Of all the harsh realities of life one of the most stunning to me was the horrid truth of the Sea Monkey.

…children the world over were promised happy little families with full-teeth smiles and the promise of true friends in a bowl which some scientist had invented. I remember worrying that I might not be up to taking care of a whole family of Sea Monkeys. I also can remember wondering if my Grandmother could help me make them clothes. It was she who gave me the dollar, envelope and stamp to send away from my little family of underwater monkeys who could smile even bigger than Mary Tyler Moore.

However, like so many children before me — my dreams were to be crushed. Sea Monkeys do not look like this:

No, Sea Monkeys look like this: …if you scrape them up with a spoon, put them under a microscope and magnify their image by about 100% — yes, then they look like this. Brine shrimp who normally die in a few days either because the room is too hot/cold or because you just don’t care. They don’t smile. They don’t make jokes. You can’t dress them. They don’t even appear to have eyes. Not even floating eyeballs like fish. They are just there.

The failed promise of the sea monkey can break a kid’s heart. But, I bet it feels even worse to be a sea monkey.

March 11, 2007. Uncategorized.


  1. joe replied:

    give me a dollar and I’ll be your sea monkey!

  2. ing replied:

    I’m so glad it was just the flu — I was worried! (But I’m not glad that you’re sick, so get lots of rest!)

    I would have made clothes for your little brine shrimp, were I your grandmother. And I wouldn’t have stuck so strictly to that pole-splitting rule!

    You and B should see the cute guys who live upstairs! They swing your way & not mine, a little youngish, but very cool & friendly.

    I’ve been procrastinating all weekend. I finally put up a new window display at the bookstore in Bernal — pretty light green books, to celebrate springtime. I was late to work. Completely spaced on that pesky daylight savings thing. Whateva.

  3. matty03 replied:

    Joe! Don’t sell out so cheaply! LOL! But, thank you! Tho, I’m not sure what being my sea monkey might mean.

    Ing – Yeah, not much fun! Thank you! I know you would have helped me make clothing for them! Sigh. Cute gay boys! That should be our block! Your supposed to be getting hot str8 boys! Tell ’em to move further down the hood and make room for possible dates pour vous! Still, a cute boy is a cute boy!

  4. Daniel replied:

    I was worried. Glad you’re better.
    You don’t have to pay for a smile, that’s free. But the dressing and undressing part might have to be negotiated.

  5. matty03 replied:

    Daniel — Thanks! LOL! Well, a dollar is only going to get you so far. Maybe that is the lesson to be learned from Sea Monkeys!

  6. Kevin replied:

    Did you ever see the South Park Sea Monkeys episode? Brilliant.

  7. matty03 replied:

    Kevin – No! I have never seen that! I think I only saw the first 3 or 4 seasons of SOUTH PARK.

  8. Robert replied:

    Have you even tried feeding them bananas? I don’t think they like bananas much. Damn monkeys!

  9. ginab replied:


    you have the flu? ahhh. i’m sorry. really.

    you brought back memories. I forgot the mom sea monkey’s rump was so huge it didn’t seem nude. (I remember her for her sexless butt.) Call me a sicko.

    If I were there and male I’d say more than hi to kevin.


  10. brooke replied:

    Sea Monkeys broke my heart. But goldfish broke my spirit. Damn them and their short lives.

  11. matty03 replied:

    Robert! Oh, dear no! Never try to feed a sea monkey fruit. They eat a special sort of powder stuff. Tho, I never fed mine. They never grew into anything. ???? Sad, but true.

    Gina! I think it is/was really just a virus. Was feeling much better today just a bit drained. Yes! I agree! They really sexualized the mom sea monkey! For some reason, I remember her as having an apron in the ads, but I guess I am wrong about that. The mom was my fave. And, yes, Kevin is quite hot and talented. Tho, he doesn’t seem to understand this. You can still say hi to him on his blog!

    Brooke! I’m sorry that they broke your heart, but you’re not alone. I had two goldfish in 1993 — Sonny and Cher. Oddly, Cher died within a day. Sonny soon followed suit. I found out that my Boston basement apartment was just too cold during the day for goldfish. Especially if they were named after Sonny & Cher.

  12. Robert replied:

    Oh Matty. Hehehe, I was just joking. I remember reading ’em ads in old comic books… sending in my $$ and all I got were those alien shrimp thingy. Was really disappointed and hoping one day they’ll grow a face. Well, you know how that all went. I believe they died within days.

    I think that ad is a liiiiittle big deceiving! ahaha!

  13. ing replied:

    Yes, I remember mom wearing nothing but an apron! I seem to remember my sea monkeys being made of this rubbery sunstance that swelled up in water. Am I confused? Remember shrinky-dinks? The Alamo?

    Yo, check yo’ email, yo?!

    (Does anyone talk like that anymore?)

  14. matty03 replied:

    Robert — Yes, so deceptive. Deceptively cruel! I was heartbroken! How I wanted a little family of sea monkeys.

    Ing – Oh, cool! I didn’t dream it up! Yes, my version of Mommy Sea Monkey was pictured with a little apron! I think it was blue. I think you’re thinking of those things from the 80’s that grew when you added water. OH! Remember those odd 70’s things that grew like moldy-color’d-castles in a fish bowls. …I used to love to touch them and knock them down. My uncle, who was special, used to collect them. …and once, after far too much pixie dust — I destroyed most of them. I was in such trouble. I felt bad. i still do. i didn’t mean it.

    hey, i guess the sea monkeys were promises unfilled, but those magic castles did grow! whatever happened to those things?!?!?!

  15. YarravillePaul replied:

    I saw the ad for the sea monkeys…but I always wanted the X-Ray vision glasses

  16. matty03 replied:

    YarravillePaul! I actually had a friend who got those when I was in like 2nd grade! …they were sunglasses. sad.

  17. Meredith replied:

    Yep, betrayal between the pages of a comic book. This was right up there with finding out about Santa and the Easter Bunny for me. No castles, no nice little Mom, Dad, sister, brother wearing crowns and strangely nothing else. Just crappy little brine shrimp. My kids catch these here in the tide pools. I tell them about how way back in the dark ages, before Gameboy, some ad-guy sold these as Sea Monkeys. Brine shrimp royalty. My kids used to think I was brilliant, I think the shine is wearing off.

  18. matty03 replied:

    Lovely Meredith — As per usual, you capture it beautifully. However, I don’t think your shine will ever wear off! …especially to your children! You rule!

  19. Lubin Odana replied:

    I always wanted sea-monkeys, but suspected they might be a con. It’s a disgrace! That company should be sued.

  20. matty03 replied:

    Lubin! You were wise beyond your years!!! I wonder if anyone ever did sue them. Hmmmmm…

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