'fried calamari' is a good name

Vote To Name National Zoo’s Dumb Octopus ‘Cthulhu’

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Ever since the Red Chinese took their panda back to Communist China, Washington’s National Zoo has been a pretty beat-down no-panda-havin’ sort of place. Kids don’t want to go there, not even to get out of school for the day — what does the zoo even have left, as far as animals? Some old deer that wandered into an empty cage? Roaches? The zoo man asked, “We got anything?” And sure enough his neighbor dragged up a nasty-ass octopus when he was fishing down by the Navy Yard.

“It’s in the bucket, you can have it, don’t know if it’s dead yet.” Well good let’s make a viral web social networking thing to get people excited about, uh, naming this thing.

But, there’s no write-in. No place to call it “Butterfingers” or “Octomom” or whatever. The choices are so lame, we encourage you not to vote, don’t even go to the linked page. Here’s what it says, we’ll save you the trouble of clicking:

* Olympus: This octopus arrived at the Zoo just before the 2010 Winter Olympics, and for many zoogoers the octopus gets a gold medal for being a compelling animal.
* Ceph: Octopuses belong to the fascinating group of animals called cephalopods (class Cephalopoda), which means “head-foot.” The arms or feet (podos in Greek) of these animals are on the front of their head (“cephalo” comes from the Greek kephale, for head).
* Octavius: “Octavius the Octopus” is more than just a pretty, alliterative name. The prefix “oct” means eight—that’s how many arms an octopus has, and “Octavius” was the Latin name traditionally given to the eighth child.
* Vancouver: Home may be where the heart is—three hearts in the case of the octopus—and this octopus came the Zoo from an organization in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the end of January.

Yeah no, this is stupid. “Cthulhu” or “Nancy Pelosi” or whatever, that would be more “fun,” but even then … not going to the zoo for a fucking ocotopus. ALSO: If you are so in love with this filthy octopus, National Zoo, why don’t you gay marry it by replacing the panda icons all over your website with this octopus, “Nancy Pelosi”? [National Zoo]

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne


Hey there, Wonkeputians! Shypixel here to remind you to remember our Commenting Rules For Radicals, Enjoy!

  • frailamerica

    I’m sorta diggin’ “Octavius”

  • FlownOver

    Butterstick. Because tradition.

  • Mista Eko

    How about “Release The Kraken”?

  • Sharkey


  • AggieDemocrat

    I’m gay for Cthulhu, you’re gay for Cthulhu, we’re all gay for Cthulhu!

  • freakishlystrong

    [re=549649]FlownOver[/re]: I was thinking more Jellystick. But yeah, fine minds and all that!

  • Smoke Filled Roommate


  • SayItWithWookies

    I’d name it “Housing Market” since it’s underwater and loaded down with suckers.

  • Jerri

    They should just name him “Head-foot” and be done with it. Maybe a last name too. “Head-foot Johnson” There. Done. Plus now he sounds like a cool old Delta blues guy instead of a gross squiggly octopus.

  • MARCdMan

    What about Tentacle Porn?

  • Ken Layne

    [re=549665]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Haw haw.

  • ella

    Bill Clinton.

  • Cape Clod

    Stephen Colpus.

  • The Church of Realism

    They should call it Erik Erikson because that’s what I call all spineless cephalopods…

  • Crank Tango


  • TGY

    [re=549652]Mista Eko[/re]: Phil McKraken, obvs.

  • Cape Clod

    [re=549665]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Forget it. It’s all over. Brilliant.

  • SmutBoffin

    FUN FACT: Octopuses are quite intelligent, possessing spelling skills considerably more developed than the common teabagger (retardicus teahadi).

  • norbizness

    I say we make him Supersucker in tribute to my favorite speed-roots rock band from the desert Southwest.

  • JMP

    I’d like to take my child, Human Person, to see Octavius the Octopus.

  • Clancy_Pants

    How about “Dick Cheney” cause 1) He’s a bottom dweller 2) He sucks and 3) Because he’s a pussy (draft dodger)

  • OzoneTom

    I’d hit it.

