khan, or perhaps some other of the ever-changing panoply of tyrants and despots that seem to take turns ruling the place, with media magnate Rupert Murdoch apparently in on it too. Mermaids have historically played roles of destructive seduction, and our "paragons of pulchritude" (in our director's well-turned phrase), have been assigned to lead Mr. Murdoch astray. We have received news that Murdoch is now "fully occupied on the tiny islands off RoTs borders explaining cross-media ownership laws to the Zymoglyphic Mermaid and Jenny Hanniver". Tinselman appears at the moment to be coming unglued due to the extreme convolutions of its own plotlines, and may simply collapse of its own weight.
The Leatherwing, show above, is from the Zymoglyphic Museum's natural history collection. A more primitive relation of the Zymoglyphic Mermaid, it is a night-flying creature that may be useful for espionage and reconnaissance purposes. We will await word from Director de Plume on its mission.
On a taxonomic note, we must distinguish between the mermaids native to the Zymoglyphic region (order Rajiformes) and their distant cousins, the "Feejee mermaids". The latter are distinguished by a simian appearance in the upper body and a generally agonized facial expression (as opposed to the winning smiles on our own beauties). The "Feejee mermaids" originated in the waters of the western Pacific; that portion of their history is ably chronicled by Pink Tentacle. P.T. Barnum acquired one of these and made it famous. Due to the lack of genitalia (because of the lack of a crotch in which to contain them), there is some gender ambiguity, and they are also known as mermen. Modern specimens can be found here and here.