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Squid #161
(published January 8, 2004)
Ask the Giant Squid: The Biggest Squid

Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Giant Squid,

How big was the biggest giant squid?


My Dearest {UNSIGNED}:

The Biggest Giant Squid that Ever Lived was named Bernard.

He was from the deepest trenches of the south seas, and he fell in love with the extravagant flagship of Zhu Di's great armada. It had come to pass that in the spring of 1421 Bernard of the Deep had come to the surface in pursuit of a whale most vile when he was dazzled in his optically perfect eye by the most glorious of sights: the sun-dappled sails and delicately carved prow of the giant junk of the deep sea. Captivated, he groped at the ship's keel, and its unrelenting pull forward and away, the way that it tore and scraped at Bernard's hide, was most like the delectable mating rituals of the benthic black that he fully intended to draw this mighty beast to the soft slurry of the bottom for a rutting to end all ages.

And so he twined his arms and his tentacles up into the strange upspace so that he could grip his love most closely, the wooden splinter of her hide cutting all the more deliciously into his many-hued skin. He nipped at her belly, and prodded her with his rapidly tumescing member, and she began to list starboard, water flooding her, ballast ejecting into the cool waters like so many pearls.

And then the strange, slanty gruntchimps came out to poke at him, and he was dismayed to find his love so terribly infested in this way. They crawled from her mighty and rigid skull, and they scampered down her tough sides. He concluded that they had torn her tentacles away, and rode her now as some grotesquerie of the ocean surface world. And so he struck back at them, and they returned with burning fire as he had never seen before, and he struck again, and with each blow, more manchimps scatted into the waves with the ballast and the fragile floating shards of her hide.

Finally, as he drew her closer, and she cut at him, he found that her great bulbous belly, which seemed so triumphantly unyielding, collapsed under his crushing embrace, and he, in a fit of glory and fear and sadness and regret spent his passions upward, toward the searing and terrible vault-blue of your sky, in a great frothing font so that what remained of the manchimps drowned and descended into the watery night below.

Bernard writhed with her splintered corpse for ten days and ten nights, and on the final morn, spun over with the despair of her leaving, bleeding and morose, there came a pack of sharks to see what was to see of Bernard and his ill-fated of love.

The leader of the sharks said, "That was a human ship, Jack-ass!"

And Bernard replied, "Aye, friend shark, and I loved her greatly."

And he sank into the warm depths just beneath the current of the surface waves, and the pack of sharks circled overhead, intermingling their shadows with the shadows of her scatted parts, and the shadows of the surf.

The lead shark shook his head, and Bernard drifted in the gray blue water column of the middle depths.

One young shark took a nip at the tip of Bernard's cephalitic sack, but he was called away by the pack. "That one's crazy in the head," the lead shark said, "who knows what his blood'll do to us." And they slipped away, as did the strange sun of the sky, from afternoon into night.

And so Bernard floated there, and for the first time he contemplated the heavens, and the many thousands of little lights that illuminated the airy night.

And as he sank from the stars, the pressure of the sea compressed his flowing life's blood into gelatinous tendrils of pink-red, his inner and outer lives intermingling.

Finally he settled upon the floor of the sea, the benthic slurry soft under his skin. He saw phosphorescent algae had clung to the disfigured bodies of the chimps, their limbs glowing and crooked in the black waters, their silken robes gently wafting in the shifting current like fine and gossamer seaweeds, sea spiders carefully stalking over their forms sampling the bacteria as it flowered and spiraled magically across the chimp's decaying hides.

At length, Bernard's body healed. No creature would approach him, for he seemed mad and sickly, and so in that way luckily unappetizing. And when he drew his new strength about him as a cloak, he found that he had developed a deep humility in the face of the manifold strangeness of the world.

Thus it came to pass that Bernard opened a clinic that counseled the creatures of the deep to stay away from the mysterious up space, for its danger were multiple and hidden. And so, the deep went into a great period of introspection and silence, never showing much of itself to the upspace. And Bernard was kind and gentle to the end of his days, humble to each creature, great or small.

He was truly the very biggest of squidkind.

I remain,
Your Giant Squid

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see other pieces by this author | Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid? Read his blog posts and enjoy his anthem (and the post-ironic mid-1990s Japanese cover of same)

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