Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Sea Monkeys

Bugs in water.
I feel your pain, Nils.
Copyright 2004 Trudy Cooper, Platinum Grit.

A childhood betrayal a zillion times worse than the whole Santa Claus thing. To be honest, I never believed in Santa. The house I grew up in has a tiny chimney and the fireplace is converted into gas heater. No way in hell was that fat bastard getting through. But if playing along meant holiday swag, then hand me the script, cuz I could act.

But sea flippin' monkeys...oy veh.

(This all predates my current loathing for monkeys, aquatic and terrestrial.)

I remember the fabulous packages. The cute little humanoid family. All festooned in crowns and nothing else; the father a miniature Poseidon with his little trident. Happy little children and wifey all posing before the family's underwater chalet. At first sight of the well-marketed water simians, my brain was a-flutter with questions. Did they have tiny furniture in their micro-castle? How did they keep their crowns on? Oh, right, the crowns were part of their heads. How did they speak to each other underwater?

Though I did beg much, my mother would never buy me a package of the wonderous little beasties, further adding to their mystery. (By ten, I thought Santa and God were a load of poop. But I "bought" sea monkeys, go figure. Decades later, I've reverse my position on God, sort of. )

Anyway, moving forward a few years to when I was around twelve or thirteen. I was staying over with a friend. She had a wild horde of animals: dogs, rabbits, fish, etc. Most were breeding, babies everywhere. (In keeping with the theme, she went on to be a teenage mom.) Anyway, I was nosing around her room, checking out the managerie, when I came across a cheap plastic aquarium filled with brown speckled water.

"What are these?" I asked.

"Sea monkeys."

"They're what?" I said, squinting at the container, not sure I heard her right. Nary a castle or trident in sight.

"Sea Monkeys. Brine shrimp."

"Huh." I took a minute to digest this. These were sea monkeys, the little creatures who siren-like tempted me in toy stores so long ago? What was that sound? The roar of a well-built fantasy crumbling to the ground.

Well, crap.

At that age, I was already well into a future of nerddom and science rocked my world. That sea monkeys were nothing more than tiny crustaceans shouldn't have been a surprise. It made intuitive sense. But it was still distressing. What I was looking at were things not much more than plankton, a glorified Cup of Soup for whales.

Pretty much shot to shit my fantasy of a tiny, noble race of sea dwelling midgets who would build a complex society in a jar, and I, naturally, would be their god. Hard to be a god to bait. (Actually, years later, I get my revenge. Brine shrimp are a special treat for my fish. "Lookie, lookie, BSF [Big Stupid Fish], I've got a yummy for you.")

Taught me not to trust cleverly designed packaging.

Why else would I be such a cynic? Crappy childhood? Hell, everyone's had one of those. Nope Sea Monkeys. The original evil.

Er, cute advice from a kid who bought some of the little blighters, via Amazon:

Tip:keep younger kids away if they arent smart they'll think its a glass of water and drink it.

Hasta Luego,

Pat Kirby


Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005