Web Exclusive: Woman makes her debut as "Mermaid"

(CNN/KGW) - A woman is making quite the splash around her neighborhood in St. Johns, Oregon. She's living out a childhood dream, 50 years later.

"Today was my debut and some little girl was pointing and screaming at her mother," said Pauline Long. "Some people say, 'You're out of your mind. You're nuts, you're crazy.'" Crazy? What's so crazy?

Have you seen a grown mermaid swimming in a public pool before? Well then meet Pauline, who calls herself, Myst.  She does realize she's not a real mermaid.

"I obviously know the difference but it's just fun. It's freedom," says Pauline.  "If you don't do it as a child, why not do it as an adult? Who says that you cant ?" No one apparently at Pier Pool in St. Johns where Pauline chose to make her big splash as a public mermaid on Tuesday.

Pauline met a fellow mermaid a few years back and wanted to be part of her world. So she attached two fins together, added some fabric and created her own outfit.  She's now decided to swim out her fantasy at Portland's public pools.

And what does her fiancé think?  "Oh he's a pirate.  His pirate name: Arrrrdog.  Every mermaid has to have her own pirate.  Otherwise she can't transition to a human." "What's odd?  A grown man, older than me, dressing up as a pirate or someone dressing as a mermaid?"

Both should have many more tails to come.

Long plans to transform into a mermaid all summer long. She's belongs to a group called, "The Northwest Mermaids"


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