Monday, February 11, 2008

Rise up!

The pictures looked so enticing – happy water creatures, frolicking in their underwater castle, festooned in their tophat splendor and crown-and-scepter finery. The ad even promised “a bowlful of happiness! Instant pets!” Right. Because a bowl of miniscule BRINE SHRIMP makes for such great pets! Yes, I’m talking about the great snake oil of my childhood, the Sea Monkey.
Advertised in every comic book known to man, promising hours of entertainment with delightful “pets” that looked like little humanoids, but jollier. And then to save up one’s hard-earned money and actually buy the kit, only to discover that one ended up with a bowlful of murky water. No frolicking. No tophats. No hijinks or shenanigans. No Suzie Sea Monkey enjoying herself at the Sea Monkey Circus. My friend Lisa actually boiled the little things to death – the instructions said to put them in a warm spot, so she put them on the stove. Which didn’t seem warm enough, so she turned on the burner. Oops. The trauma is still as fresh as if it were yesterday.

So it’s bad enough that in MY youth we were tricked into falling for this scam – but imagine my surprise when I discovered that they’re still selling these things……oh, but now, apparently, brine shrimp have their own little adventure tours.
Yes, complete with telescopes, and attired in trendy khaki shorts. But wait, there’s more! They also go SCUBA DIVING, with little snorkels and fins and, don’t forget the oxygen tanks – because of course creatures that live underwater need those.

Sea monkeys apparently have more of a social life than I do.

I say, enough is enough. It is time to stop the madness that is the Sea Monkey. Stop yet another generation of children from weeping piteously in their cereal as they look for those tiny crown-wearing, happy-smiley, adventuresome creatures in vain. Just say no. Because then there’s also the Sea Monkey’s point of view. If we’re crushed beyond belief, what about them? I believe this picture captures the horror that is the typical sea monkey’s life. And as the artist put it: “In this painting, I wanted to explore the devastation felt by the "Sea-Monkey" himself at the moment he realizes he's nothing but a common brine shrimp. He identified so much with his proud existence as a highly evolved Simian of the Sea and even thought he was better than the others because he wore 3 little ironic fezes on top of his crown in order to stand out from the millions of others.”

And you thought baby harp seals tugged at the heartstrings.

The relevance of this topic to anything tri-related is that our happy team has been coming up with nicknames for ourselves, and it has been determined that Chuck will henceforth be known as C-Monkey. And thank you SO much, Ryan, for suggesting that mine be “Kick Me” – I’m glad to see you gave up that idea when I informed you that that was SOP for me.

Kinda takes the fun out of it, I know.

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