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A Farewell To Arms

Oberhausen, Germany, is home to the Sea Life Aquarium.  All aquariums like to have some kind of star.  America's Sea World has Shamu.  I don't remember the details, but I believe an aquarium in Clearwater, FL is home to Winter the dolphin, who has a prosthetic tail after being rescued from a crab trap.  And on YouTube, there's an aquarium with otters that have been trained to play basketball.  Not five on five, they just take the ball and put it in the basket.  I'll take them over the Clippers and the points.

Oberhausen was home to Paul The Octopus.  Paul shot to fame when, as a gag, they put two cases in his tank.  Each contained a mollusk and a flag for a team competing that day in the World Cup.  Whichever one Paul opened first was forecasted to be the winner.  Paul correctly pegged all seven teams.  But octopi only live about a year once they reach maturity.  When their eggs hatch, that literally starts the countdown and nothing can stop it (source:  Sound Waves  #4.  Ha ha yourself).  Paul died peacefully in octopus luxury in October.  So, no, it wasn't a mob hit paid for by Vegas bookies.

The only prediction Paul got wrong was who would host the World Cup in 2018.  (Cheap shot coming.)  Paul predicted England, but it went to Russia instead.  (Cheap shot imminent.)  Everyone should have known that -- when's the last time England won anything involving the World Cup?  (Pause for big laffs.)

So Paul The Octopus sleeps with the fishes.  * grin *  Because soccer here in the US is not that big a game, it's easy to forget the fanatical hold it has on the rest of the world. Fans deluged the Sea Life Aquarium with emails asking for a memorial to Paul The Octopus.  Well, they complied.



You know, I've had nightmares like this.  Is there something wrong with me when I look at this picture and expect a bird to hatch out of the ball?

Okay, so what we have here is a six foot tall plastic sculpture.  Paul's ashes are in an urn inside the ball.  So if you ever go to Germany and find yourself in the area, you too can have your picture taken with the Paul The Octopus memorial.

Beats the hell out of the world's largest ball of twine.

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