Thanks to a little tweet from a friend in Kuala Lumpur at about 7.15pm yesterday, I was alerted to news that a certain aristocratic-like cephalopod mollusc of British ancestry but domiciled in Germany had died. That's right, psychic celebrity Paul is no longer with us. He has passed on to that octopodian heaven where female octopuses will wait on him hand and foot. Oh, sorry, I meant foot and foot and foot and.... Obviously, Paul did not mind not having any hands to hold as long as he had lots of feet to entangle with.
For better or for worse, Paul had finished his life's work on earth, which in the last six months meant predicting football scores at the World Cup. At the height of his success at predicting the right results, it was a worldwide media circus whenever he was required to bite at a morsel of food in his tank. Obviously, his predictions delighted millions but less obviously, his predictions also enraged other people at the wrong end of the betting tickets.
According to another friend in Singapore, octopuses have a short lifespan. A species like Paul was likely to live for only two years and yet, our octopus here lived for 2½ years. So was Paul already on life support during the World Cup, he wondered.
Of course, I have my own conspiracy theories. Was Paul poisoned by some revengeful bookie? When was the last time he was asked to choose between two bits of morsel in his tank? Or was it just a case of fatal indigestion? I'm full of questions,aren't I?
Anyway, about an hour after news broke on the Internet about Paul, I had noticed that Google reported that there were already more than 500 news items filed around the world. This morning, the number had ballooned to more than 2,000. And of course, social media like facebook is all abuzz with the news.
Shocking! The mind boggles! Talk about people having time on their hands to digest this piece of irrelevant news. Yes, I'm talking about you and I. Don't we have anything better to do? Aren't there more important matters to weigh upon? Does a dead octopus answer the question of whether there's still a double dip recession looming this year? Whether gold prices will continue to climb? Has our stock market peaked? Will the idea of the silly and wasteful RM5 billion 100-storey tower be scrapped? Or closer to my heart, what will I have for lunch today?