A fateful prophecy:
Paul the Octopus predicts a German victory in the
semifinal against Argentina (source: Latinapress)
I GUESS IT’S JUST one of those tragedies that was waiting to happen. After all, killing the messenger who brings bad news is a time-honored practice. And what worse news could there be than losing the Soccer World Cup? In this year’s championship, one bearer of much bad news – at least for half the spectators of any given game – has been Paul the Octopus, the showpiece of the Sea Life Center in the German town of Oberhausen and, arguably, the most celebrated octopus of all times. Paul famously predicted the outcome of eight soccer games, including the final between Spain and the Netherlands, by draping his tentacles across a treat-filled glass box bearing the flag of the respective winning national team. No wonder the authorities in Oberhausen have stepped up security for their squishy resident, despite the fact that the two and a half year-old Paul has officially entered retirement and has abandoned the prediction game for good.
But that clearly wasn’t enough for Argentine TV viewers, who have been demanding blood – or at least ink – for their 0:4 loss to Germany in the quarter finals. Earlier this week, host Roberto Pettinato of the popular TV show “Un Mondo Perfecto” displayed an identical octopus to his audience. Then with the words “Your time has come, you little Nazi octopus!,” Pettinato proceeded to slice and dice the creature and then shoved its scraps into a blender. As the octopus was turned into paste, Pettinato continued to abuse him verbally, blaming him for Argentina’s sporting downfall.
But does this come as a surprise? Ever since Argentina’s blow-out in South Africa the Argentine press had been publishing octopus recipes, including several for paella. There’s no word on what Pettinato did with his victim’s liquid remains.
The real Paul is safe in Oberhausen - for now at least
Let’s hope that the original Paul can escape such an ignominious "liquidation." Currently, a group of well-wishers from France are asking that he be released into an aquatic nature reserve on the Riviera, a suggestion his handlers reject due to Paul’s advanced age and poor chances for survival in the wild. For now, spokeswoman Tanja Munzig from the Sea Life Center says that “Paul will get back to his former job, namely making children laugh.”
I’d say that sounds a lot better than making people sick, which is all Pettinato has managed to achieve. Talk about sore losers!
Attention: This video may upset some viewers - particularly starting around the 1:30 point. Discretion is advised!