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Squid #107
(published November 7, 2002)
Ask The Giant Squid: Is This Some Kind of Sick JOKE?
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Excerpted from your Weekly World News of August 27th, 2002:


A FREAKISH giant squid weighing 550 pounds washed ashore in Tasmania— and stunned eyewitnesses by crawling into a nearby restroom and cleaning its tentacles in the sink!

"It hauled itself onto the beach, crawled into a public restroom, turned on the faucets and splashed soap and water on its body to clean itself up," said marine biologist Dan Tetherton.

"The squid also splashed cold water in its face— perhaps it was trying to get some salt water out of its eye," Tetherton speculated.

"Then the 10-armed creature left and went back to the sea."

The brainy super-squid was later recaptured and hauled by trailer to a research facility.

Now, I can judge not what matters this news clippage might bring to spark within your shallow brain-pan, Chimptastic Readership, but for me, upon glancing the length of this reportage, two words swam boldly to the surface of my profound mantle, veritably presenting themselves tangible afore my opticallly perfect and all-seeing eyes. And those two words? Neither more nor less than these:




Uncle Sphincter! Such a tale is Uncle Sphincter, such an object lesson to those who might wish to see and understand. There is a dialectic in this world, a two-ness, and I find that ever-frequently this dialectic exposes itself in the planest matters: there is sun and moon, dark and fair, two eyes upon my mantle, two hunting tentacles dangling low, two symmetrical sides to my form, two sides two every coin (save those bizarre curiosities minted by Vulcan's dim half-brother, Nilmo), and two licks until the center of each and the every Toot-C-Roller Poop.

There is the two-ness, the dialectic, the lessons of tension, the synergy at their conjoining.

Firstly, Uncle Sphincter was quite the tricks-maker.

I recall an instance in particular, in the year 1930 Ante Domino, when-in Uncle Sphincter was in a veritable tizzy for many and several months, flitting hither and yon across the Ocean's Blue, drawing together a most bizarre cabal, to be convened in the Gulf of Martaban. Upwards of 7.4 million dwellers deep were convinced to attend, ranging from tiny diatoms to two enormous blue whales, Zigfried and Heir.

And when gathered there, he, the Uncle Sphincter then in concert,— stiffling giggles, one must presume— began to beat of their tails and agitate their tentacles and palpitate their fins and force water through their valves and, slow but assured, by way of this tickling of the multitudinous beasts of the sea, raised a great and terrible crest of sea water that was sent crashing to the beach.

Uncle Sphincter's brother-in-law, Lentile the Slurry, was caught in this ribbald tidal wave, sent forcibly careering down the Tenasse Rim, careening among the Mergu Archipelago in a manner not unlike a billiard's ball, and then projecting out of the water bodily, where-by he sailed over the Isthmus of Kra and came to rest in the Gulf of Thailand, in which local he was immediatly netted by clever— if navigationally incompetent— Cambodians who supped well upon his muscled corpus.

The headlines in surface media were clarion, blaring "Impossible Tsunami Destroys Rangoon" and "Scientists Puzzled by Unexplained Techtonic Activity," as well as "Alien Assault on Eastern Hemisphere Thwarted" and "Lost Cambodian Trawler Recovered, All Crew in Excellent COndition After 131 Day Ordeal."

Uncle Sphincter organized again the same basic calamity— save a greater proprotion of tiger sharks and fewer seals and right whales committed to the operation— again a decade later, during your Second World Wide War of Little Consequence to the Greater Bulk of Earthly Life, They Living Sub-Seaward and Thus Caring Little for the Scuffles of the Dry Surface. Since Cousin Lentile, of blessed memory, had already been appropriatly made the butt of humor, this second Wave of Sphincter resulted in nothing more than the loss of several hundred thousand surface lives, including lemurs, ball pythons, humans, asian sparrows, crested wood nise and many billion insects, these last much mourned.

Oh, and the scientists! Their faces! It was indeed rich, those photographs of dumb-founding, bearded whitecoats scratching their heads after each of Uncle Sphincter's jibes. Poor chimps, furrowing their grey brows in a vain attempt to take in the shear incalculable magnitude of the events and their consequents, tsunami, flighted sky demons, drowned ants and aphids. To this very day when I am swept in even the most lethal humeur noire, I need only momentarily reflect upon those scientific faces, and my peels of laughter booming across the lab possessing of an amplitude and frequency sufficient to discalibrate both my sub-quantum interference detectors and my lab assistant Rob's very expensive and fine Playstationary the Two gaming console system. In irony, this joviality then causes sadness bi-fold.

But let we wanderers not tary too far from the thrust, nor forget we should never, that Uncle Sphincter's jokes at the final turned upon him, like so many bold terriers, turned from towing the travois to devouring the rider. What had once been the humorous pratt-fall and quiver became later the nervous paraxism and hysterical convulsion.

It seems that the self-same drive which in him produced the ability to mount the Monstrous Joke Practical upon the world, that internal sense he had for the minutiae of humor and all of its co-ordinate tasks, it was a world perspective which has driven him in some ways mad.

And to that madness is where he has arrived, where he dwells now: the squid with the disorder obsessive-compulsive, forever scrubbing, forever washing, but feeling never that he can be clean.

He had mastered the deep in his long and struggling days. He had been the greatest of the Kaisers of the Joking, staging pranks both huge as have been listed, and small, so small as barely have been noticed. And in that he colored all our lives a bit more gayly.

("Like a fancy man?" Said Rob, leaning at the glass of my tank and watching through the bent light of the water at what I have written.

"Robert, you shall be penetrated a thousand times by the fiercest clown fish of the deepest lagoon of the darkest and most irradiated corner of the Bikini Atoll," I said to him, thinking fondly of the pranks that I might yet perpetrate in the honor of the sadly lost Uncle of days long gone.)

Weep, we shall for you, poor Uncle Sphincter, you pathetic beast. Weep.

En Memoria,

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