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Squid #40
(published May 17, 2001)
Ask The Giant Squid: I Am Not a Man!
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Giant Squid,

I admire your intelligence but loathe your arrogance. For a mollusk trapped in a pressurized water tank high above Ohio, you are awfully confident in yourself. My question, Mr. Squid, is this: If you are so damn smart, why do you make grammatical errors such as placing a semi-colon where it does not belong as you did in this quote from "The Occasional Hells of Ohio": "Shall I cuddle him, pulling him close as the prodigal son, giving unto him my vineyard of terror (which is, in the end, a "good thing;" as it means not killing him at this time . . . Ah, even now I can imagine your brow, furrowed and sweating— poor, poor dears)?"? And why do you make errors such as replacing the letter "r" with the letter "t"? Such a mistake would be common if you were yourself a mere man typing on a keyboard where the two letters are right next to each other. There you have it, "Giant Squid." I accuse you of being a mere primate. The advice I ask of you is how might I pull of an equally ingenious subterfuge?

Thomas Litchford

Dearest Thomas,

It greatly pains me to puncture your vacuole, but I am indeed no man, nor a mollusk, but rather a cephalopod superior (and, for that matter, not trapped— never trapped— but towering above his domain, lord comptroller of all he surveys) in my Tower of Power. I've explained this many times, and grow tired of hunting new analogies in a vain attempt to transfer the appropriate datum into your walnutish crania: Is the panzer commander "trapped" in his armored charger? The king "trapped" in his throne? Is JD Salinger "trapped" in his geosynchronous orbital?

Are you "trapped" in your skin, monklette?

Ah, trickery question— for the answer to that last is a resounding "yes," is it not? I certainly pity your pathetic state: an insufficient and inefficient tangle of convoluted blood-balloon organs, wrapped in a thin layer of sub-optimal striated muscle, baked into a somewhat flexible manskin crust— why, you don't even have the good sense of the scuttling crustacea, who know at least enough to keep there skeletons without, where they might provide some margin of protection. The only organ your Darwin has deemed it fit for you to lock behind bone is your squirt of a brain— which, if I may be so bold, is much like "locking the barn after the stock animals have already absconded with themselves." Truly, gene-smear, your situation is one quite tragic in its comedy. I would weep for you, had I tear ducts, and were you not such insufferable bitches all.

As for my typography, I admit that my direct neural dicteletype has been upon the "fritz" for several weeks, and I have thus been reduced to typing "manually" (although, as I lack sausagial "manos", I prefer to think of the work as being done "tentacularly.") I invite you, Myster Litchford, to attempt to accurately strike the 5/16 inch by 14 inch of an IBM Selectric Electric typewriter using an appendage as thick as a baby's arm. Can you find such an appendage to use in such a trial, oh you big, strapping manwich? Perhaps your mother can help you find such an appendage?


But all jests adjacent, I believe it is sufficiently clear, as I "hunt and pecker" my weekly column, that my typography is as best it can be in this best of all possible worlds. I recognize that you humans, being ever so perfect— never having made even such minor and forgivable gaffs as enslaving your own species, slaughtering them en masse (and not even glutting yourself upon the steaming carcasses!), soiling your water and nutrient supply, detonating radioactive munitions upon your nesting places, fouling the gaseous Oxy-Nitro mixture which you require— have a very high standard for typography, and so I beg your forgiveness, as but a humble newcomer to your wonderful, multifaceted, and truly communicative typeset grunt-speak. Oh please! Oh please! I hurl myself upon the ground at your cow-coated feet and beg your boon, oh great masters of the dry, infertile crust!

And the semi-colon— pardon me if I become somewhat angry, but I note that you have not utilized a single semi-colon in the whole of your coprophilial polemic. In fact, it is my experience that most of your English writers and common literates flee from the semi-colon as little girls fleeing before a flaming, bee-coated bear. Yes, perhaps I have misapplied a modifier here, malaproped a word there and, upon occasion mislaid my punctuators, but at least I am trying, which is more than I can say for the greater mass of your grunting, squirming, moaning, stench-spreading linguistic group.

I am an Archetuethis! I am vastly superior to you! Do you perhaps own a domesticated canis, Litchford? Have you ever emulated for him the sounds of his barks and screeches? For his and your amusement? Now imagine, for a moment, that you were doing so— you, the provider of shelter; you, the provider of food; you, the provider of good counsel; you, the protector, the alpha, the superior!— imagine that you were rawlfing and wailing for you and the hound's co-amusement, and then that hound turned upon you— the inferior turning upon the superior— and took you sharply to task for your poor technique in his laughably shallow language? And then, imagine that this creature completes his critique— this creature, who spends its few waking hours eating filth, destroying your treasured things and licking its own anus— completes his critique by accusing you of being a dog in a fancy suit! How might such an occurrence affect you, psychoemotionally? In what state might it leave that precious, sentient thickening at the capitol of your brittle spinal column? And what wrath might you let upon this low and scuttling thing for its impertinence?

Yes, think upon these matters, Litchford; think upon them longly.

And as to how may you pull off (although you asked how to "pull of," I assume that you meant "pull off." Poor, poor dears, Perhaps you should lie down for a little nap before writing any other feculent screeds?) such a subterfuge, I leave you with the advice that the professional erotogyrator-cloths-remover gave to the worker ant:

"Sorry, honey, but you just ain't got what it takes."


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