Pets. I’m not a huge fan of keeping animal hostages indefinitely in my house. Sure, they can comfort you when you are sad and are usually happy to see you when you get home, but most of the time they spend their existence crapping all over the place when they aren’t hellbent on completely destroying it. The fuzzy types of common pets shed nonstop, and they manage to get hair on every square centimeter of every surface in your home. I’m grossed out enough as it is when I have to use pliers to extract two-pound hairballs out of the shower drain. On top of these common gripes, I’m barely competent enough to be put in charge of taking care of another human being. I just don’t have nearly enough time or attention span to give ol’ Fido everything he deserves.
But pets can still be cool. As long as I could find one that took minimal effort, time, did not shed, was cheap and hardy enough to survive a few weeks without food. The answer then immediately came to me while thumbing through old copies of Green Lantern comics.
“INSTANT LIFE” “JUST ADD WATER!!” “X-RAY SPECS THAT LET YOU SEE UNDER CLOTHING!”
I couldn’t order the X-Ray Specs anymore, I’m pretty sure they sold all of their inventory to the TSA to help protect our freedom at America’s airports. But I could still buy Sea Monkeys! They even transcended from selling them exclusively through the comics to plying their goods on Amazon, where I found a complete kit for Sea Monkey farming for $12.99! The kit contains everything you need to start growing your very own tank of freaky little shrimp things and keep them alive and cycling through generations for two years.
I had Sea Monkeys once as a kid and found them to be …..underwhelming at best. They were microscopic and boring, and only lasted a week or two until they accidentally lost their habitat and ended up as grape Kool-Aid. But they have been using state-of-the-art technology for the last two decades to genetically engineer this new breed of Sea Monkeys to be massive and predisposed to be constantly horny, focused on breeding the next generation.
So, here’s my step by step guide for screwing up a pet that’s guaranteed to live for two years, complete with leaving a shitty review of the product on Amazon.
The Sea Monkey Ocean Zoo comes with:
A little aquarium, water purifier, eggs and food. You supply the bottled water, plastic fork and alcoholic drink. All shrimping activities are always made better by adding booze.
The first day’s step is to take the bottled water and pour it into the aquarium to the fill line on the side. Then you add the water purifier to it, stir it around and then let it sit for 24 hours. At first, I thought the packet contained something that removed the chlorine from the water, but letting the water go tepid on it’s own will usually remove chlorine all by itself. My best guess is that this packet contains a saline compound to simulate the salt flats in Utah from which Sea Monkeys are mined from. After the first step is completed, pour another drink or three and spend the rest of your evening getting blasted.
Day two is where the excitement starts! After the tank has been sitting for 24 hours, it is finally time to ADD INSTANT LIFE to it! The instructions say that warmer water makes the eggs hatch faster, so before we poured in the eggs, I decided the water was too cold for a proper hatching. I watched Sunday Night Football with the aquarium held tightly in my hands and legs trying to warm the water up like some sort of mother hen that was screaming obscenities at the Patriots. After about an hour of this, I decided there was not much change in the overall temperature, so we proceeded to step two, where you swirl up the water to dissolve oxygen into the water in preparation for becoming shrimp soup.
So we poured in the INSTANT LIFE…..and then…
Nothing at all. My kids were just as impressed as I was back in the 80’s. They lost interest and went back to what they were doing before, and I went right back to drinking. This tank is completely devoid of all signs of life.
During the downtime, I did build a custom aerator for my tank by using a drinking straw, some electrical tape and a used water bottle. I stuffed a chunk of sponge into the end of the straw to diffuse the bubbles and make them smaller so more oxygen would get dispersed. This tool works great, just stick the end into the water and slowly squeeze out the air instead of using a spoon to pretend you are doing something useful.
Be aware, that this homemade tool also works as a vacuum, so pull the straw completely out of the water before letting the pressure normalize inside the bottle. One of the kids woke up at 6 am and tried to add air to the tank, but let the bottle go back to the original shape and it sucked up about two ounces of Sea Monkey juice.
In these last 5 days, there have been two things going on inside my official Sea-Monkey tank. These two things are jack and shit. No amount of talking to the empty tank is going to make Sea Monkeys instantly spring forth. After talking to it for two days, I realize that I have officially turned into a crazy cat lady.
It’s feeding day for a teeming tank of non-existent animals! We opened the packet and scooped out a small amount of what looked like ground oregano. Who knew that Sea Monkeys were Italian? The stuff floated on the surface and made the tank look gross(er).
As frustrated as I am with this being a twelve dollar tank of increasingly disgusting water, I am in envy of the brains behind the Sea Monkey corporation. They’ve managed to get a pretty good payout from selling the consumer twenty cents’ worth of plastic and mystery powders.
Holy crap! One lonely Monkey hatched! It’s nearly microscopic, but it is a creature that exists in this dimension! It just sulks around the tank and is very similar to the 1980’s non-GMO version of Sea Monkeys. It’s not a very exciting pet, but my kids seem to be thrilled that something finally happened inside the Tank of Sadness. I don’t have any pictures of the proto-Monkey because my camera has an irritating auto focus feature that is all about focusing on the table behind the tank.
Since this Sea Monkey is all alone in a tank, we decide to name it Godzilla.
Two more hatched! They are tiny just like Godzilla was! Godzilla has tripled in size and we are taking bets on how soon he decides goes full cannibal and pretends the tank is an Endless Shrimp promotion at Red Lobster.
After researching how to determine Sea Monkey gender, we discover that Godzilla is actually a female. And Godzilla is finally living up to her namesake by being a huge Sea Monkey. The other two managed to evade her and have grown to a decent size as well, but they are still too small to classify their gender. We are hoping that at least one of them is a guy so we can have a better shot at repopulating the tank after Ladies’ Night inside the Tank of Sadness.
I think that is the bummer part of this whole experience, out of two ounces of eggs, we only managed to raise three survivors after watching videos on YouTube of the same tank disgustingly full of the little buggers.
(This is what my tank was supposed to look like)
If my Sea Monkeys eventually choose to put on some Barry White and get it on, I will update this article.
Until next time….