I always do a quick sea monkey count when I get to work. There have only been four adults for the last few months now, even though two of them have been furiously fornicating off and on. Maybe it’s not hetero sex that I’ve been spectating like someone completely hard-pressed for office porn.
Anyway, today the count dropped to three. The deceased was lying in the middle of the intersection (my sea monkey tank is a miniature city), looking fragile and completely snuffed out. My heart was banging against my ribcage as I prodded it with the feeding spoon, but it only caused its limp body to ride the waves in a decidedly dead fashion.
“Hit and run?” one of my co-workers asked, and I yelled at him for making jokes. TOO SOON.
Wendy encouraged me to scoop him out. I thought it was because she was going to give him a proper burial, but it was actually because she wanted to sniff it and then taunt passing by co-workers with its dead sea carcass.
I took it off of her before she decided to get all Anthony Bourdain and eat it like its some fucking Toys R Us delicacy. On a Post-It, I laid out its dead body all nice and gently and immediately realized he or she had no name. Barb kept calling it Sea Monkey #1, so I went with that. Sorry for being generic, #1.
I displayed its body on the ledge next to my desk and promptly forgot about it. One of the analysts, Chris, came over and was talking to us. When he walked away, Wendy shouted, “It moved!”
“It’s been resurrected?” I cried excitedly, thinking I could scrape him back into the tank. But then we quickly realized that he hadn’t moved so much as been SMUDGED by Chris’s elbow when he was leaning against the ledge.
Barb said, “Well, he needs to come back here so we can examine his shirt.” She then called him at his office and told him to come back, that it was serious.
Once he found out what was going on, he was pretty annoyed.
All that remains: a tiny balled-up smudge in the upper lefthand corner.
It was absolutely horrific. It’s still sitting up there, festering in the barbaric ball Chris rolled it in like it’s nothing more than some kid’s booger, ready for a flickin’. So now when mourners come over to say goodbye and wonder why they can’t see #1 in his true, God-given form (though I’m 99% sure God had nothing to do with the creation of sea monkeys; more like some freak scientist pissing around in his mom’s basement), I have to explain over and over again the brutal act starring Chris’s Elbow.
What a way to be remembered. What a fucking way to be remembered. Goddamn.
Barb then sent out a department-wide email:
It is with deep sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of Erin Kelly’s Sea Monkey #1.
#1 will lie in state at Erin Kelly’s desk for the duration of the today and all day tomorrow. A brief memorial service will be held at 5:00 pm tomorrow for those wishing to attend.#1 was a fabulous pet. He (she) never jumped out of his (her) container when the lid was off, a sign that he (she) was mentally stable and had no thoughts of spontaneous suicide. #1 brought pleasure and laughter to our department, and he (she) will be sorely missed.Please stop by at some point to pay your respects to our lost friend and also to provide words of encouragement to his (her) remaining bowl mates.RIP, #1 – we will miss you!
I can only imagine that the next step will be to slap his picture on our department Wall of Death.
Get your 40s ready, my friends.