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The Omnipotent Octopus

Yes, the Octopus Carwash is a real place. I take no credit for this, and I hope to God that it isn’t copyright infringement. It happens to be located in Madison, Wisconsin (although the website is telling me it has branches in other states as well). Its motto is “many hands to serve you.”

Anyways, why the obsession? Starting from a very young age, I had a kind of love-hate relationship with cephalopods, one that resulted in my parents taking any possible detour to avoid passing the “scary” carwash on our way to Madison, and in nightmares about octopi and giant squid in swimming pools or descending from the sky. My dad still thinks this was due to some psychological fear of eyes, not tentacles (after all, giant squid eyes are the size of volleyballs!).

Now the fear has transformed into a kind of awe (eating charcoaled octopus in Greektown and later at Sepia may also have helped get rid of it).

Now, instead of being afraid of seeing an octopus while snorkeling, I actively seek them out (still no luck; they’re impossibly shy). I did a presentation on them for a 9th grade bio presentation (bet you didn’t know they have three hearts, one of which pumps blue blood).

Although cuttlefish are pretty awesome, squid generally just scare the hell out of me (if you do some research on the Humbolt squid, that’ll give you an incentive to stop overfishing tuna).

I think the Octopus Oracle this summer helped elevate their humble status.

Le Poulpe

Jetant son encre vers les cieux,
Suçant le sang de ce qu’il aime
Et le trouvant délicieux,
Ce monstre inhumain, c’est moi-même.

-Guillaume Apollinaire

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