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The porpoise may well be our only hope. The octopus, by contrast, may well be our greatest enemy.
It is critical to distinguish between these two — one savior, the other archnemesis; one shining day, the other blackest night; one yang, the other yin, except in this case there’s no yang in the yin and no yin in the yang. But anyways.
It’s a well-known fact that an octopus can camouflage itself so that it looks like rocks or other underwater features of submarine landscape. The secret behind their color capability is a special skin cell called a chromatophore. Each chromatophore consists of three bags of pigment and by squeezing or expanding these bags, octopuses can change the color displayed by each cell, allowing millions of subtle combinations. Sneaky little menaces.
So if you thought they are always the same color then you obviously don’t know the first thing about octopuses.
How would you sum up an octopus in three words?
Vicious, vicious killers.
How about nine words?
Vicious, vicious killers who know exactly what they’re doing.
Can’t legal means be brought to bear?
Unfortunately, no. Octopuses, as they well know, are technically outside the reach of our laws and judicial systems.
What can I do?
It’s natural, after learning about what octopuses are really all about, to want to help in the effort to defend against them, but I’m afraid that it may already be too late. Despite this, there are some things we can do, and the valiant power of the human spirit (and the American Spirit!) are things that give us hope even in these times of woe. Here are some ideas, drawn from the playbook of real-life:
01. Spread the word.
02. Put up signs in your neighborhood explaining what’s wrong and how we’ve been misled by our own government (it’s not unpatriotic to criticize the government — what’s unpatriotic is not to care). Here are some slogans you can use for signs:
"The octopus is upon us!"
"If you were an octopus, where would you hide? In the den of Satan!"
"If squishy, squishable bodies are any indication of goodness, then octopuses must be saints! But in fact it’s the opposite — they’re the devil!"
"Don’t leave your baby with an octopus." (because it might eat the baby)
03. Be on the lookout for an octopus coming to get you — and if it comes to get you, give it “a little grief.”
04. Write to your member of Congress about the be-tentacled menace… but DON’T give away the game by showing that you know the real, honest truth. They’re all in on it.
05. Arm yourself with sea-salt, often called “Octopus’s-Bane.”
06. Use common sense. I call this the “N.T.O. rule”: Never Trust an Octopus, like with your valuables, purse, power tools, etc. It is liable to eat ANYTHING including a HUMAN BEING.
07. Again, use common sense. Would you leave your son or daughter with a known killer? No? Then why would you leave him/her with a known octopus?!
I think it’s obvious by now that the Octopus Question has no solution, only more questions. But it’s still the case that octopuses are as dangerous as terrorists in most U.S. cities, and in many, twice as dangerous (twice as many limbs to use for evil purposes). But somehow, even though the information is right in front of us, most of our countrymen prefer to snuggle with their wives and kids and thus ignore the ominous threat that looms before us as though it wasn’t even there at all. Classic.
Ignorance may be bliss but it is also a grave problem because knowledge is power, and with power comes responsibility. Responsibility to act. Responsibility to fight with courage and valor. Responsibility to fellow man. An octopus has eight tentacles and knows it how to use them. So, too, must we know how to use the tools that God has given us: our friendships and relationships; our brains and skills; our ability to create technologies that will stand the test of time. This fight will not be easy, nor will it be waged on the cheap. But it must be fought, and, indeed, won. The Octopus is not the Hydra: cut off its head and two more will not appear. It is merely a question of whether we can marshal our resources and act with sufficient speed. It’s true, we are down — but not out.
Are we our brother’s keeper? Only time will tell.