Death of an Octopus

Japan has killed its octopus.

Rabio the octopus, who correctly predicted all of Japan’s World Cup results for the 2018 tournament, has been killed and sent off to market. He served as an accurate clairvoyant for his human overlords, and his reward was to be skewered through the brain and marketed wholesale, alongside his less psychic brothers and sisters.

Here’s a video of pre-murdered Rabio in action, a minute long clip from what appears to be the Japanese version of The One Show, only it’s watchable.

Of course we all know that Rabio isn’t- sorry- wasn’t the first eight-legged soothsayer. What about the OG* himself, ‘Paul the Octopus’, from the 2010 World Cup? Which, by the way, was his official name. It wasn’t just Paul, that octopus who predicts football matches. His name was ‘Paul the Octopus’. As though you’d look at him in his tank and need clarification of his species. So when people talk about him, what they should say is:

“Oh, him over there? Yeah that’s Paul the Octopus the octopus.”

So what happened to him anyway? Well, after correctly predicting all of Germany’s outcomes, all the way through to the third place playoff, proving that his divination techniques were flawless, he too was awarded with the sweet release of death.


His death didn’t come at the hands of his hungry human masters, no. He went to bed one night in perfect health, in his octopus bed made from a hollowed-out giant clam. He sat on the side of his clam and he took off his shoe, and then his other shoe, and then his other shoe, and then his other shoe, and then his other shoe, and then his other shoe, and then his other shoe, and then his last shoe. All before he tucked himself in and read a waterproof copy of the novelisation of Jaws, turned off his GloFish™ nightlight, and went to sleep.

Then, sometime between three and six AM, he passed away into the great barrier reef beyond. Proving once and for all that he wasn’t really psychic, otherwise he would’ve seen it coming. Paul lived below the average life expectancy of his species, and the world mourned the loss of yet another famous octopus. When will it end?

When will we let them go out on their own terms? They spend their lives in service of us. For the purposes of our entertainment, they tap into their god-given psychic ability that all octopi are blessed with. Only for us to murder them, or let them prematurely die in their sleep.

As soon as the World Cup ends, we should be offering them a harem of octopuses for them to enjoy. How do we decide which of the octopods are attractive enough to be in the harem? Perverts on the internet of course! There are thousands of them, and they need jobs too.

They should get to live out the rest of their lives in a tranquil bliss, an ‘octopus nirvana’ if you will, but I won’t. A tailor should design an eight-legged suit, made from the finest waterproof and breathable fabric, so that creatures like Rabio and Paul the Octopus can make classy, public appearances. Imagine the motivational speeches they’d be able to give at graduating ceremonies, with the use of a simple octopusian (oct-o-puse-ian) to english translator:

“I was once an unhappy mollusc, swimming around and doing not much of anything at the bottom of the Pacific ocean. Now, I am more than that. I am the one who sees beyond the ninety minutes of regulation play, sometimes longer if a clear winner has not been found. I see passed the final whistle to bring you the answer to the questions you seek, as long as they’re football related. You too can be as I am, if you dedicate your life to being attracted to one pile of food more than the other. Now go, in the knowledge that you can be stronger, better, wetter and less bored than you currently are!”

But Rabio will never be able to make a speech like that. Partly because he’s an octopus, and it would’ve been impossible, but also because he was murdered at the hands of a merciless fisherman. Who, honestly, was probably just trying to make a decent living for his family.

Rabio, 2018-2018

If we can just take a moment out of our day to think about the loss of Rabio. While his existence was ultimately meaningless in the grand tapestry of life, and he shouldn’t be mourned in the way that we grieve for real people, he was still something that happened. And things happening, really, is all we have.

So if we could just bow our heads for eight seconds, (Yes, you too) as we all share in one moment of silence for each of his delicious tentacles.

Because I think that, in a weird sort of way, we can all relate to Rabio the octopus. Sometimes you feel as though you’re doing everything right, but then you’re still chopped into slices of sashimi for the general public to feast on. Wait, I think I blended the metaphor there. Give me a second.

We’re all sent off to market, despite our best efforts to avoid the inevitability of a physical or metaphorical death? No, that’s not it either.

Be more octopus!

There we go.

*OG in this article stands for Octopus God

Today is Tuesday, July 3rd, an obvious slow news day.

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