An Octopus’s Garden
People Who Should Keep A Pet Octopus
Stephen M. Tomic — It would suit him (for reasons that would, with time, become apparent to him, if only he gave it a try). I am, of course, ignoring the giant killer-octopus he keeps in his supervillain lair (that’s not a pet).
People Who Won’t Keep A Pet Octopus
Aura Wilming — Despite being geographically best suited to it, she’ll come up with some half-arsed excuse like “I don’t want to” … or something equally feeble … and there’s no point arguing with her about it. I’m not saying she’s so cold-hearted that, if she saw an octopus struggling in the street, she’d step over it like a beggar … and, in fact, I wouldn’t put it past her to go out of her way to rescue it and take it to the ocean and set it free … but she wouldn’t give it a home either (some people just aren’t sentimental). No, the only truly likely combination of Aura and any kind of cephalopod involve a Great Cthulhu pendant/broach/charm-bracelet and/or calamaris eaten at a beachside bar.
Dennett — If there were anyone I would trust to give a good home to an octopus out of water and down on its luck, it would be Dennett. But she lives in Florida and would probably worry what it might do to her alligator.
She’d give it bus fare though.
People Who Shouldn’t Keep A Pet Octopus
Arona Jones — It would suit him but, after a month or two of it hiding from him every time he so much glanced in its direction, never mind tried to play with it … biting him whenever he did manage to catch hold of it … and multiple escapes from the aquarium, leaving him frantically trying to locate it around his home (again) when he was going to be late (again) to wherever he needed to be … it would die and then he’d feel bad about himself ¹ (he would, however, have some highly amusing stories to tell afterwards²). Then, after he couldn’t find it anywhere³, it would stink the place up, further destroying any hopes he might have had with the ladies after his previous abysmal failures to impress them with his pet octopus because it was hiding and nowhere be seen: there’s nothing more likely to kill a young lady’s ardour than being let down by a guy who promised to show her an octopus; she might have slept with him if he’d had an octopus, like he said, but the fact that all he has is an empty aquarium kinda makes it plain that he was only really interested in getting into her panties … and that’s a turn-off when she was hoping he was genuine (as pick-up lines go, “would you like to come back to my place and see my octopus?” is preeeetty weird … so, not having one after all is less quirky and more predictably creepy).
SouthpawPoet — She’d kill it … and not just because she’s Spanish and would try to eat it, but because she had the opposite of whatever a ‘green thumb’ is when it comes to octupuses. Although she’d probably eat it before it got that far anyway (she’s Spanish … and they eat badgers, never mind octopuses). But, her unfortunate heritage (what kind of people eat octopuses!?) aside … even if she weren’t Spanish she’d still kill it. Arona’s would die, but she’d kill it … like a house-plant (even a cactus). Besides which, she doesn’t deserve an octopus anyway (she’s left-handed).
Forrest the Great — Like Dennett, she’s kind-hearted and I can think of no better octopus-wrangler: she’d play with it and give it toys and look after it properly. But she’s too kind: she’d worry about its wellbeing and be sad when it died … and I wouldn’t wish that upon her.
People Who Might Secretly Keep A Pet Octopus
E. Scott Alighieri and/or kurt gasbarra — You can never be sure what poets are up to (they’re temperamental, drink a lot of Absinthe and do the oddest things … they’re even weirder than most artists!). If you meet someone with a pet octopus and they aren’t Arona, you probably won’t lose money betting they’re a poet.
People Likely To Tell A Mindboggling Tale Of The Octopus That Took Over Their Life
Gutbloom — If an interdimensional octopus is gonna appear without warning from nowhere and crash through anyone’s roof, it’s his. And if anyone is subsequently gonna discover there’s some obscure, ancient local ordnance forbidding them from ejecting the octopus from their home, so that they have to build a pool to accommodate it, give up work to look after it and turn their home into a tourist attraction to generate the income necessary for its upkeep … it’s him.
Whilst ‘researching’ ⁴ this piece, I came across this:
Octopus vs Crocodile - What's the difference?
is . any of the predatory amphibious reptiles of the family crocodylidae; (loosely) a crocodilian, any species of the…
¹ Which would, I admit, amuse me greatly, but I’m not cruel enough to suggest it. Also, it’s very possible-to-probable that he’d end up with blue-ringed octopus (it’d be just his luck).
² People would find his tales of the anguish of being bested by an octopus side-splittingly funny.
³ In all fairness though, would you think of looking for an octopus dried to the end of the curtain rail?
⁴ I did! I had to look for a picture of an octopus eating an alligator!