Saturday, November 15, 2008

b.a. baroctopus vs. the think tank

Two days ago, my friend Drue drew this article to my attention:

It's well worth reading. If you are too lazy to click that link, it's about an octopus who is totally burning down the house at a German aquarium. He is one fussy camper and decidedly unpsyched about captivity. Who can blame the guy? The Telegraph explains:

Staff believe that the octopus called Otto had been annoyed by the bright light shining into his aquarium and had discovered he could extinguish it by climbing onto the rim of his tank and squirting a jet of water in its direction.

Well played, Otto. Not everyone wants to see the bright lights tonight. And every day. And every night. It's not like those guys hang out near light in the ocean as it is. Don't they live in coral reefs?

We knew that he was bored as the aquarium is closed for winter, and at two feet, seven inches Otto had discovered he was big enough to swing onto the edge of his tank and shoot out the 2000 Watt spot light above him with a carefully directed jet of water. Once we saw him juggling the hermit crabs in his tank, another time he threw stones against the glass damaging it. And from time to time he completely re-arranges his tank to make it suit his own taste better - much to the distress of his fellow tank inhabitants.

Man! It sounds like the OK Corral over there! Or like they should send Otto to military school. Or, say, maybe let him live under the sea again?

I just learned that Octopuses have three hearts. And they are really smart. And that they are good at throwing AND catching! Maybe the New England Patriots should consider Otto during next year's draft. According to Peggy Noonan in her article about Obama in today's Wall Street Journal, a football player like Otto would make a very good President:

America threw long, and America is praying for a dazzling reception. People want him to catch the ball....Actually, how it felt this week was that there is a sense of suspension (the ball is in the air, it's arcing over the field) accompanied by a sense of urgency (if he fumbles at this high-stakes time, more than a game is lost).

Judging from the 3 November date of the Telegraph article, maybe Otto was just plain on edge about the US election.

Whatever the case, I hope the Coburg Aquarium designs a tank more hospitable to the Octopus condition. Or that Otto comes up with more funny tricks, and enjoys the good fight. Perhaps Peggy Noonan's consolation to Young Republicans will also offer comfort to our decidedly Yes-I-Can Octopus:

There is joy to be had in being out of power. You don't have to defend stupid decisions anymore. You get to criticize with complete abandon.

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