“Once upon a time, there lived an Octopus named Paul. He was gifted with great powers and had the unique ability to predict the future”. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself telling your grandkids this fairytale.
Even fairytales were never this perfect. Its been exactly a year, since Octopus Paul had caught the world’s imagination ,after he correctly predicted outcomes of German matches played at the FIFA World Cup 2010.What is even more astounding is the fact that he had a 100% record after he prophesized that Spain would lift the title. Amazing wasn’ it?
Following Paul’s trail, was another octopus named Pauline. Like her native country Holland, she too failed at the final hurdle predicting the Finals wrongly adjudging the Dutch to win. And, somewhere in Singapore a parakeet by the name Mani too came as a ‘seer’. After having predicted all the semi-finalists perfectly, it too could not foresee the Spanish conquest of the Dutch at Johannesburg. Paul would have rightly been adjudged the undisputed champion of predictions had it not been for Harry. Not Potter, Harry the Australian crocodile. The hungry giant jumped out of water to eat off a chicken hanging under the Spanish flag and that was his way to say ‘Campeones Spain’.
What is it about these ‘animals’ being able to predict outcomes. Why this hue and cry over their predictions ? The octopus, considered the most intelligent of all invertebrates, picks up food from two different containers with the two team’s flags. It could very well be picking up the better smelling morsel. Is our faith in our teams so miniscule that football lovers need to rely on an Octopus and its swaying tentacles? Then, the Germans wanted to hunt it down and the Spanish government was willing to pay for its protection, suddenly Paul was the centre of Foreign Affairs.
Facebook had a live-tracker of trends and guess who was on it? Yes! ‘Paul, the Psychic Octopus’ and it predicted people’s future.
Paul was and always will be a celebrity.
If one were a fan of ‘Joga Bonito’, they would have worshipped Pele, Maradona, Cyruff, Zidane and Messi. And this sudden attention towards Paul would seem laughable. But with the way the media had idolized Paul and his gang of ‘clairvoyants’, it looks like predictions are the new fad. Move over John Dykes, the animals are storming the fort. Will a new Paul rise during the Copa America ? Well, we have to wait and watch.