Spotlight on Equality: Baton Rouge Also Has a Merman

Off the Wire

Brownsfield resident and some-daytime laborer Earl Krebs, 56, says he was appalled last month to find out that Baton Rouge now has its very own famous mermaid.

Krebs first heard rumblings of her existence on Facebook, where he plays Bejeweled and sends out game requests on a very regular basis, but it was verified when his main old lady’s stepdaughter, Lisa Foster, told him she’d actually seen the mermaid for herself at a Spectrum Fitness location in late June.

“What kind of example is this setting for kids, that only chicks get to do mermaidin’?”

Venessa_Lewis-mermaid-wbrzThe Baton Rouge Mermaid, or Venessa the Louisiana Mermaid, as she is commonly called, is actually one Venessa Lewis, a young wife, mother of two, and graphic designer who lives in Denham Springs. She’s new to mermaidhood, but her story has been featured recently on local news, where it was then picked up by national affiliates and even went on to be covered in the UK.

“Yeah, I saw her on the Channel 2, in that $500 tail,” Krebs said. He claims seeing Venessa on TV is exactly what spurred him to work on his own suit, as he plans to transform himself into a merman.

Venessa-Lewis-mermaid-children“Fair’s fair,” Krebs remarked. “I mean, what kind of example is this setting for kids, that only chicks get to do mermaidin’?”

Krebs’ merman suit is quite a sight to behold, made of stripped tractor tires and some Spanish moss he pulled from a neighbor’s tree. “I wanted my suit to be authentic, you know, kind of Cajun, ’cause it’s obvious that there ain’t no saltwater nearabouts here, and anybody who knows anything knows freshwater merpeople don’t look like that mermaid on the TV. They look totally different.”

Krebs’ future plans include following Venessa the Louisiana Mermaid to all the swim parks she visits, when his job and court date schedule allows.

Krebs’ future plans include following Venessa the Louisiana Mermaid to all the swim parks she visits, when his job and court date schedule allows. Judging by how kids have flocked to see Venessa, it seems he will have some stiff competition. Krebs isn’t worried about that – he says the van he drives with “Free Candy” painted on the side should even his odds for the children’s attention.

He does have one concern though, which he feels is worth it in the long run, in the name of men’s equality: “I ain’t crazy about telling nobody this, but I can’t swim.”RedShtick-Top-ColumnStop

About Stephanie Landry

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Stephanie Landry is a lover, not a fighter, with the exception of some inanimate objects. Sing out to her here, or stand at her window with your boombox blasting your mixtape. Either way.

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