Taking a break from my for real writing this week. Life has been hard the past two weeks as a parent, being scared of simple, mundane life things, like sending children to school. I don’t have thoughts beyond that, but I do have trollops.
Let’s talk about the pack of trollops I got from the Maryland Science Center gift shop. We’re members of the science center, and I get a ten percent discount on everything in the gift shop, which makes me feel like a really lucky and special human being.
Trollops are like prehistoric Sea Monkeys. They exist in a state of suspended animation until the point at which I play God and deliver them back to the kingdom of Earth, also known as tap water in a tupperware containter.
I’ve never done trollops, but I’ve always kind of sucked at doing Sea Monkeys. I’ve never gotten them to do the advertised tricks, like follow flashlight beams. I’ve never even gotten a full colony.
A couple years ago on the blog, I did Sea Monkeys and wrote about the experience. It’s actually quite entertaining. Sometimes I read my old writing and think I’m good at it.
I had bought the deluxe fancy kit for the Sea Monkeys, and it still didn’t improve my odds at Sea Money genocide. The sad part is I even sent away for extra packets, including this special banana treat snack to feed them because I loved them so. By the time it arrived in the mail a mere ten days later, all my Sea Monkeys were dead. Jesus Christ, that’s the saddest sentence I have ever typed.
Anyway, maybe I’ll have better luck with trollops. I eagerly paid for them and a stupid spinning LED light wand for my kid, who insisted that he needed it and would cherish it forever, before breaking it by bedtime that night. The woman at the counter smiled at me and my son like trollops was going to be a bonding moment between the two of us, and not something I was going to do totally alone during a moment of depression and personal reckoning over all of my failures. Hopefully the trollops will not avenge me for the deaths of their brine shrimp cousins.
I just got up to get the packet of trollops to start this journey, and noticed that they are in fact called “triops.” I’ve been typing it wrong this entire piece so far. A “triop” is a genus of small crustaceans. A “trollop” is a woman perceived as sexually disreputable or promiscuous.
I’m not fixing it. Onward with the Trollops. The back of the packet says to just add water, that they will hatch in 24-72 hours, and that they will quickly grow to two inches long. They will live 20 to 70 days. The packet includes the eggs, baby food, and adult food. Isn’t that cute, they have special baby food? I already love them.
Look here, the packet even states in all caps YOU CAN’T MAKE A MISTAKE! Trollops are already better than Sea Monkeys, I can tell. I’m not just going to be a God to the trollops, I’m going to be a loving parent to them. My children will be their siblings. My wife will be wishing she married someone else instead.
Next on my agenda is to find them a container. This feels like a really important decision, mostly because my wife will freak out if I choose to grow prehistoric crustaceans in a container that she uses to take her lunches for work.
I settle on a plastic Ziploc container. This shall make a fine watery grave — err — home for my wonderful new children. I add some tap water. I open my packet of Trollops.
Oh, fuck me. There’s a four page instruction manual. I need a 100 watt incandescent lamp, a gallon of pure spring water that must not be distilled, deionized, or contain even a trace of minerals, chlorine, or air bubbles, a “small aquarium” that holds 2 liters of water, and one peeled carrot. There’s also explicit feeding directions — they also eat bits of fish and cauliflouer, and tips on tank cleaning and maintenance, which does not appear to be optional.
I’m suing Trollops for false advertising. It said YOU CAN’T MAKE A MISTAKE, but it’s becoming very clear you can make dozens of them. Now I see what they actually wanted to convey — you can’t make a mistake — or they will all die. It was not a reassurance — it was a bit of sublimal advertising to the parents that they were going to have drop $50 at the pet store, or else.
And what about the woman at the science center thinking I was going to do this with my three-year-old boy… was she high? I can just imagine him dutifully aerating the tank with the provided plastic pipette and preparing their food by crushing the pellets between two spoons to create a fine powder.
I’m half-tempted to dump the trollops in my Ziploc bin of tap water just to feel something, anything. But I’m not really a hedonistic manic depressive. I’m really an optimist at heart, so now I’m off to PetSmart, I guess.
Join me tomorrow, after I’m loaded up on trollop-care gear, as I dump the packet of eggs into the water and proceed to tell you every emotion I feel. It’ll be riveting, I promise.