sea-monkeys and a bowlfull of happiness
I was browsing through the 1970’s comics I mentioned yesterday, and was tickled pink to find this advert. I used to see it all the time in American comics and it totally fascinated me.
I’d always loved the idea of little underwater people, but with eight-year-old scepticism, I thought the figures in the ad didn’t look anything like monkeys and the company probably wasn’t going to send me little people for a dollar. (It’d cost a few thousand dollars to get little people, at least. What a scam!) But the ad ran for years and years, and as a little American kid, I thought, well, they’d be sued if it was false advertising and it’s gone on for so long… maybe they’re real! Someone once said they thought they were little shrimp, not sea-monkeys, but I instantly wrote that off as unbearably boring, and anyway, the advert said they can even be trained and any ol’ silly person knows you can’t train shrimp.
I never did send in my dollar, but the question stuck with me for a long time, and sometimes when I went swimming in the sea, I wondered if I might get caught up in a shoal of sea-monkeys. I couldn’t decide if this would be a marvellous thing – maybe they’d be cuddly, furry monkeys and be my friends and I could visit their underwater houses (the advert said they’re so eager to please) – but maybe it’d be a bit too much and I woulnd’t be able to get them off of me.