Monday, September 12, 2005

Night of the Living Octopuses

I arrived at work today to find the cafeteria and convenience store decked out in the October colors of orange and black. Even the new uniforms, pumpkin orange shirts and black pants, fit with the color scheme. Near one register, is a basket of cookies, frosted in bright Halloween orange. The only problem is that the cookies are not in the shape of goblins or witches, but octopuses*. Since when have cephalopods been associated with Halloween? Perhaps they were malformed ghosts?

*If you doubt my use of octopuses, vs. octopi, check out this link.


At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duuuuude. Octopuses....octopi...there you go.

At 9:43 PM, Blogger Scott in Washington said...

Actually octopuses have long been associated with all hallow's eve. In the middle ages, serfs in England used to use kelp as a breathing device and dove deep to capture various breeds of octopi, which they would then store in barrels.

At the end of October they would hang a grayish colored sheet over their heads with eye holes, to make themselves look like an octopus and go up to the big house, asking "trick or treat". If the lords and ladies did not give them a treat, they would throw the now stinking eight legged octo-gunk in their faces.

Later one, to appease christian reformers who objected to the octopus symbology (with its Budhist undertones), the person in the sheet was changed to symbolize a ghost, but thats a load of hooey.


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