  • Crank Tango

    [re=549672]Crank Tango[/re]: stop rushing to the comments before fully reading the posts, jackass.

  • Smoke Filled Roommate

    [re=549666]Jerri[/re]: And give him a tiny guitar so he can sing “Underwater Head-foot Blues”!

  • What Fresh Hell is This?

    What gender?

    I’d call it “Larry Craig” (or Michele Bachmann) because it would love to swallow seamen.

  • Buzz Feedback

    J. Roby Penn IV

  • the problem child

    There’s a sucker born every minute.

  • Sharkey


  • memzilla

    [re=549665]SayItWithWookies[/re]: “I’d name it “Housing Market” since it’s underwater and loaded down with suckers.”

    WOTW – Win Of The Week.

    Although Cthulhu did place second. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn… IA! SHUB-NIGGURATH!

  • Come here a minute

    I dream of being touched by its noodly appendages.

  • Gorillionaire

    Don’t be mean to Octopus. They are intelligent critters who live pretty humbly. Their poor little babies get eaten by the tens of thousands in the wild and then ridiculous Japanese “fishermen” scoop up hundreds more to decorate their crappy box lunches with. Any random octopus is both smarter and nicer than Glenn Beck.

  • PlanetWingnuta


  • prizepig

    if (when) i get an octopus I’ll call him Mr. Bagpipe.

    the zoo’s names are stupid.

  • Doglessliberal

    Man, Ken, did an octopus eat your dog when you were a kid or something? Octo-hater!

  • El Pinche

    I like ‘Penis.’

  • germansteel


  • bureaucrap

    [re=549665]SayItWithWookies[/re]: serious win.

  • Troubledog

    I like my cephalopods like I like my women. Covered in panko.

  • Jim89048

    No write-ins allowed? Where’s it’s birth certificate?

  • mollymcguire

    [re=549665]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Brilliant.

  • HuddledMass

    [re=549665]SayItWithWookies[/re]: Let’s call it Wookies, in honor of.

  • Mahousu

    Call him Octavian, write up some phony document about how Butterstick has named him his heir, and then he can get to work killing off all his rivals and ruling the zoo as a benevolent despot.

    It’ll be a little boring at first, but in a few years, his great-grandson/adopted grandson will take over and start having orgies with horses and whatnot.

  • Troubledog

    [re=549665]SayItWithWookies[/re]: T-dog is envious. Nice piece of work there.

    Unrelated: This thread is now about Tim ‘Dr. Hook’ McCracken.

  • SayItWithWookies

    Well after that I should just quit for the day, per the Costanza Principle. My understudy, UtterItWithAustralopithecenes, will be filling in for me until tomorrow. Thanks everyone, and goodnight!

  • Monsieur Grumpe

    Larry Calamari?

  • JMP

    [re=549675]SmutBoffin[/re]: The giant octopus is capable of learning, a capacity which the teabaggers have yet to show they have.

    They actually are incredibly smart, but it’s hard for scientists to determine exactly how much, because their intelligence is completely alien to us, as their brains developed completely independently from vertebrate brains. Sometimes, though, I wonder that they may only have failed to develop civilization due to their short life spans and lack of fire.

  • Ducksworthy

    [re=549686]Buzz Feedback[/re]: Here! Here! In honor of our owners. Also.

  • SmutBoffin
  • Ducksworthy

    [re=549718]JMP[/re]: Interesting. Yes the dying every time you have sex and making fire underwater problems have clearly held them back. (On this planet.)

  • BlueStateLiberal

    [re=549718]JMP[/re]: How do you know they have failed to develop a civilization? Perhaps they live in ancient underwater cities, off the coast of New England perhaps, and emerge occasionally to lure and breed with unsuspecting humans?

  • chascates

    The Socialist Conspiracy

    But no one can beat the Wookster’s name.

  • GOPCrusher

    Steve Yzerman.

