Bring Paul the Octopus to Brussels

July 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

News has just come in at the Presseurop office’s that Paul the Psychic Octopus has officially retired, following his latest prophecy that Spain will beat the Dutch in this Sunday’s World Cup final. Octopus life expectancy being only two years, Paul, already an advanced two and a half, shall be no more by the European Championship 2012 and World Cup Brazil 2014. Spiegel reports that the director of the Sea Life Oberhausen acquarium where Paul currently resides, wants to “train” another octopus in the arts of divination.

Seeing as Paul’s accuracy rate this World Cup has been 100%, I propose that in his declining days his powers be put to the service of the European Union. Is Iceland or Serbia to be the next EU member state? Who will first leave the Eurozone – Greece or Germany? You can imagine the excitement in the glass palaces of Brussels as Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso drop the transparent boxes with national flags into Paul’s aquarium. Paul contracts and expands in wavy, whirly octopus motion in his liquid medium, edges towards a defaulting Greece, a Euroreluctant Germany, before prizing of the lid and gobbling the juicy mussel of fate.

And why should his prophecies be confined to the fate of nations only? Should the EU pass a carbon tax? Will slash and burn austerity budgets help the recovery? At what age should we retire? Will Catherine Ashton emerge from obscurity? Given that Sunday’s football final is now a foregone conclusion, the EU will no longer have to defend itself against accusations of back room deals and transparency deficits. Paul foresaw it all.

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Break a leg, France…

June 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

As you can imagine many Irish people are still having trouble not feeling furious that during tonight’s World Cup in South Africa, France is trotting out onto the field instead of… end of objectivity starts here… us. But Ireland, whose history has been punctuated by defeats at the hands of the English, the spuds, and the quick, deft ones of Thierry Henry, can at least console itself with pizzas. Yes, it has been brought to my attention that Pizza Hut in Ireland, is offering a free “pizza” for every goal scored against France during the tournament. It suffices to sign up to the chain’s Facebook page to get one delivered to your door when a ball hopefully flies into the French net. Given the recent form of the French team, which limped past the mighty Costa Rica 2-1 in a friendly, and lost to the football genius of China, the Hut has put a ceiling of 350 orders. I’m surprised that the makers of unreal pizza should be that worried about financial health in an unreal country. Currently, the government is swearing blind the country has “turned a corner”. Indeed, it has. It has turned a corner into mass unemployment (13.7%) for the sake of better credit ratings. With corners like these, there should be a Thierry Henry at every one of them, saying ““I will be honest, it was a handball… It would have been better to do it in another way.”

Yes, Thierry, maybe you will be honest one day, but never mind. All Europe, apparently, is headed into this terra incognita, so in the spirit of solidarity, I would like to extend a warm European merde to the players of my adopted country. Pursuing this Latin fondess for things cloacal, I wish them in Spanish, a buena mierda, a good shit. I also take take my cue from Germany – Hals und Beinbruch, Poland – połamania nóg, that I hope they break a leg, or as in the Czech Republic’s zlom vaz, that they break their necks. Like a Romanian I wish them Baftă, or blind luck, with an emphasis on the blind bit. Or as in Holland, I will say Toi, Toi, Toi, as if I were spitting on them. Let it never be said that the Irish aren’t good losers.

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