Written by Erskin Quint
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Monday, 12 July 2010

image for Paul The Psychic Octopus: Everybody Wants a Piece
Napoleon: The Most Intelligent of the Hard-Beaked Invertebrates

Paul The Psychic Octopus is famous, after his amazing series of accurate predictions of World Cup results. Having "won" the final too, it might be appropriate to say that the world would seem to be his oyster, as it were, writes Moll Usk, Celebrity Cephalopod Correspondent.

But it seems that with everything going so swimmingly for Paul, he is in such demand that anyone wanting to court the eight-legged legend will have to get their skates on before he is netted once and for all.

There is likely to be quite a feeding frenzy as the media sharks gather to snap up the famous fishy prognosticator. Various groups are trawling to land Paul, as they seek to be squids-in without having to shell out too much money.

Already, English sources have claimed ownership of Paul, since his 'offishial biography' claims that he was born in Weymouth before migrating to a West German aquarium.

Not to be outdone, the Italians were next to show their desperation. Saddled, like the English, with a hopeless, lumbering, outdated team of football flops, the Italians have also attempted to prove that Paul hails from the land (or, to be more accurate, the sea) of Puccini, Michelangelo and the Mafia. They claim that Verena Bartsch, Paul's trainer, was telling the truth when she told German tabloid 'Bild' that she caught Paul in the sea off the island of Elba, near the Tuscan coastline. The Italian popular press has dubbed Paul 'Paolo', and they are claiming that Italy now has some modicum of World Cup glory.

And now it is thought likely that France, whose shocking, shambolic team were eliminated from the South African tournament at the first stage (do I detect a recurring motif? - Ed.), will be next to claim patronage over the hapless multi-limbed mollusc marvel.

According to Vin Muscat, owner of the 'Cirque Des Poissons' based at Marsailles and a believer in reincarnation, France will shortly lodge its own claim to Paul. "France must make this claim. Of course, it is well known that Napoleon was housed at Elba for some time, which is a place close to the French heart. The octopus has a hard beak, like Napoleon, and has no internal skeleton, which is the same as Napoleon. The octopus is the most intelligent of these species without the internal skeleton, as was the Emperor who was exiled at Elba. Further, we know that these octopuses are able to live in many different waters, and that Napoleon he also visits various lands in his conquerings and makings of the wars.

"To those who would say that the octopus are bilaterally symmetrical, with the four pairs of arms, and that Napoleon, he had only the one arm exposed most of the time and was not symmetrical in the body but, how you say, listed to one side - to these we say, this is not to confront our argument. For who has seen the octopus closely enough to judge its shapes? And who has seen Napoleon nude, apart from Josephine, and she took the secrets of bilateral symmetries to her grave.

"I believe that this octopus is indeed a rebirth of the Emperor, and that Napoleon is reincarnated in cephalopod form in this creature so famous. I train my creatures to enact the Retreat From Moscow in his honour. Surely, we must have this great octopus into our 'Cirque Des Poissons'?

"The Emperor is Dead. Long Live The Emperor In Eight-Legged Form."

Let us hope the Paul The Psychic Octopus is able to emerge from this international tug of war with all his many limbs intact.

Perhaps we should ask him which nation he thinks will win his hand, or, rather tentacle?

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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