Guest Post January: Paul the Octopus alive and well, living in hiding in park pond
The GPJ bandwagon rolls on to our good friends at Caught Offside. They’re sent us this letter, which was washed ashore near Caught Offside HQ, for your reading pleasure.
Psychic cephalopod talks of daring escape and life on the run. We have not revealed his location in order to protect his anonymity, and also because he didn’t state his address in his letter:
I am in hiding and I write this letter with extreme difficulty, not just because I live in perpetual fear but also because being an octopus has its draw backs, one being the inability to grip these tiny betting shop pens tightly. You may know me as Paul, but rest assured that name was merely a media construct and my real name would mean nothing in your human tongue.
You may believe I had passed away some months after my powerful psychic abilities were showcased to the world but I am alive and quite well but I do live in perpetual fear, I think I already said that, but forgive me for my mistake for I live in perpetu…. oh sweet Jesus, you get the point.
My escape from captivity was as bold as it was necessary. On predicting that England would win the bid for the 2018 World Cup, something I can assure readers that I did see in a premonition, I soon became aware that my life was in danger. Visitors to my Oberhausen home became unfamiliar, and I could be sure that on more than one occasion a little boy who got a bit too close to the perspex bore an uncanny resemblance to a man I now know to be a Mr Sepp Blatter. My feeds became infrequent and the water in my tank started to taste very salty indeed and I had trouble opening my mussels and I deduced that someone was attempting to poison me and I could not wait for the eventual moment when the toxins would overpower me and something had to be done so I concocted a daring escape that involved various levels of subterfuge the construction of a life-size model of my good self made up of seashells and the acquiring of a powerful glass cutting knife.
Life on the outside world is hard though and I move from town to town getting odd jobs here and there. Every now and then I think someone recognises me and then I have to move on like a kind of living ghost. Whilst I know I had to escape the very real threat on my good person, I do so miss my friends and keepers at my Aquarium and the constant delivery of my meals six times a day. I know that this is freedom but it’s not a world I know well.
Last week I foolishly almost put my life at risk. Sitting at a bar watching a football match out of the corner of my eye whilst downing another shot of tequila I muttered that the team in red would win a very early penalty and that the captain of the team in white would be sent off for a two footed tackle on a player in red, I instantly knew the words I had let slip through my mouth would eventually be my undoing, the mob turned on me and I had to leave. Luckily I did so without paying, so that was a bonus.
Being blessed with a gift like mine is very much a curse more than it is a gift. Had I been born a normal octopus I would still be getting all the care and attention I need and not having to find shelter in the nearest park pond, where I appear to confuse and scare the local pond life in equal measure.
I believe I flew too close to the sun, metaphorically speaking, when I decided to show my genius to the world in the summer of 2010. Sure I very much enjoyed the attention, the women, the fame, the constant media attention the extra mussel here and there. Now however I am just yesterday’s chip paper.
Life goes on but it’s not much of an existence. I am still scared that someone from FIFA will catch up with me – it seems my premonition did not sit well with their plans. You see, I may well see into the future but that doesn’t mean the future cannot be changed. A higher power was at work and clearly the voting system they run in that two-bit organization is easily swayed and my ‘death’ served to wipe my premonition off the face of the earth and whilst those in power know that I wander the streams and rivers they know too that I live in perpetual fear, oh I said that already, forgive me for I am a little light headed from bottle and a half of rum I swiped from the Off License. The alcohol helps numb the pain and erase the perpetual fear.
So it is with a heavy heart and an inebriated tentacle that I end this letter, I have placed it in this rum bottle and hope it is picked up by a kind soul (not a writer on a website who will then post this to all and sundry with an overblown headline) who can maybe pass word of my fate to the outside world.
Perhaps in a year or two everything will have blown over and maybe I will return home but until that bright day in the hopefully not too distant future, I will have to scrape out an existence out of winning small accumulators in the betting shops around town, being careful to not win too large an amount and therefore arousing unnecessary attention.
We shall communicate again, I feel sure of that. Until I surface again, literally and figuratively, I bid you a fond farewell.
P.S – Put a few quid on West Ham to stay up, not a premonition, just a bit of a Hammers fan.