So a German octopus has been more adept at predicting the outcome of matches in the football World Cup than a thousand highly paid human pundits. And now the eight-tentacled Paul has competition from Mani, a parakeet from Singapore, a female octopus, Pauline, from Holland, an Estonian chimpanzee (Pino) and an African Red River Hog.
Paul: just one of many oracles
Almost as exciting as speculation about the ultimate winner on Sunday is the parallel side match between these oracles from the animal kingdom: for example, Paul has wrapped Spain in his tight embrace, while his feathered rival has pecked Holland. Should a gambler now rush to be smothered by Paul, go for Mani in the hope of feathering his nest, or hog the limelight with the African beast?
I have it on good authority that Geo has cottoned on to this exciting development and has decided to embark on a new cost-cutting. crowd-pleasing drama. Negotiations are currently under way between the leading media group and a bewildering array of animals, minerals and vegetables, to take over the slot vacated by Dr Shahid Masood. Geo is now apparently talent-hunting for a creature who goes hysterical and loses his marbles every time the name Zardari is mentioned. According to inside sources, a kangaroo who punches anyone who says the 'Z' word is tipped for the coveted slot. The only problem is that kangaroos don't particularly scream too much or have any particular ideological affinity to General Hamid Gul. The other main candidate is a big fat bee that not only drones on and on but unfailingly stings PPP sympathisers on prime time as a divine sign of imminent doom for their party.
Highly unreliable sources claim that a top channel has also hired Kaka, a Lyari mule, to spot a fake degree from a mile. The animal is known to kick wildly in the air when someone's degree is from a dodgy online university ('Dr' Babar Awan and 'Dr' Aamir Liaquat got the treatment in a pilot study) and expel a load of dung when the degree in question is a downright forgery. When confronted with the newly re-elected honourable PPP member from Muzzafargarh, Kaka is believed to have contracted severe diaorrhea. As they say on PIA, apna Dasti samaan saath le jaana na bhooleye.
Not to be left behind, other channels have also got in on the act, with Samaa torn between hiring a screeching parakeet or a hyena to replace Meher and Jasmine, and ARY negotiating with a chhipkali to take over from Dr Danish on his night off without too many people noticing the swap. Not only can these creatures screech or slither on cue, but they can tell you the exact date on which we will be rid of this fascist democracy and get a good, decent authoritarian regime in its place.
Express TV was talking to a big bug-eyed right wing creature but discovered that he is already on their staff and is ostensibly human. He goes by the name of Javed Chaudhry. Aaj continues its search for a fish oracle that witnessed a brave Pakistani journalist's exploits aboard a Gaza-bound flotilla attacked by Israelis. The creature is meant to leap up in the air every time Talat Hussain is within a half-mile vicinity and scream " death to Israel".
Unfortunately, Geo got there first. The cuddly, extremist-spotting blind dolphin from Sukkur that was witness to that episode during its Mediterranean holidays, was about to bag a major slot on the Jang Group's channel, but has developed certain irreconciliable differences with Hamid Mir. The normally peaceful creature, blind fool that it is, even developed shark-like tendencies and attacked poor Ansar Abbasi the other day. Mr Mir would prefer to hire an ostrich who can't spot a Taliban horde even if it is hit on the head by one. Sadly, the big bird has opted instead for a senior position in the Punjab government.
Any ideas about novel animals our channels can hire to liven things up?