Uh, right. That line comes from a story in a 1949 issue of Mechanix Illustrated, “Octopus wrestling is my hobby”.


The story involves a ferocious octopus with 25-foot long arms that fought an entire village of people armed with clubs, knives, and spears—the description of the battle isn’t at all clear, but it sounds like the monster is coming to the surface in shallow water and fighting all these people milling around. It’s a very silly story.

It was difficult to spear the octopus if it were far back in the coral caverns. But Roo had his own system for drawing the creature out. Retreating a short distance from the lair, he would take up his vivo (flute) and play weird tunes upon it the way a Hindu fakir charms a cobra. His piping would soon attract the octopus from its cavern–first the globular, horned head, then the long tentacles with their double row of cup-like suckers. Out of curiosity the octopus would approach within striking distance. In a split second our spears would speed into the revolting mass.

Then, there would be a human-like moan and the water would be clouded with sepia. The long tentacles would flay the surface of the lagoon in savage fury, as the monster tried to rid itself of our spears which were firmly imbedded in its head. If necessary, another spear would be dispatched into the writhing hulk. It took a long time to tire the octopus and we had to hold firmly to the ropes attached to the end of the spears to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the lagoon where it would be lost to us.

In fact, I think the author was making it all up!


  1. #1 archgoon
    April 12, 2007

    Skatje has started up such a thread.

  2. #2 Christian Burnham
    April 12, 2007

    Thanks archgoon. I’m heading over to Skatje’s place.

  3. #3 Steff Z
    April 12, 2007

    Oh, man!
    I mean a blanket octopus, of course.

    Drat! I mix them up with carpet pythons ALL the TIME.

  4. #4 Greta Christina
    April 13, 2007

    Um… how do you play the flute under water?

    This is hilarious. Right up there with “Weasels Ripped My Flesh!” (I learned recently that Frank Zappa took that title from a piece in a ’50s men’s adventure magazine.)

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