Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sea Monkeys

   Over the weekend, as part of a short family trip to Woodward, Oklahoma,  Handsome and I spent about an hour in Atwoods with his brother and sister-in-law and one of their sons. Do you have an Atwoods in your corner of the world? It's a retail store found almost exclusively in rural areas, and though they are expanding their product base they mostly sell great stuff for, well, country people. You know, large quantities of deer corn and gun safes and stuff. And John Deere tractor accessories and sparkly belts and baby chicks in the springtime. And pearl-snap button up shirts and live animals traps and ammo.

    And candy and toys and home decor.

    We cruised the candy aisles and collected all the oldest, funnest sugary teats that we could justify with childhood memories. They sell the paper-bagged treats like clove gum, cherry sours, and horehound candy sticks. 

    Yep. That's for our parents' generation.

   They also sell plain cellophane bags of those spongy pale orange circus peanuts. And Boston baked beans. And maple thingies. We loaded up on something for everyone and had a grand ole time doing it, as much fun exploring the candy aisles as we did eating the candy itself.

   We also bought a rusty tin star for the house, something that should look good all year long but is a perfect gift to ourselves right after Thanksgiving, when the Christmas decorating is about to ensue. Then we each bought a toy. 

    For ourselves. Because we're mature, responsible adults.

   Handsome selected a plastic miniature farm scene that includes a modern windmill, not one of the more familiar paddle/tripod windmills we all associate with black and white movies and drives through Kansas on the way to Oz. The new kind. The tall, elegant, white giants that now perforate the Oklahoma landscape sending clean energy to tens of thousands of homes. More on that soon; it's a big topic.

    For my personal early Christmas toy gift I selected Sea Monkeys. 
   Sea Monkeys were a frequent indulgence for me in childhood, the only mass marketed item I might have purchased or received as a gift more often than Lee press-on nails. Now, the little aquatic babies never really lived that long under my care, hence the frequent purchases. But my grief over the repeated loss could apparently be assuaged by another little plastic tank of Sea Monkeys.

   Maybe I have always been destined to have a farm full of animals, or maybe this mild obsession was an early signal to my dangerous penchant for  optimism. Either way, when I saw the neatly arranged rows of Sea Monkey tanks for sale in Atwoods, all of that weird maternal-slash-Island-of-Dr. Moureau stuff came bubbling to the surface.

   My most difficult decision was no longer what toy to buy but rather what color of Sea Monkey tank to take home. I chose the purple one. Purple is the color of creativity, you know.

   Today I started my kit. If you have raised Sea Monkeys before then you know there is a process and a schedule. Please say the word schedule with me in the elegant European way, "she-shu-ill." Many thanks.

   Tomorrow midday I will add the "Instant Live Eggs." This Friday will be the little critters' first official feeding! They will become the only Lazy W residents whose diet does not support and fund our local feed store owners and their beautiful family. I predict Pacino will be jealous of the attention I am likely to pour over my new babies,  but he's a tough bird. He'll get over it eventually.

   I'm taking the Sea Monkeys seriously this time, folks. I am a grown up now, as mentioned above. Since my last foray into this treacherous world of care taking I have successfully nurtured formula-fed baby buffalo, helped with the castration of two very spirited colts, napped on the belly of a horse, and been loved by a goose though hated by a rooster. Surely this new brine shrimp experience will come with a deeper well of skill and wisdom.

   No need to wish me good luck; I think we've got it covered.

   Wait, please do wish me good luck after all. This is terrifying.

Love your animals, great and small!
"The Lord God Made Them All"


  1. You're funny. I'll be sending good vibes for your new babies to prosper!

  2. Oh, I always see the sea monkeys for sale in the archie comics, but being in south africa, we could never purchase them (this is now besides the fact that they sell imaginary stuff anyway, like x-ray glasses and such).

    Best of luck to you and your new "pets".

    And now I am going to read up on sea-monkeys, having never really seen them before and internet wasn't available when I was a kid. SO, this is the first time I will ever really know what a sea monkey is.


  3. This are fun and interesting pets. I'm very intrigued with their attitude.



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