It only took eighteen years of living in Northern California for me to finally get around to visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Yeah, it’s true.
But I finally went for it last weekend. My best girl and me- we was down there anyway for a show, y’see.
As aquariums go, the place is pretty cool, though as a social experiment, place be bein’ an utter catastrophe.
As you step across the threshold into the Monterey Bay Aquarium, cast off any expectation of personal space.
The place was like the New York Stock Exchange just before a major IPO, or a West African border crossing on the day of a coup (regime change!), or a North Carolina supermarket on the day before a major hurricane makes landfall. Chaos, I tell you. Sheer chaos.
But the array of ocean life on display at the aquarium is impressive, particularly the jellyfish area. Who knew there were so many different types of jellyfish? They even had these tiny little near-microscopic jobbies that were so cute you wanted them all to just swim up your nose and bite your brain right off!
I’ll tell you right now, though, the place is kinda short on large sea-dwellers. No big sharks, no whales, no giant squids- though admittedly these creatures would be a challenge to house properly without doubling the size of the joint.
The largest thing we saw was an octopus, waving its suction-equipped tentacles at the crowd- or was it a crowd of exceedingly rude human beings, waving their tentacles at an octopus? Actually, that rings more of a bell.
The only way I could really get a look at the damn thing was by pointing my eyes at the screen of any one of the thirty or so camera phones held up in front of my face at any given moment, waving like tentacles of disrespectful sea kelp, obstructing my actual view of the thing, and utterly disrespecting the ubiquitous “Please- no flash photography” signs posted every five feet around the perimeter. I love humanity.
Which is why you’re just gonna have to take my word for it that there was an octopus.