The English import, Octopus vulgaris, made his spot-on World Cup picks in a German aquarium. His prognostication prowess demonstrated that either: a) maybe the subtlety and majesty of the so-called beautiful game isn’t that tough to master; or b) Paul knows a helluva lot more about soccer than any announcer on ESPN.
Why do we dislike the German-based cephalopod? Is it because the mollusk never picked a soccer match loser (8 for 8, a 1-in-256 probability)? Hardly, even though I had Holland in the office World Cup pool.
No, Heal the Bay hates Paul because now he is the most famous octopus on earth.
Our own Flo, the eight-legged vandal that flooded the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, is yesterday’s news, last year’s “in” invertebrate. He’s just another octopus with a mere 15 minutes of fame, like my brother’s latest misguided Korean seafood-eating adventure, or the Detroit ice after a Red Wings’ goal.
Paul’s owners, like the octomom and her kids, are trying to cash in on the oracle’s celebrity. Now comes word that a town in Spain (which won the soccer tournament) even offered to buy Paul to help promote a local festival. There’s nothing worse than a sell-out cephalopod.
Just remember Paul: Fame, like the life of an octopus, is fleeting.