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Mark Rand

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About Mark Rand

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    Quadruple Millennial Master
  • Birthday 05/25/1950

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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  1. I hope so. So far, I've been making guesses as to what happened in the past 20-years or so and basing the University Commons on Pittsburgh's Oakland, Squirrel Hill, and Shadyside neighborhoods.
  2. The next school day, Jodie stops by Principal Swanby's office and says, "In light of what happened at the meet, I won't be swimming on the team any more." "Are you sure, Jodie?" Principal Swanby asks. "Yes, ma'am," Jodie responds. "Very well. I'll inform Miss Kramer of your decision," the principal says.
  3. "Fortunately, we brought towels and changes of clothes," Sara laughs as the three mermaids climb out of the tank. "You're doing okay," Jodie." "Thank you," Jodie says as her mother passes out towels from Sara's tote bag. "You're welcome," Sara says.
  4. "True," Nancy says. "That has happened to a number of non-athletic guys. Heck, Tim Clark, Cheryl's boyfriend, has been teased because he belly dances, looks like a girl, and, since second grade, has taken female roles on stage." "He belly dances?" Jodie asks. "Yeah," Nancy replies. "He always performs as a female. He's good, too." "And what does his mother and Cheryl say about that?" Jodie's mother snapped. "His mother, a nurse at an urgent care center, got him interested in it at the same time Cheryl's mother, a nurse at the same urgent care
  5. "We're also called "Squeakers" by the privileged cliques because mice squeak," Nancy says. "Those same people refer to Sharon as "Pocahontas" because she's a Native American of the Cheyenne Nation."
  6. "Are there any other mermaids I can ask for advice?" Jodie asks. "Cora Peterson," Sara suggested. "She's on the crew of the RV Pacifica, that's University of California San Angelo Oceanic Institute's research ship. She's a diver, an occasional pilot of one of their work/rescue boats, and is the main pilot of the DSV Sea Bat, their updated Johnson Sea Link-class deep submergence vehicle." Nancy adds, "I talked to her yesterday. She and a crew are prepping the Sea Bat for an ocean voyage." She pauses, then says, "Either way, expect to be teased by the "popular" girls,
  7. As the three mermaids continue swimming, Jodie's mother asks, "Is there any way to remove that gene?" "No," Nancy replies. "There has to be," Jodie's mother wails. "She's destined for Olympic gold."
  8. "What are you going to do about the school swimming team?" Sara asks. "I'll tell them, because of my temporary transformation into a mermaid, that I can't swim with the team anymore," Jodie says. "It wouldn't be fair. Then, I'll talk to Miss Kramer about taking mermaid swimming classes." "You'll need a monofin and fabric tail," Sara says. "You don't want them to see your real one." "Good point," Jodie says.
  9. "That's good," Jodie says before asking, "Nancy, how am I doing?" "Not bad," Nancy replies. "It just takes practice."
  10. "I don't like it," Jodie's mother says. She reaches into her purse and pulls out one of Jodie's team swimsuits. "Put this on." "Use the bathroom," Sara says as she joins Nancy and transforms. Jodie changes, comes out and enters the tank. Her gills activate when she gets some water in her mouth and Nancy and Sara help her learn the butterfly kick. As she learns, she transforms into a mermaid.
  11. "How?" Jodie asks. "Like this," Nancy says, jumping in. As she does, she transforms into her mermaid form. "You can do it, too," Sara says. "What if she has trouble breathing underwater?" Jodie's mother asks. "She has gills," Sara replies. "They'll activate the second water enters her mouth and remove the oxygen disolved in the water. Carbon dioxide in the blood will be filtered out and expelled with the water." "I don't understand," Jodie's mother says. "According to Mrs. Adams, they act like my lungs," Jodie says.
  12. "Okay, Jodie," Nancy says. "Let's get wet. There's a 20-foot deep tank that has four times the surface area of an Olympic-size swimming pool in the basement that's filled with the same kind of water municipal swimming pools are filled with." "I didn't bring my swimming suit," Jodie responds. "You don't need one," Nancy says. "Just change into your mermaid form." "How?" Jodie asks. "Concentration," Sara responds.
  13. "I will," Doreen says. Meanwhile, Nancy is being examined and her gills are found to be near her ears. An examination of Jodie shows that she has them, too.
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