  • Mr Blifil

    [re=549674]Cape Clod[/re]: Yeah, a bit anti-clamactic really…

  • comicbookguy

    Beware the mighty Septopus
    What a dandy guy
    He lives on top the submarine
    And he’s always eating pies
    He’s always eating pies up there
    And throwing festivals
    He’s the grandest guy in town
    With seven testicles

  • JMP

    [re=549729]SmutBoffin[/re]: For some reason the more intelligent animals often seem to act out when they’re kept in small cages or tanks for extended periods (see also: dolphins, killer whales, parrots, elephants, and our fellow apes).

    [re=549742]BlueStateLiberal[/re]: Hmm, I think I’ve seen some Japanese cartoons where tentacled creatures breed with humans.

  • Ted

    Wow, not even a bad throwback to sometime last year on the internet with a “Mr. Splasy Tentacles”?

    Probably because the zoo socialists would misspell “tentacles” on the sign outside the leaky bucket this thing is kept in and kids would be all “mommy what’s a Splasy Testicle?”

  • Vartan84

    I’m honest, can you make another post with the zoo’s phone number and stuff so we can have a good old DC lobbying campaign to make him Cthulhu? With the power of Wonkette, and perhaps some well-timed-throughout-the-day calling of the zoo to let them know what a true awesome octoname is, we can make this happen. I mean hey it worked for Betty White on SNL, why not ‘Cthulhu at the zoo’?!

  • Sharkey

    Doc Ock

    (How’d you miss that one, comicbookguy?)

  • DickTaterPeeNoShay

    [re=549665]SayItWithWookies[/re]: like

  • Radiotherapy

    If we were turning Japanese, we’d call it SUSHI,
    I really think so!

  • JGabriel

    From an educational standpoint, “Ceph” seems like the best option. Admittedly not as cool as “Cthulu”, “Darth Ate Her”, or “Lord Octomort”, but if it gets the kids to learn a little more about our friends the arthropods, then I’m all for it.


  • Pithaughn

    What do you get if you cross Michael Steele with an octopus? I don’t know, but it sure can accept resignations! Ka Boom.

  • sanantonerose

    Q: What do you get when you cross a Mexican with an octopus?

    A: Who knows? But it could sure pick the shit out of lettuce.

  • BeWoot


  • Cape Clod

    [re=549742]BlueStateLiberal[/re]: That does happen, though one does have to be exceptionally drunk.

  • NJB


  • heathenish

    [re=549661]AggieDemocrat[/re]: Totally!

    [re=549900]NJB[/re]: Also very nice.
    @Come here a minute: the FSM would be the only name.

  • Upthruster

    Plunger face! Ha Ha, you had a spider for a mom and a toilet plunger for a dad!!

  • pirate king of the Jews

    [re=549718]JMP[/re]: The only things separating us from the cephalopods are thumbs and phone sex.

  • pirate king of the Jews

    Q: what do you get when you cross an octopus with a teabagger?
    A: a better looking teabagger.

  • Sharkey

    I am re-nominating:

    Just think about it for a few seconds. Beats the hell out of “Housing Market”, no offense to Wookies…

  • Sharkey




  • OzoneTom

    Enough with your sick fantasies!

    But if you do arrange it, let me know. “I just want to take pics.”

    [re=549878]Cape Clod[/re]: One cephalopod? What is their toxin of choice?

  • OzoneTom

    That should have been “Enough with your sick LIBERAL fantasies!”

    Also, look out for that beak.

  • Ken Layne

    [re=549986]Upthruster[/re]: Oh lord … forgive us, Octo-Lord.

    [re=549839]sanantonerose[/re]: Stop taking away America’s jobs!

  • Rock Ripsnort

    I envy thee, O Octopus.
    If I were thee, I’d call me Us.

    And those suckers are staring at me.

  • MsQuasimodo

    [re=549692]Come here a minute[/re]: Don’t “noodly appendages” refer to the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Please, get yer imaginary space monster deities str8. LOL Also