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Eulogy For Paul The Octopus


Today we mourn the loss of our beloved friend, Paul The Octopus. Paul was many things for a lot of people (sea dweller, prognosticator, winner, lover) and his loss is felt in every city, country, and ocean.

Never in his wildest dreams did Paul think he would rise to fame. As a young octopus living in the waters off the coast of Elba, Paul did what others his age did: swim, hunt at dusk, and eat. Then, one fateful day, he was captured and taken to the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany– the place where he would fulfill his destiny as the greatest prognosticator to ever prognosticate.

To say that Paul was good at picking games is an understatement. If scientists combined the DNA of Michael Jordan, Pele, and Wayne Gretzky, Paul’s winning ways would still outshine the resulting abomination.

Not everyone loved Paul. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hated his guts because in his mind, Paul represented everything that was bad about western civilization. Then there was the Argentine talk show host who chopped up a dead octopus in retaliation to Paul predicting Germany’s win over Argentina in the quarterfinals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Paul didn’t care. «Haters gonna hate,» he would say.

But for each hater there were hundreds who loved Paul, like Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero. Folks manifested their eternal love for Paul in all kinds of way. A few guys in China made a movie about his life. Others wrote tribute songs for him. Like this reggaeton ditty:

Or this rock and roll tune:

What do I remember most about Paul? His womanizing ways. I remember this one time I ran into him at a nightclub in Oberhausen and he had a girl wrapped around each tentacle. «How does he do it?» I asked myself. His ability to please the ladies was world renowned. Paul once told me that this studio in Japan wanted to hire him to star in an «interspecies love story» movie. He turned down their offer because that’s not how he rolled.

Paul died peacefully in his sleep in Oberhausen, Germany. Though he is departed, he will never be forgotten and I’m pretty sure he’s now the official oddsmaker up in the heavens. Good night, sweet prince.

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