A Sad Ending for Mr Pulpo
In October 2008 I did a fabulous long-weekend road trip with my friend Susan, from Sevilla along the Costa de la Luz to Bolonia and, after a quick side trip to buy knickers at M&S in Gibraltar, we went on to Málaga because my friend Agustín told me I HAD to eat at Andrés Maricuchi. This was my first, and very brief, visit to Málaga and after lunch and visiting the Picasso museum we stopped for tea and cake near the Roman amphitheatre, which was still being excavated at the time. And for some reason there was a massive octopus draped over a small viewing area.
Apparently the giant octopus is a legend told by Pliny the Elder about an incident that took place when Málaga was a part of the Roman Empire and was an important producer and exporter of garum, or fish paste. During the night this giant octopus would drag itself across the beach and eat the stored fish paste. They tried to catch it with dogs, which it slapped aside like so many mosquitos, and so they also put up barriers around it, but it escaped by jumping into a tree and then over the barriers. It was finally killed by many harpoons … well, that is the story in a nutshell.
So imagine my surprise when I was walking over to the Contemporary Arts Museum during my recent holiday in Málaga and, looking up, spotted a decidedlly worse-for-wear Mr Pulpo sprawled across the balcony of what looked like an abandoned building near the port. I thought this was a very sad way for this impressive specimen to have ended up. But it was even sadder when my friend Victor (@welovemalaga) sent me the photo below this morning on Twitter. Not only had Mr Pulpo been unceremoniously pushed over the balcony but they’d cut all his legs off! Why??