Thursday, October 28, 2010

R.I.P Paul

There's been a celebrity death. If you haven't heard, brace yourself. Are you braced? ARE YOU?? Good. Here we go. The beloved cephalopod mollusc, a one Paul the Octopus, has died. Wait. What?

Paul the Octopus. He's dead. Dead I said. (I'm feeling a bit of a Dr. Seuss eulogy coming on here. I must refrain.) You remember Paul, don't you? He was the octopus in Oberhausen, Germany, who lived at the Sea Life Center. Paul was able to correctly "predict" the winner of all of the matches that Germany played at the 2010 World Cup, including the final. Here's how it worked: One of the Sea Life Center folks would put an octopus treat (I'm guessing something similar to a Scooby Snack) in two clear plastic boxes. One box had the flag of Germany on it and the other box had the flag of Germany's opponent on it. Whichever box that Paul opened first to get his little Octopus Ort (it just doesn't have the same ring to it as Scooby Snack does), that was supposed to be the winner. And, surprisingly enough, in this case, it was the winner...seven times in a row.

But now he's dead at the ripe old octopus age of 2-1/2. Apparently, that is normal for an octopus. And while that may be interesting to you and me, I highly doubt that ol' Paul is finding the fascination in it right about now. But the way that this is being treated in the press, you'd think that one of the leaders of the free world had just croaked it. It seems to be getting an awful lot of ink (pun probably intended) for an octopus. But not everyone is in mourning (or craving calamari) right now. No, according to The Hindu (the publication, not a random guy), a one Diego Maradona, the former coach of the Argentina team, is not in mourning. The chap seems to be rather happy, as indicated in a freaking tweet that read, "I am happy your gone Psychic Octopus, it’s your fault we lost the World Cup." I see. After someone explains to Mr. Maradona that there is no such thing as a "psychic octopus", could someone then explain to him that "you're" is the correct form of "you are" that he was looking for there? Thank you.

And see, I would have found it amusing that someone was so into the whole dead octopus scene if it were not for this blurb at the end of the article: "Paul died early Tuesday of natural causes. His passing was mourned by the world football community and the aquarium in Oberhausen announced it would set up a small monument in his honour." Oh, for cryin' out loud.

A small monument? For a lucky octopus? Really? What kind of a small monument are we talking about here? A large bowl of cocktail sauce, perhaps? I don't get it. And as long as I'm on the subject of things I don't get, what was I supposed to infer from learning that he died of "natural causes"? As opposed to what? Being snuffed out by his lesser known cousin, The Unlucky Squid? Well, that would depend on who you're asking. Wait. What now?

If you ask a Chinese filmmaker named Jiang Xiao (pronounce that however you'd like) she'll tell youI am 60 to 70 per cent sure that Paul died on July 9th (two days before the World Cup final) and the Germans have been covering up his death and fooling us for a long time.” Really? 60 to 70 percent sure? A little over half sure? Well, OK, then! Seriously? Really? That's like a C-minus at best. I'm not so sure that I'd call that grounds for "a cover up". I might call it grounds to get some inane publicity for your forthcoming film about nothing, though.

Really. According to something called The Spec, "Shortly...after picking Spain over his native Germany in the semis, he received anonymous death threats." Someone threatened an octopus? How would the octopus know? Could this octopus also read? Did it correspond with fans? What the hell is going on over there in German aquariums?! That seems to be the real issue at this point!

The unpronounceable conspiracy theorist filmmaker (there's a title for a business card for you) claims that the "Paul" that was in the tank making all of the predictions was really another octopus that had been switched out. What evidence does this nutjob have for this theory? "(Octopuses) all look the same. It is impossible to tell the difference.” You know what else looks the same? Crazy. Crazy looks the same no matter who it is who's boasting all of the crazy. The octopus is dead. Get over it.

And P.S. If he had picked all six winning Powerball numbers one week, then you would have had my attention. Actually, if it had been something other than soccer you would have had my attention. Couldn't he have been put to use for a more exciting sport?

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