[As August 2009 marks the close of our eighth year of weekly publication, we shall spend this month enjoying "the blast from the past" with selections from Poor Mojo's Almanac(k): Year Two (issues 51-100). Please, enjoy!—Your Giant Squid, Editor-in-Chief, PMjA]
[originally published in issue #83]
Dear Giant Squid:
Tell me every thing there is to know about giant squid.
While it is an undisputed fact that all truth resides in my glorious encephalated skin-pouch, in some ways there is also value to an exterior perspective. This is especially important when faced with a question of the deepest auto-bio-graphique. While I have followed that oldest of Greek dictums, to know my many selves, I will in this case ask my several and assorted companions to enumerate their most edifying anecdotes of true squidliness. While it may not be possible to catalogue all the truth of the squid-kin within one column, I hope that we can provide you with a colorful introduction to the soul-ful and spirited side of Architeuthis dux.
For All the Best,
Your Giant Squid
Giant Squid are, among many other things, like certain mountain devils native to the inland regions of China. While powerful, deadly, and sometimes quite cruel, they can be trapped into simplistic puzzles of a child's design.
For to make an example:
My mother, who cannot abide the stench of this Detroit, begged that I could buy for her a widow's garden in the countryside of fair Michigan. As I have worked for sometime with "Lord Architeuthis", and as he is many things but not a spendthrift when it comes to adequate compensation, I was able to buy for my dear mother a certain amount of land in the elegantly named county of Hillsdale. Situated therein was a spring fed pond, a creek outflowing, a marshy glade, and a hilltop upon which a cottage might rest.
To that place my mother was put.
The Most Venerable and Large Squid, who is forever inscrutable in his motives or reasons, followed us out across the rural landscape. By night we drove, after my time in the lab weighing the many vat-grown feet which are part of Experiment Beta-82. And in the moonlight, clicking and spidering along, came he behind us. He was like a great dragon in a cartoon of Chuck Jones, tiptoeing through the night, hiding behind hay stacks, crouching in the shadows of trees, occasionally driving the spiked point of one of his titanium encased "legs" through a farmhouse. How he imagined he would sneak along in our wake remains beyond my grasp.
Finally we approached my mother's new cottage. We parked upon the hilltop and moon watched, as she has wanted to for sometime. The week before, when I had closed the transaction for the parcel of land, I stocked the pond with carp and there in the silvery flow of the lunar glow, the golden foreheads of the carp rippled beneath the surface of the water. Old though she is, my mother scuttled down the hillside to the edge of the water and sighed, content, as the carp flitted to and fro.
Finally, with my mother off to sleep, I stood alone by the water and watched as the great Squid in his metal armor, quivered in a stand of ancient aspen trees, their trunks silvery and slender like his shod tentacles.
But, like an ill-willed spirit, he too was captivated by the flickering backs of the carp as they swam. I could see his huge, optically perfect eye, so much like a black dish, darting back and forth, carefully tracking the quick turns and flourishes of each of the fish as they schooled, and spread apart, and hunted water spiders which skated across the skin of the pond.
Was he powerful? Oh yes, do not forget that: even in repose, the Squid Most Grand in his environmental suit is indeed a force to be reckoned with. But, like a demon caught in the several 90-degree turns of a temples gate, he was trapped by his mind's—by his eye's—great and tireless precision. He could not release from his gaze that shifting, Brownian scene and, as such, was rendered almost kittenish in his exposure.
I then kept down the hill, quiet as the ginko leaf falling earthward, and laid upon his back, upon the main pressure release valve mounted in his back, my own left hand, and knew that, in that moment, if I were to choose to do so, I could make the end of my terrible employer. It would be a small manner, to pull and twist and then pull again the simple handle that my hand wrapped about. No more difficult, really, then closing an automatic umbrella. This I could do. I could kill the Giant Squid.
And, in that ever expanding moment—despite his all seeing eye and his all appraising mind—the Giant Squid was never any the wiser.
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