A tough week for the spineless

It ain’t easy being an invertebrate these days.
Coastal Point

I mean, for starters, you have no spine, and that makes it hard to find a jacket that looks good on you. Then there’s the problem with trying to sit in a chair — you just kind of slink away into a puddle and never really get to enjoy things such as lumbar support. Of course, if you have no lumbar, I guess you need no support.

Regardless, it’s still a tough time for some of our spineless friends. Oh, there was Paul — the 2-year-old octopus in Germany who gained some notoriety recently for “picking” many of the winners in the World Cup. Paul lives in an aquarium, and employees would put two transparent containers of food in the tank with the flags of the nations participating in a certain game. Whichever container Paul chose to eat from was his selection for that particular game.

It was fun while it lasted, and Paul did seem to have a knack for picking the right team more than the wrong one. He even picked the World Cup final game correctly when he went for the Spain food over the Germany selection.

And now, well, many Germans want to eat Paul.

“Nothing beats grilled octopus,” said Dolores Lusch, via Reuters. “Cut him up in thin slices and grill him on all sides with a dash of lemon juice, olive oil and garlic on it. Delicious!”

I have a feeling that Ms. Lusch will soon be a subject of a future Marie’s Kitchen column in the Coastal Point. If you have an interesting recipe, chances are that Marie will find you.

I feel for Paul. He was on top of the world one day, with his prophetic tentacles tantalizing the world’s soccer fans — and now he’s feeling the backlash from his own countrymen, and somewhat close to becoming an entree. Well, life’s tough, Paul. Wear a helmet.

As bad as things have turned for Paul in his homeland, it got worse for a squid in Reno. The Assosiated Press reported earlier this week that “a squid left cooking in a microwave is the suspected culprit of noxious fumes that left two apartment dwellers queasy.”

You know, if I got left cooking in a microwave long enough to emit noxious fumes, I would hope that the story regarding it would not refer to me as a “culprit.” Even though the squid’s an invertebrate, I doubt he/she climbed into the microwave, closed the door and slid a tentacle through the closed door to fire up the power in some elaborate squid farewell-to-this-cruel-world scenario that seemingly comes from the pages of a dime store ...
But I digress.

Reno police said they believe the squid was put in the microwave of a communal kitchen by burglars. The two victims of noxious fume illness were treated at a local hospital, and police are still investigating the incident.
I can’t help but wonder that, since this took place in Reno, the squid gave somebody bad advice for a sports bet.
As bad as things were for our friends with no spines this past week, there was some good news for a very smart dog in Pennsylvania.

According to an Associated Press story, a woman had returned from the grocery store with her dog in the car, unloaded the groceries when she got home and forgot that her labrador, Max, was still inside the car. She said that she heard some honking outside, took a look and saw nothing, and continued about her day. Finally, after hearing the horn again, she went out to investigate and saw Max sitting in the driver’s seat, hitting the horn.

The woman grabbed Max, gave him some water and draped some wet towels on him and took him to the vet, where he is now doing fine, according to the story.

I’d love to crush this woman for what looks on the surface to be animal cruelty, but I can’t. It seems that this was an honest, yet terrible mistake, and she took all the right precautions after letting Max out of his heat box. But I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if that had been my pug, Bailey, left in the car. Or, more appropriately, what she would have left in my car as punishment for my error.