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Squid #68
(published Early, 2002)
Ask The Giant Squid: Squids of Steel, Abs of Squid
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
I miss the Squid. Put him back. I'm trying to diet. Any good tips?
Thank you
Anna, Finland

Anna,As I ruminated 'round-and-'round with regards to your plaintive query, I found myself hampered— skewered, perhaps, even— by a singular lexical confusion, as noted at length below.

Diet \Di"et\, n. Specifically: Any of various national or local assemblies; as, (a) Occasionally, the Reichstag of the German Empire, Reichsrath of the Austrian Empire, the federal legislature of Switzerland, etc. (b) The legislature of Denmark, Sweden, Japan, or Hungary. (c) The state assembly or any of various local assemblies in the states of the German Empire, as the legislature (Landtag) of the kingdom of Prussia, and the Diet of the Circle (Kreistag) in its local government. (d) The local legislature (Landtag) of an Austrian province. (e) The federative assembly of the old Germanic Confederation (1815 — 66). (f) In the old German or Holy Roman Empire, the great formal assembly of counselors (the Imperial Diet or Reichstag) or a small, local, or informal assembly of a similar kind (the Court Diet, or Hoftag).

Diet \Di"et\, v. i. 1. To eat; to take one's meals. [Obs.] 2. To eat according to prescribed rules; to ear sparingly; as, "the doctor says he must diet."

(Both definitions were unceremoniously absconded with from The Hypertext Webster Gateway Located Upon UCSD )

Although your grunt speech is simple— if charming in its own fashion— I still often find myself upon the horns of its equivocation. It is in these situations that I most value the input of my humble laboratory staff (or, as I fondly consider them, the meatmonkeytionaries.) In this instance Sang, who is himself something of a newcomer to your specific dialectic of monkey-grunt-grunt, was quite insistent that, in all likelihood, the lattermost definition was the most appropriate. Rob woke briefly from his standing-fugue state to argue, both vociferously and energetically, that you intended to receive advice regarding "that legislative shit." Based upon casual observation, surveillance, and my limited past discourse with Robert, I have good reason to believe he was intending to pull upon my extremities, and thus shall disregard, wholecloth, the matter of formal deliberative assembly and/or legislature. I am made to understand that Finland is already endowed with a unicameral parliament 200 strong. Yet, lending due diligence to considering that your fine and noble president is specifically empowered to dissolve this party as his whim seems fit, I am struck to wonder: Perhaps you are indeed seeking advice, viz a viz fine and goodly Democratic Diets. As such, at this time, I choose to direct you to Plato's seminal work in quasi-democracy, The Republic , and wish you all the luck in implementing what most of lemurkind seems to have attempted and vastly missed , and most of the sub-mariner elite understand to be an arduous, pointless, act of "teaching pigs to sing."

Thus and therefore, putting aside my initial lingua confundarum, I find myself immediately beset upon by another finer point in your blunt language. Even limiting myself to definition the second, I find that this lone interpretation of "diet" has two shades of meaning that diverge swiftly, and am thus made to wonder: Is Anna requesting advice on how to eat, or with regards to what to eat? As such, I know split my reply in twain:

On or Regarding the Process of Taking in Comestibles (adapted for humans and possibly other primates)

I shall surely be the first and foremost to admit that neither is my knowledge catholic, nor my familiarity with the anatomy and mechanics of your species (or, for that matter, genus or class) especially impressive. I have casually noted the presence of teeth within your grunt holes, and seen apparent-eatables placed within said grunt-hole and seemingly-masticated with great gusto by such fine scions-of-humanity as Slackjawed Rob and Sang the Chinaman. I had rather presumed the matter to be a case both opened and shut. I recall, while eating Tom (an action I do indeed but barely begin to regret at this time), noting a great deal of intestines and various smooth-muscled sacks I then, and still, presumed to be alimentary in nature. The process-flow thus seems to be: 1) take up food item with clever paw, 2) cram item into your grunt-hole, 3) rend and tear food item (to the best of your ability) utilizing your shockingly dull and small dentals mounted upon your fragile and under-muscled mandibles, 4) shift now mushed foodstuffs posteriorward on your oral cavity, 5) begin flexing throat muscles, rippling them in a sequential stomachward manner (I am told that this is an automatic process, but leave that to your discernment,) 6) this peristaltic squeeze should force the partially processed foodstuffs into your gullet or foodstomach, which will then begin the arduous and inefficient task of removing precious nutrients and components from the mush and shunting the waste products. In the case that you find abnormalities in this process, I strongly suggest seeking out the assistance of some sort of technician or monkey-specialist immediately.

I would that this matter was as simple as I have outlined above, but alas, delving your extensive World Wide Webbed Databases of human anatomical photography, I have noted several other habits associated with eating and comestibles which may be of note. These include the "eating of out" the "guzzling" of various fluids (heretofore thought to be procreative in nature, although I now reconsider what seems to have been an over-hasty assumption) and the coating of one's corpus in foodstuffs— generally sweet condiments such as the whippinged cream, the chocolate sauce and the caramel. To be quite frank, although these image archives are extensive, they are also nigh unto entirely devoid of useful information viz. the precise nature and nutritional importance of the out-eating, the guzzling and the food-spreading-upon-breast-buttocks-and-etc. I ardently interrogated both Sang and Rob in this matter. The former could only mumble whilst great amounts of blood flushed his otherwise sallow countenance (I presume out of chagrin at being so wholly ignorant of the finer points of his own species' dietary needs), and the latter was gripped in terrible paroxysms of idiot laughter. I believe Rob may be stricken with some sort of neural or developmental impairment, and hope to soon have an opportunity to take him to the appropriate veterinarian for his needs.

On or Regarding the Process of Selecting Comestibles (adapted for humans and possibly other primates)

Fortunately, as I am a great indulger in the "finer things," this is an aspect of diet regarding which I could speak at great length, yet shall limit myself to the three most important matters of gustatory selection. Food items should always be selected based upon an equal and just consideration of the following three criteria:

  • Healthful Preparation
  • Character (including, but by no means limited to, loyalty, bravery, honor, hygiene and chutzpah)
  • Love of Life. Recall Hamlet, dearest readers, who could not have taken from him that with which he so wished to part— and thus tasted both flat and bitter when supped upon at the end of Act V.
  • On a related note of health issuance, I have also more thoroughly researched the problem of smoking, and I'm afraid that I shall need more and greater information in order to address M.T.'s smoking dilemma of weeks past. Specifically:

  • Do you smoke only when moving at great velocity, only after a great period of operation, or at all times?
  • Do you smoke only during acceleration, deceleration and/or velocitiation, or also when idling?
  • Does smoke issue from within your chassis, from without your tires, or from some other region of your person?
  • Have you recently checked or changed your oil and other lubricating fluids? What of the transmission, breaking and power steering fluids, if applicable? Has this been checked and topped-the-off, as necessary?
  • When did you last seek service and maintenance checking up from qualified personnel specializing in your make and model?
  • M.T., your speedy reply shall greatly aid me in addressing your grave condition. I deeply appreciate your ever-increasing patience and diligence.

    All is for the Best in the Best of All Possible Worlds,
    The Giant Squid

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