The Sip ’n Dip Lounge announced on Twitter Monday it was looking to hire a new merman to swim in its live mermaid tank for Tiki Tuesdays.
Unfortunately, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said he couldn’t make it work.
“Shucks, I’m busy next Tuesday. Governor (Steve) Bullock, you free?” the congressman asked on Twitter.
“Dang, I'm overbooked,” Bullock wrote back. “(Attorney General) Tim Fox, got your flippers handy?”
A tidal wave of tweets included several other prominent state leaders, a member of the president’s cabinet, a former U.S. ambassador, and a Hollywood actor who will soon appear in a movie remake as a mermaid.
It's sparked a conversation about a possible charity event where they would take a dip at the Great Falls lounge. The Sip 'n Dip is known internationally as a quirky hangout because of its live mermaid tank and “Piano Pat” Sponheim, now in her 80s, who has played at the tiki bar since 1963.
Fox also bowed out of auditioning, saying his “mermen speedo is @ the dry cleaners” until Wednesday. He asked Sen. Steve Daines, “can u cover 4 us?”
Daines instead suggested that Max Baucus, a former Senator for Montana who also served as Ambassador to China, “could come out of retirement.”
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, a retired Navy SEAL who served Montana in U.S. Congress until earlier this year, offered to lend Fox a pair of flippers.
“I got you covered brother,” he wrote.
Frustrated, Bullock said, “Guess the only option left is to draft Channing Tatum,” adding the hashtag #DraftTatum.
The Sip ’n Dip created the hashtag in March as part of a social media campaign to encourage Tatum to swim at the bar, according to the Great Falls Tribune. The Hollywood heartthrob and action actor has starred in the Magic Mike series, Step Up, 21 Jump Street, G.I. Joe, White House Down, and others.
Earlier this year, Disney announced that Tatum would play one of two lead roles in a remake of “Splash.” The original 1984 film featured Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, a mermaid who saved him when he nearly drowned as a boy. The Tribune said in March that the social media campaign to bring Tatum to Great Falls “isn’t without hope.”
“Hannah slipped back into her fins in 2002 for a swim at the Sip ’n Dip,” wrote Kristen Inbody.
Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift said the tweets were “definitely not” a planned attempt to boost the Sip ’n Dip’s campaign.
Tester spokeswoman Marnee Banks said, "It was just Montanans having some light-hearted fun."
Regardless, the lounge expressed its gratitude.
“We are absolutely loving this!” the bar wrote on Twitter with the hashtag “bipartisan.” Later, it added, “We can be flexible with everyone's busy schedules.”