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Squid #488
(published May 27, 2010)
Ask the Giant Squid: The Squid, He Is More Than a Pair of Perfect Eyes
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Giant Squid,

For so long cephalopods have been appreciated more for their bilateral body symmetry than for their immense knowledge of all things. All of my acquaintances confirm this—I squid you not!

Why is this?

Waiting for what you ink, I remain...

My Dearest Readers,

You have likely noted that the great bulk of the questions which I receive are about myself:

Questions which I oft address—yet nonetheless, you have anonymously struck the nail upon its much-battered head: Despite nigh unto a decade of Internet correspondence, even my readers, when pressed for details, can only produce vague descriptions of my physique ("Um . . . he's got an optically perfect eye . . . and . . . um . . . 8 or 10 tentacles . . . aaaaaand . . . a big fucking wang!", Marcus Wellenstock, Age 27 when approached via telephony by Molly.) rather than any salient, substantive observation about my hopes, dreams, near universal knowledge of all matters both mundane and numinous, or pet peeves (which include rainy days, being seated near the kitchen, and men who are "pushy" on the first date, or stringy).

Just this past week's end I was discussing this very same matter with my dear friend and occasional co-conspirator, Pamela Anderson. As I lolled in her outdoor swimming pool, I complained that it seemed that, to much of the world, I was just an optically perfect set of eyes, irresistibly crushing tentacles, and a terrible and rending maw.

"I know!" Pam exclaimed, blowing a stray, golden lock from her forehead with a puff from her pursed lips. She leaned over her workbench, quickly flicking back from the index of her dogeared copy of Molecular Biology of the Cell (Fourth Edition) before adjusting the alcohol-burner flame heating her primary retort. "It doesn't matter what I'm talking about—Kid Rock, mandatory vaccination, my ad hoc tectonic sensor array and early warning system, the Doomsday Device—and, no matter what, there has to be a sentence somewhere in the article about my boobs." These she waggled, briefly, before squinting one optically imperfect, yet nonetheless fetching, eye to aid her in re-calibrating and adjusting her condenser. "Are they bigger? Are they smaller? Were they more pert when they were less organic? Ugh! Even if I say something like 'I'm more than a pair of boobs, fellas!' it's just a chance for them to include a parenthetical timeline of my evolving bustline!" Pam leaned back as, slowly, a single drop of alkali reagent gathered at the condenser's stopcock, then gently dropped into the titration vessel.

Pam smiled and winked at me, and I winked back, which is to say I flaired a series of vacuoles in an insouciant manner. "We'll get these into the thermal cycler with the target DNA's sense and anti-sense strands, then see what kind of parentheticals the news boys wanna slip in."

Pamela took hold of her volumetric pipettes, then paused and laughed a lusty, cackling laugh—"BWAHHAHHAHHAHHAHHHH!"—that reached up into the cloudless heavens like a smokey, indefatigable tentacle seeking to strangle the gentle and forgiving God of the world's jackstraw collection of Judeo-Christo-Muslims, if He had existed, which He did not. I laughed as well. We laughed together. Pam and I have such fun when we visit, and such occasions are simply too infrequent.

So inspired, I seek now to ameliorate what has become a mote unto my optically perfect eye:


  1. Squids are the only animals, apart from humans, who engage in the trading of futures and other derivative investment vehicles. We are also the only soft-bodied organisms who form limited liability companies (LLCs are otherwise the sole domain of those possessed of endo- or exoskeletons, including ants, bees, marmosets, true sloths, false sloths, meta-sloths, various "sloth"-chamelea, some forms of humans, genital lice, gentile lice, and nearly two-dozen other distinct species).
  2. Squid cultivate bio-luminescent bacteria in pouches in their belly-sacs. These are ostensibly used to eliminate shadows when preying in the deeps, but in actuality they have not been used that way for decades. Much like the old American who still refers to their remote control as a "clicker" though it maketh no sound, so too are our bacteria repurposed. Now they resemble more the trading gewgaws of the 1990s. They are pog, Magic the Gathering card, tamagotchi and Pokemon rolled into one ball of luminescence.
  3. In the ancient days of your culture one of my kind rose from the depths in an alto-mersible device made of whale bladders to observe the poets and philosophers of Greece. He chuckled as Plato and Socrates bickered, wept at the words of Pliny both elder and younger. But he was most transfixed by their sports. It seems absurd in twenty-first century America to admit this, but we knew no sport in that day. Mock violence was unknown. If you attempted to injure another you went for the kill. His discovery was a revolution to us. We put corks upon our beaks and donned padded jerkins and engaged in our own multi-armed version of your wrestling. It revolutionized warfare and conflict resolution amongst my people, and is widely practiced even to this day.
  4. It was a Squid who killed Magellan.
I Remain Respectfully,
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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