Even with advanced knowledge that life is fleeting and death is inevitable, I still met the news with shock and trepidation.
October 26, 2010: A Legend of the Game has passed away.
He was only 2 years old.
Below is my open letter to the Most Famous Cephalopod of our Generation:
Dear Paul/Paul die Krake/Pulpo Paul,
I’ve “known” you for such a short time and yet I feel as if we’ve been through a lot together. Remember Euro2008, when all the doubters were saying Spain will monumentally choke yet again and leave empty-handed? Okay, fine, you chose Germany over Spain for the Final but I’ve already long forgiven you for that. That’s how adorable and precious you were that I couldn’t help but fall in love with you even though you were technically an “agent” from the German NT.
So by the time the World Cup 2010 arrived, I followed your predictions closely, because I knew in my heart that those two years have greatly improved your senses and that you were ready to prove to the world that you’re the Real Deal. And what a tournament that was! We’ve had drama, tears of sorrow and joy, even death threats and an international diplomatic intervention! All because of YOU. Honestly, they should make a film about you already.
This is so unfair, Paul. How could you leave us, ardent (bordering on rabid) football fans hanging like this? Could you have predicted that this was going to happen? I even wanted to blame Nigel De Jong for this, that’s how flabbergasted I was. Whatever will happen when Euro2012 rolls around? How will we know who to back? Those biased, pseudo-journalists have no patch on your mystical level of football knowledge.
Just this morning I heard that your former home has announced that your successor will be a Frenchie called…Paul. Frankly, that’s just an insult to us, your fans. I am incensed! It’s too soon, we’ve not even had the prerequisite 40 days of mourning yet!
I hope (new/fake) Paul knows that it will be a Herculean task to live up to your legacy and general awesomeness. Hey, wouldn’t it have been better if your successor was called John? You were British, after all, so I’m supposing you might have been a Beatles fan as well? Oh, and I considered dressing as a mourning groupie of yours for Halloween, but since I live in a country where the people are not exactly football-crazy, they might not get the humour and wit of that, not to mention the fact that I could not find a long black veil anywhere in my wardrobe closet. It’s the thought that counts, no?
I’m digressing. See, this is how I cope with traumatic (football) experiences–see-sawing from humour to denial.
Anyway, thank you, Paul. Thank you for touching my heart with your suction-cupped limbs. Danke. Gracias. Maraming Salamat.
If you ever need someone to design your mausoleum, just pop in my dreams and we can strike a deal. And if any snotty higher institutions ever decide on awarding you as the 9th Wonder of the World posthumously, you can be assured that my vote/signature/voice is yours.
Hugs and Kisses,
It is only apt that I close this by posting the “Paul the Octopus Song”. Take a moment to compose yourselves and then have a listen: