Today I walked into my local grocery store and said with a wink, “Hey, do you guys sell German flags? I want to hang one on my balcony.” (Hanging the Spanish flag on one’s balcony is a common way to show support for the Spanish World Cup team who will face off against Germany tomorrow in the semi-finals.) My grocer friend, Andrés, said, “Have you heard the story of Pulpo Paul (Paul the Octopus)?” I assumed he was about to tell me a didactic Aesop-esque fairy tale about why one shouldn’t be such a cheeky jerk, but he turns to the checkout computer and pulls up this internet video to show me…
Apparently this octopus in Germany, named Paul, has successfully predicted five out of five of Germany’s World Cup results so far, even leaving his home team to correctly pick a win by Serbia. He chooses the victor by wrapping himself around a box with the flag for that team.
After a scandal involving a photoshopped image of Paul picking Spain, they finally had him make his selection, and, for the semi-final match tomorrow, he has chosen…… SPAIN!!
Of course this is all a load of hooey, and that, with complete chance, a coin or octopus or rock would be correct in five matches or 3.125% (1/25) of the time. Still it’s kind of funny and probably has the Germans a bit worried. I recommend they cook him Galician style.