The Inflatable Octopus sits in the corner chair of the living room. It is orange with cartoon eyes and a painted on beak. It is filled with high-atmosphere nitrogen gas and so has never wilted nor sagged over its fifteen year stay.

I do not cover it with a cloth or blanket but I do refrain from directly acknowledging it in front of company. The Inflatable Octopus and I are not enemies but we have nothing left to say to each other.

I’m glad I ate all of that Undersea Star-Town Cereal, glad that I sent in the box tops, glad I got one last use out of the electric air pump, glad to have the Octopus in all major family portraits. It’s just…

It’s just a much longer ride than I signed up for.

Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

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