There is This Place

 
Listen, OK?

There is this place in Banff, in Alberta, Canada that has a Thing you must see, if in fact you want to see it.  It’s not mentioned in tourist pamphlets and it’s barely on any map you’ll find up there.  It’s an open secret that, it seems, the locals either chuckle knowingly at or ignore completely.  Keeping up appearances, letting it slide to slip it right in.

As you enter town via the TransCanada Highway, turning left onto Mount Norquay Road, just follow this road as it turns into Gopher Street, then Lynx Street and, finally, Bear Street. Take the left onto Buffalo Street, then the right on Banff Avenue.  All the way down, keep going, across the bridge.  There, on the right.  Birch Avenue.  Cave Avenue.

There.

Winter Hours 9:00AM - 6:00PM

Open Daily 9:00AM – 8:00PM

Enter the doors between the totem poles.  You’re welcome.

Now.

Past the bisected goats and the mounted moose heads.  To the back, keep going back.

In fact, I may have lowballed it.

As you can see…I wasn’t kidding.

Away from the snarling wolves and scattered fowl and pronghorns, but close to the grizzly that once embraced a nervous Marilyn Monroe.

Bear claws claw.

The golden age may be over, but glory days, perhaps, remain?

Turn towards the opposite wall, following the dangling dreamcatchers along the way.  Look down, down.  Below, and you’ll find it.

There's an interesting article from 1942 about the Merman propped up next to him, and a handwritten scrawl that reads "This is all we know about the Merman". Nice touch.

“This curious creature of unknown origin on display in the Indian Trading Post, Banff, Alberta, Canada.” So reads the postcards on sale atop its glass case. $0.30/each.

It may not be a real mermaid.  It may be a fake mermaid (or merman as it is also called), if in fact mermaids  (or mermen) are real.  It’s real fake.  Fiji mermaid, “FeeJee Mermaid”, though maybe it’s from Japan.  Half-fish, half-simian-Thing, some papier-mâché, perhaps?  Promising to give you Things that it may not have to promise you at all.  Unless you want it to.

Even if you don’t, it’s there.

Petrified.  Unconcerned.  Busy.

Creature.

Fiji/FeeJee Mermaid/Merman

And anyway.

2 Comments

Filed under Places

2 responses to “There is This Place

  1. I like how this is your post about Banff, sans crystal clear lakes and/or snow-capped mountains, but instead full of taxidermy… ahh, Banff.

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