A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

19 August 2010

The Dead Sea Monkeys

(That fuzzy brownish-green stuff growing on the bottom and the green floating stuff growing on top...um...aren't stalagmites and stalactites; and I highly doubt either is supposed to be there.)

Well, it was destined to happen, but considering I got them last April, it probably wasn't the shortest longevity record ever set, but nonetheless, it was pretty devastating...

...my last Sea Monkey died the other day.

Now, I don't know if you kept up with my Sea Monkey blogs I did a few months back - if you didn't, you could always go here...then here...and finally here if you're interested.

I also don't know exactly what went wrong, but I'm willing to take a few half-educated guesses, and, as usual, I'm willing to share them with you.

First off, let me tell everyone that I didn't buy any of the gimmicky things they had for sale, like water purifiers, pumps and "executive-sized desk aquariums", so perhaps, by my frugalness, they were doomed from the get-go.

I did do some things, however, which might have, oh, speeded up their demise a tad slower than just chucking them down the toilet.

First off, the Sea Monkey people don't give you any instructions on how to scoop out the "dead Sea Monkey sludge" from off the bottom of the Sea Monkey container. Now, granted, it might have been addressed in the "Deluxe Sea Monkey Booklet" I could have paid extra for, but I didn't because I thought I'd be able to accomplish this menial task without spending $3.99 and another $3.00 for postage (or whatever it cost...I'm too distraught to actually check).

Sad to say, I couldn't.

I figured the easiest way might be to pour off the alive Monkeys into another container, but since the Sea Monkey container itself doesn't have the pointed/angled pouring spout like a Pyrex measuring cup...I probably spilled about 329 Sea Monkeys all over my counter before I figured out it wasn't going to work. They just dribbled out over the side of their home and, I, filled with horror at the thought of them being maimed in some way if I tried to slide them off the countertop and back into their happy habitat, decided "death by paper towel" would be much more humane.

It was, however, a noble try.

A less nobler try was the "suck them up with a straw" procedure.

Let me elaborate a little.

It seemed like, in theory, this would work. You get a straw, insert it down to the bottom of the container...which, by the way, has the plastic terrain equivalent of the Mariana Trench, i.e., it's not smooth and suck-uppable...and then put your finger on the top of the straw, and then draw their remains out, siphon-style.

Yeah, right. Again, this works ONLY in theory.

In reality, what happens is that you only manage to stir up the debris on the bottom and each time you try to pull the straw up out of the water, most of the water just manages to dribble back out of the straw. Then you are left with the agonizing decision of what to do with the mucky "yuk" you just removed and put into that Pyrex measuring cup (hey, give me some points for thinking ahead here). Do you then wait two hours for the sediment to settle to ascertain which specks are alive and which are dead...or do you just toss it down your sink...or do you do the moral thing and just pour it all back into the original container?

Yep...my morals won out and I ended up pouring it all back into the original container, thereby stirring up more dead bodies which probably really freaked out all the live Monkeys. In fact, this agitation action of the water alone probably killed another 128 of them.

But I tried. Oh, and remember the forethought of the Pyrex cup, too.

The last way to do it proved as futile as the other two...

...I found out that you cannot logically scoop out enough water, one tablespoon at a time, to catch all the live ones...what you can do is scoop out about 1/8th of a cup of Sea Monkey-laden water before you say "Screw this, it's going to take an eternity". I then tried my utmost best to at least separate the old water from the Sea Monkeys and, in that process, lost at least another 72 of them doing this.

At that point I'd pretty much determined it was best to just give up thinking of new and innovative ways to kill my Monkeys by trying to save them. I would just let nature take its course.

Well, at least tell us, Mariann, what exactly happens to Sea Monkey water that's been virtually left to evaporate over the course of four months?

The answer to that is: It gets very cloudy and the bottom of the aquarium, which has now become a Sea Monkey burial ground, starts to resemble some primordial Chia Pet.

Now, I'm not terrible, I was adding more water to keep it at the optimum Sea Monkey level and all...but after a while, it just seemed like all I was doing was probably creating a super-concentrated inevitable death lab of sorts, where, had I managed to keep them alive for a month or two more, might have had the chance to see some Frankensteinian/Re-animator thing happening.

As it just so happened, it didn't happen, and the last Monkey is now among the "rotting dead".

I'm not getting any ideas they will start hatching out of eggs again...but just in case there ARE such things as Sea Monkey Zombies...I think I'll let the water sit around for another month...or two.

You know...just in case.


  1. Oh, man, this is one sad--even horrific--tale. I'm trying to add up how many senseless deaths you caused by being cheap. Let's see, 128 plus 72 plus 329 plus the ones you didn't count--I'd say you probably killed about 3,000 to 4,000 of innocent sea monkeys. That's a lot of dead sea monkeys, Mariann. You're like the Hitler or Stalin of sea monkey owners, except that you're a woman and probably don't have mustache. Probably. Do you, just out of curiousity?

  2. I know, Mike. I kept thinking I would be compared to Mengele. :(

    Thanks for making me feel SOOOOOOOO much better.

    Nope, no moustache. Not even a blonde peach-fuzzy one.

  3. Whew! I didn't think so, but I had to ask.

  4. OMG, I adored this blog and seriously laughed out loud on the "death by paper towel" theory!
    You are so amazing!!

    Sorry to hear about your sea monkey death problems, I just knew that in time you would have been able to train them to swim thru hoops.

  5. Ah, so you're monkeys died, right along with your humour website, eh?

  6. Thank you, Nanners.

    Not thanking YOU any, anonymous...can't you tell I'm in mourning????

  7. Oh, my goodness. I had never read the sea monkey trilogy before this. Aside from anything else, I love that you actually bought the things after all those years. You could have written pure drivel about it and I still would have loved it. Since you wrote something readable and entertaining and hilarious, I am now in awe, and shall remain so for a few days. You have attained secular goddess status in my eyes.

  8. Wow, secular goddess status. Can I have a blog award proclaiming this? :)

  9. omg, i just couldn't stop laughing at some of the stuff on this like death by paper towel and sea monkey zombies.
    But i am a little sad for the poor things.
    I have had my sea monkeys for like 2 weeks and already i only have one alive i think.
    Maybe 2?
    i must say your blog is really entertaining, you should look into like comedy books or something.
    your good!

  10. i got the idea of how to get that stuff out i had the same thing the stupid purifire made like jelly stuff in the ground and it was brown clean the water pour onehalf of it out then add some water and add some instant ocean sea salt and the mucus would flout to the top of the water then use a wet paper tissue and just dabb it on the top to get the mucus off

  11. it killed 3 of my monkeys too :(