Sea Monkeys And The Backs Of Comic Books

Recently I was reminded of the backs of comic books — and therefore of sea monkeys, which always seemed to be on display on that crucial advertising venue focused, with laserlike precision, on a very precise demographic group.

I’m speaking, of course, of nerdy boys who like to lounge, and read comic books, and dream a bit. That demographic group was highly credulous bunch. After all, we were reading about superheroes, and the unlikely romantic exploits of ever-youthful students at Riverdale High School, and even importance pieces of literature boiled down to Classic comics form. Of course we were gullible and ready to believe just about anything that we saw on the last page of those comic books, even if all of the ads seem to have been mysteriously frozen in time around 1949.

Hey . . . could those tantalizingly displayed X-ray Specs actually work? Gee, I really could use that device that lets you throw your voice into a box the next time I play a prank on my sister Cath! How would I look with a “van dyke” beard?

The most evocative of all, though, were Sea Monkeys. There they were, lounging in front of an undersea castle, improbably wearing crowns and smiling for the illustration. Okay, they probably didn’t wear crowns, but what were those things? If you bought sea monkeys, what would you get?

Then one of your friends made the plunge, saved money from his newspaper route, and sent in for the sea monkeys. When he got them you and friends went over to take a look . . . and it was just brine shrimp in a fishbowl. No castle, no crowns, no happy smiling scaled creatures.

When you realized what sea monkeys were, and that you couldn’t trust everything you read on the back of a comic book, everything changed a bit.

A Dog With Diarrhea

When you come home from work and see a can on your kitchen counter of prescription diet food for “canine gastrointestinal health” and instructions from the vet for what to do with “diarrhea/vomiting dogs,” you know you’re in for a fun time.

IMG_1773Obviously, we knew that one of the dogs had a problem, because the signs were everywhere. We also knew that it was Kasey, because if it were Penny the telltale signs would have been a lot larger. Dogs with diarrhea aren’t exactly shy about leaving tangible reflections of their condition wherever they happen to be, or very responsible about cleaning up after themselves. When your dog has diarrhea, there’s not much you can do except shrug with weary resignation, clean things up as best you can, and call the carpet cleaners to schedule a visit.

Our vet doesn’t know what caused the condition. She says it just happens sometimes. No surprise there! If you were somehow able to follow your dog around and list exactly what the dog had deeply smelled, stuck their snout into, eaten, licked, or chewed, you’d be incredibly disgusted and have a list of potential causes of diarrhea that is five pages long. We’ll never know what gave Kasey the trots . . . and that’s probably a good thing.

For that same reason, the first entry in the prescription instructions for “diarrhea/vomiting dogs” — “no food” — struck me as hilarious. Sure, we can control what we put in the food bowl, but no force on earth can restrain Kasey from discovering and promptly snapping up an outdoor poopsicle, a months-old raisin that rolled under the refrigerator, or the remains of a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich dropped by one of the little kids across the street that has been ground into the pavement by passing cars.

I’m happy to report that Kasey is better now. The medicine and special food worked, and she’s back to strutting around the house with a spring in her step, pursuing her eternal quest for food with dogged determination. The carpet cleaners are due on Monday.