German fans want revenge grilling of oracle octopus

BERLIN, (Reuters Life!) – Some Germans are calling  for a public roasting of the oracle octopus who correctly picked  the winner of all six of their national soccer team’s World Cup  matches — including a bitter defeat to Spain yesterday.

Paul, a two-year-old octopus in a German aquarium, turned  into a global celebrity for his uncanny ability to predict the  winner of all Germany’s matches — even a group stage defeat to  Serbia and an ousting by Spain in the semi-finals.

“Nothing beats grilled octopus,” said Dolores Lusch, a  Germany fan who works on a Berlin fish stall. “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!”

Not an ordinarily superstitious people, Germans became  believers in Paul’s possible psychic powers. The country was  shocked and distraught when he picked Spain to win after tipping  German wins over Argentina, England, Ghana and Australia.

German newspapers and websites were filled with suggestions  of what to do with Paul — most involved cooking and eating him.

“Throw him in the frying pan,” wrote the Berliner Kurier  newspaper in a popular sentiment echoed by Die Welt,  Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the Hamburger Abendblatt and other  newspapers.

Paul’s picks have become news across Germany and around the  world. German networks have had live reports on Paul’s picks.

Today, Paul will tip the winner of Saturday’s  Germany-Uruguay match for third place as well as the winner of  the Spain-Netherlands final on Sunday. Networks in Germany,  Spain and the Netherlands are planning live coverage.

The octopus, considered by some to be the most intelligent  of all invertebrates, gets the choice of picking food from two  different transparent containers lowered into his tank — one  with a German flag on it and one with the opponent’s flag.

The container Paul opens first is regarded as his pick.

Media attention over Paul’s picks in Germany and abroad has  grown exponentially and some commentators even wondered aloud  whether his improbable winning streak might have begun to  influence some of the more superstitious players.

Despite the antipathy towards Paul, Sea Life spokeswoman  Tanja Munzig said Paul has a bright future at his home in  Oberhausen.

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