Thursday, November 20, 2003

Jim Romenesko's Obscure Store and Reading Room points out this news story about an Illinois man who found a dead octopus in his home toilet. I don't mean to suggest that there's anything suspicious going on here, or that supernatural forces (which I do not believe in) are at work, but the story fails to propose any likely sequence of events by which this could have happened. Friends and neighbors, I think it's time we considered the possibility that the very fabric of physical reality is becoming threadbare and has begun to fall apart.

Hear me out, now. There is a difference between common "unexplained" phenomena—UFOs, cryptozoology and the like—which seem weird and unlikely, although they all could be explained reasonably and innocently—there's a difference between that and weird stuff that just isn't supposed to happen no matter what. To me an unexpected octopus in your house is stranger than all the UFO sightings in history, because there's no misperception or optical illusion involved.

The last thing I want to believe is that the wheels are finally coming off the cosmic wagon, but in my quieter moments I can hear the funny noise they're making. For the sake of the universe, I hope it's just me going nuts.

UPDATE: It's now revealed—too late to do my fragile sanity any good—that the whole thing was a prank carried out by the man's girlfriend. Yes, it's the old fraternity-hazing-style octopus-in-the-toilet bit, back again to reveal my boundless gullibility. It sort of renews my lack of faith in human nature.


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