Tuesday, June 21, 2016

"The Living Sea-Gem": almost my favorite comic book ad

To you - and only you, beloved readers - I offer up this truly strange artifact. Things are a little slow at Glass Character, Inc., so I thought I'd try to dredge up something really weird.

It didn't take me long.

I don't know where I first saw the image of the glass globule, ampule, or whatever it's called - and at first I thought it was a Christmas ornament! The thought of slimy, multi-legged creatures squirming around inside a Christmas bauble was pretty nauseating, considering the life of such a creature when enclosed in an airless glass bauble. Pretty soon they wouldn't even be moving.

You were supposed to wear this pendant to school (I guess) to impress your friends. It was only a buck, which shows you just how long ago all this happened. It was real back-of-the-comic-book stuff, and next to Onion Gum, represents my favorite ad of all time.

Though I detest like crazy transcribing copy from ads, in this case I simply had to. So for you, my pleasant and loyal readers, I'll tell you exactly what it says here!



Just THINK! Adorable LIVE Sea-Monkeys, world's NEWEST, most LOVEABLE mini-pets, romp within a sparkling crystal pendant that hangs suspended from a chain of GOLD! In REALITY, the pendant is an AUTHENTIC SEAQUARIUM in MINIATURE, filled with the SAME kind of foam speckled sea-water that laps against dreamy tropical island shores! Inside this sheltered glass lagoon, LIVE, bright-eyed Sea-Monkeys splash and frolic like happy natives! Picture the SURPRISE when your FRIENDS see them!


Sea-Monkeys are nature's GREATEST MIRACLE because they LIVE up to 100 YEARS in unhatched eggs! With your Sea-Gem you receive a LARGE supply of these PRECIOUS eggs! Pour them into a fishbowl of water, and BEFORE YOUR EYES, Sea-Monkeys by the DOZENS are BORN ALIVE! 

These AMAZING Sea-Monkeys are even MORE fun to own than a Zoo FULL of chattering, leaping JUNGLE MONKEYS! AND, it's EASY to TRAIN them! At your silent COMMAND they will learn to follow a light beam anywhere YOU wish - turn SOMERSAULTS, and OBEDIENTLY Loop-The-Loop! 

Each has it's (sic) OWN "personality" so put your favorites in the pendant to "show off" when you go out! Some BELIEVE they even BRING GOOD LUCK, and NO DOUBT, they ARE the BEST "conversation makers" EVER! For Sea-Monkeys AND The Living Sea-Gem, complete with beautiful 18" golden metal-link neckchain, clasp, hand-wrought golden filigree cap and glass Seaquarium ball that sparkles like a diamond even in the FAINTEST light, send ONLY $1.00 plus 50 cents postage.

FREE BONUS! I dredged up something even worse, from quite a long time ago. Sea monkeys deserve more than one post, and must be reflected upon every couple of years, in case my opinion of them has changed.

It has not.

OH, oh, oh, oh-oh-oh-ohhhhhh. . . did I ever just find something neat! 

There's ANOTHER Sea Gem ad, I don't know where it's from but it looks sort of British. It looks more up-to-date except the price is the same. 

I've heard of buying sea monkey kits in dollar stores, so who knows. Though it may not have been "as pictured", this one sure looks a lot nicer than the other necklace - if you ignore the hideous "thing" inside it. This could not have been a selling point! For one thing, there's only ONE Of them in there. It looks even uglier than a real sea monkey, if that's even possible. And the glass thingie is only 1-1/2", not exactly aquarium-sized unless you're a micro-organism from another planet.

Where do they get those eggs? Can you do that with semen, do you think? Is that what they do in those labs, instead of freezing it? Could you just, like, go down to the store and buy dried sperm like you'd buy a package of Kool-Aid?

And what about tardigrades? 

These ads raise more questions than they answer.

Oh, and. One more. Can't find where this came from. . . 

And oh my God. The next day.

This is a total enigma. As usual, there's no information about these images at all, just a brief paragraph about how disappointing they were on one of these "retro" blogs that lasts about eighteen months before the blogger runs out of ideas.

But from the open-box display, it honestly looks as if someone HAS one of these necklaces! Perhaps they can be found on eBay or Craigslist, but I feel a bit of reluctance to start digging. (Oh, I probably will.) 

The thing I notice about the last two ads, besides the classic '60s Petula Clark/Cilla Black-ish hairdos, is the fact that they mention just ONE sea monkey, whereas the first ad refers to multiple sea monkeys and picking out your favourites according to "personality". Could it be the first idea failed when the creatures quickly ran out of oxygen/food and started eating each other? Or did this favouritism quickly lead to bitter envy among the sea monkey community, leading to a highly-organized multi-legged coup d'etat?

Dusty Springfield

Priscilla Presley


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