Forget Netherlands’ Wesley Sneijder and even the star of Wednesday night, Spain’s Carles Puyol — the headline grabber of FIFA 2010 continues to be Paul, the psychic Octopus. And, like every sensational celebrity, Paul now has fans naming dishes after him, and nations sending him death threats!
Off and on Menus
After Spain beat Germany to make it to their first-ever World Cup final, all eyes turned to the eight-legged soothsayer who had predicted Spain’s win on Tuesday itself. Spain’s celebrity chef Jose Andres, who runs a popular restaurant chain called Jaleo in Bethesda, announced on Twitter that he was “taking octopus off the menu” at all his restaurants, as the eight armed creature has become a darling of the nation.
On the other hand, on Berlin’s fan-mile, where over 350,000 German fans gathered to watch the match, anti-octopus songs were sung loudly. Once a German hero, Paul is now “a much-sought after delicacy with fans suggesting he should be fried, barbecued, turned into a seafood salad or thrown into a shark tank!”, reported
, a German paper.
The Germans aren’t the only ones gunning for Paul. After Germany beat Argentina 4-0 in the quarter finals, Argentinian newspaper El Dia dared people to capture Paul and printed a recipe for the victor to use: “All you need is four normal potatoes, olive oil for taste and a little pepper.” Argentinian chef Nicolas Bedorrou even said, “We will chase him…then beat him in order to keep the meat tender and then put him in boiling water!”
Paul’s not scared!
Despite several death threats, Oliver Walenciak, Paul’s keeper at the Aquarium Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, said the octopus is unfazed. “There are always people who want to eat him, but he’s not shy and we are here to protect him. He’ll survive,” Walenciak told
He’s a Bollywood star too
Immediately after Spain won, Bollywood stars began tweeting about Paul. Actor Amitabh Bachchan wrote: “OCTOPUS baby... You Pauli you were right”, while son Abhishek tweeted, “Who would have thought that in the 21st century, an octopus would be able to cast a cloud of doubt over the mighty Germans.” Sameera Reddy retweeted, “Western societies accuse us of being superstitious, and then believe an octopus!” while actor Rahul Khanna, a Germany supporter, wrote: “If the Germans ordered calamari from room service last night, it would have been a clear demonstration of squid pro quo.”
(Compiled by Damini Purkayastha)