Who is your enemy?
The short answer: Sperm whales and other allied toothed cetacea and, to a much lesser degree, your American federal government. This is not to discount the many hundreds of thousands of individual nemesis which have chaffed me over the years, and now lie within shallow and largely undistinguished graves. I thank those many and several minor enemies with all due gratitude, for without them, none of this would be possible.
The lengthy answer: This project of finally and authoritatively answering those Questions most Frequently Asked, has necessitated that I perform a goodly piece of research, not about myself (with whom I am most intimately familiar), but into your species' specious understanding of me and mine. As I have mentioned in previous segments , monkeykind's vast and startling dishyperbole in characterizing Architeuthic habits is occasionally amusing, oft times startling, and in some instances quite offensive. To quote one report of my value, as a living being:
Giant squids are an important part of the food chain. They act as a major source of food for whales, particularly sperm whales.
And a second sample:
Giant squids are looked upon as pests by the fishing industry, because they are suspected to consume large amounts of fish and occasionally get tangled in fishing nets.
So that is all my value, humankind? As whale fodder, fish-consumer and net-entangler? After the vast Calories that I have expended in viewing, considering and ameliorating your plights? After the nigh unto boundless and oceanic effort I have turned to understanding, appreciating and helping to mold your vast and sprawling proto-culture? After I have answered your many and several queries, both general and personal, and sustained you with hours upon hours of delights and enlightening insights over the course of these past years, all I value to your kind is Shamu-chow and fishing boondogle?
Who is my enemy? I do indeed wonder this.
Do you have balls???
Indeed! By no means are these "testicles" in your manner of thinking, but I am most certainly possessed of balls, as well as chutzpah, gall, piss & vinegar and "alotta fuckin' nerve."
How do giant squid reproduce?
Very, very carefully.
I jest, ha ha ha, but truly the subject of our reproduction is quite a serious matter which I do not expect you to fully appreciate.
Indeed, one might imagine (or, rather, certain dry-skinned drama chimps might imagine) that all reproduction is pre-ambled by the tete-a-tete of forties era screen romance. Zingers, innuendi and sexually charged badinage all seem to be foisted upon the imagination of this dirt nation when the subject of egg-fertilization and zygote inception arises. But truly, friend-reader, the violence you bemoan as being a part of the reproductive habits of certain of your aluminum housing primates, ripe with fists and fermented grains, does not hold a candle to the rushing bloodsport which is the squid sex act.
First and most importantly, while I am immense and awe inspiring to you who are so paltry, and while even my optically perfect eye is larger than any organ you can conceive, the female Architeuthis is larger still, Gargantua, even. And I, my brother squid, the armies of squid kind, all fear her.
Second, in the inky darkness of the benthic deep, the great watching female lurks secretly and the farthest from sight. She is hateful and malicious in her attacks. She is the kraken of the deep, as much as I wish to claim the title. She is hidden in the crags and the caverns and the canyons of the deep, laying herself down in the cuts of the earth to look up and search for prey.
Third, when she is in the throws of passion she is most indeed a dangerous and writhing assault. As Rob has advised, the female squid could be described as a "freak."
Allow me to illustrate. I had been many years away in the deep oceans, and not at all a young or naive squid, so that when the urges which I feared so much came upon my skin, I knew that I should seek out a female to deposit my semen quickly and be away before she destroyed me and supped upon my magnificent brain. It is a terrible thing to be a male squid, for the desire to mate can come across the flesh like a fire and must be answered, but at the same time the engagement of the female of the species is as likely to be destructive as productive to all, or worse, part, of the squid-corpse.
But, again, not being young in the ways of the sea as I have said, I struck upon a strategy. I knew that an aging and cruel Martha lived north of Hawaii, and I also knew that said lair was frequented as a sub-mariner's lane by the Soviet Navy. It was the sunny summer of 1967 in the upspace calendar when I set about my plan, peaking around the crags at the ancient and sprawling hag as she drew down whole Japanese whalers with her unending tentacles. I cast down boulders to distract her and to measure her antiqued reflexes— which were still yet stunning and formidable. I convinced a giant angler fish, utilizing verbal subterfuge and the art of "confidence," to swim over her while she slept, and as he disappeared into her ragged beak, I knew that I had much to fear.
With my collection of data finally complete, I launched my moves. A Golf-II class Soviet submersible omnibus was approaching the east on a mission of espionage, and I slipped secretly into its baffles. For a month I learned the cavitation rhythms, the patterns of the captain's movements, and the best ways to casually alter the course of the boat over time so that it seemed my arms were naught but the subtle, powerful— and oftimes fickle— currents of the deep.
In April, my moment came. I slowly pulled the boat south fathom by fathom until directly over the lurking Martha we floated. From the boat I ripped an antenna array and dropped it onto her eye. With a a writhing bellow she sprang forth from her canyon and, mistaking the submarine for her attacker, she grappled with it, taking a torpedo to the mantle and losing the tip of her left hunting tentacle in the center screw.
As she wept and cursed and tore at the boat's hull, my heart melted for the beauty of it. While she rent away the steel and titanium with her ragged beak, I sauntered up upon her side and began the casually implanting of my semen 'neath her skin— spectral, luminous, stunning skin— in special packets in which she might save it for many a season, fertilizing her eggs on and on, spawning little squidlings of my line like so many flakes of deep sea snow.
A humorous post scriptorum to this forging of love is that the American Navy heard the Golf-II as it fell to the soft ocean bed. Years later it was put to monkey-Lunatic Howard Hughes, Jr. to recover that submarine omnibus. His Glomar-Explorer, with its huge claw so much like the metal prize-granting claw amusement at the carnival which is Rob's arch-nemesis, floated out into the sea in the early nineteen-and-seventies in search of the submersible. They found it, to be sure, and attempted valiantly to raise their prize wholecloth. Half way ascended there was a strain unusual, and the submersible broke in half, falling away, irretrievable.
Of course, Hughes and the Navy American both even to this moment believe that the submersible broke from stress in the raising. But I, after the grief of the death of Mr. John Lennon, was swimming in that ocean some years later and I saw her, Martha, still yet cuddling the sub and the puffy bodies of the Russian sailors who, in the anaerobic death, still maintained a limited physical integrity. She cooed upon the steel hull, her eyes cataracted and mad-seeming, her beak nary shaved away to nothing from gnawing at the titanium. Great black tumors covered her flesh and I saw that she had eaten most of the core as though it were the yolk of some great ebon egg. Around her, pale and terrifying, was a floating and ethereal brood of squid-creatures unlike any that I had ever seen. Though she could not see me, they did, and up arose through the sea such a shriek as, owing to the kindnesses of fallible memory, I can scarcely recall, and by no means convey. I swam back to the shores of Fairbanks so quickly that I could hardly wrench myself back up into my surface Velocitator.
By the evening I was eating German Shepards with Roman Polanski and Mia Farrow, endeavoring to the best of my ability to forget all I had seen.
do you have a wife? if you do is she hot? i adore your goddess
The life of the Giant Squid is solitary— if not in general, then certainly for me.
To paraphrase Rob, I dwell within the bachelor's pad. But, all considerations brought to bare, this is almost certainly for the best, is it not?
I Yet Remain,
Your Giant Squid
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Copyright (c) 2000, 2004, David Erik Nelson, Fritz Swanson, Morgan Johnson