Paul the psychic octopus vs. Mani the prescient parakeet: Clash of the titans

The heavyweights of the world of soccer football prognostication are set for a showdown from which only one will emerge victorious. Paul, the psychic octopus from Germany, and Mani, the prescient parakeet from Singapore, have chosen opposite sides in tomorrow’s World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands.

As readers of this site already know, Paul has picked the winner in every World Cup match he has called to date, including Spain’s disposal of Germany in the semifinal. That prediction from the psychic octopus had many Germans calling for calamari for dinner afterwards. Mani likewise has a 100 percent accuracy rate in the contests he has called, but as Singapore isn’t playing in the World Cup, no one is asking for fricasseed parakeet.

For the final, Mani likes the orange: he pecked the Dutch to win it all. Meanwhile, over at Berlin’s Sea Life Aquarium, Paul plucked a mussel from a water tank bearing the Spanish flag to signal his choice.

As Mani has a five-year history of helping the denizens of Singapore’s Little India community answer life’s vexing questions and pick winning lottery numbers, while all Paul has done is swim and entertain kids and grownups, this reporter’s gotta give the edge to the prognosticating parakeet in the showdown with the psychic octopus. Other notables have also weighed in on the avian side: this morning on MSNBC, “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough, echoing the sentiments of disgruntled Germans, said he wanted “to cut up that octopus, grill it, and serve it with orange seasoning.”

For these people, there is some consolation, though: Paul the psychic octopus has picked Germany to beat Uruguay in the third-place game.