Sunday, June 22, 2008

artemia salina is way too fancy a name

Just read a great post about school fair goldfish at The QC Report.

It reminded me of another watery pet story filed under: Unwanted Pets That Wouldn't Die. My son had sea monkeys. I can't remember who bought them for him, probably someone with a score to settle with me. And obviously, whoever marketed brine shrimp as pets was a certifiable mad genius.

I, however, found it difficult to distinguish sea monkeys from flotsam in murky water and was not impressed.
And they lasted forever...even when my son stopped feeding them and I, um, forgot to remind him. For a month. Jesus, they cannibalized their young or ate their dead or something.

But I didn't kill them all on purpose, no matter what my family thinks. I was cleaning off the countertop while
my children were at their dad's house and the cloudy little shrimp tower fell over. Generations of sea monkeys rode a scum tidal wave over the kitchen floor, racing beneath appliances to die and decompose.

While I mopped up the carcasses of innumerable smelly shrimp, Barbara scoured a half-dozen toy stores and found another batch of dried monkey powder that we reconstituted and encouraged to speed grow (they
didn't) so our son wouldn't know that all of his adult sea pals had been replaced (he didn't).

For years after this mishap I felt the weight of massacred sea monkeys on my soul. Every time I swerved to avoid a squirrel in the road, I imagined a few dead sea monkey black marks erased from the tally. Years later, when I felt that my
pet-related crimes had been atoned for in full, I was finally free to annihilate all those animals too unevolved to factor automobiles into their genetic code.

Oh, calm down. I hate washing dead critter bits off my car.


Dave said...


I am calling the SPCA immediately.

Sea Monkeys have souls!

Epiphenita said...

but they're such teeny souls you can't even see them.

Nica said...

I dropped by your blog in random and I'm glad I did. Your entry reminded me of the time when I was in 6th grade and I used sea monkeys for a science experiment. Poor sea monkeys.

See you around!

Janet said...

This made me think of the crayfish that came home at the end of the year with my third grader and live for two more years. Kip the crayfish. Oh how I miss the stink water, the nips on the fingers, and you losing your entire shell occasionally. Darn wacky crustaceans.

Epiphenita said...

welcome to my pet-challenged world, Nica & Janet!

It is odd how commonplace the crustacean pet is, even in the most urban environments.

I'm afraid I don't miss them, however. I like my crustaceans with cocktail sauce or melted butter. Though, your description of Kip was quite endearing, Janet...