I have never quite managed to understand who at the Guardian thought those posters about nature would be a good idea – the ones with drawings of trees and birds and the like. I seem to remember one particularly baffling one that detailed species of squid and cuttlefish. Which demographic did they think would be interested in this?ME? HELLO? I AM INTERESTED! And also indignant! What is baffling about squid and cuttlefish? Every Joe Schmoe can post "Birds Of Your Backyard" or something equally inane on his wall, but even I, the cephalopdiatrist, confess that I do not have a cephalopod poster on my wall. While trying desperately to remedy this situation by buying a Guardian poster online, I discovered an entertaining account by the Guardian's marketing director, who "explains why octopus and squid, crabs and lobsters, seashells, whales, seabirds, and birds of prey have been inside your paper (and on the front page) all week."
This has been wallchart week in the Guardian. It has been one of the most successful promotions in recent years. Nothing has lifted weekday sales quite like octopus, squid, dolphins, whales and birds of prey.Although I cannot seem to find one of these posters for myself (and I would be willing to pay a premium for it), I am comforted by these words. It would seem that a large segment of the paying public was not "baffled" by the cephalopod poster, but intrigued. Curious. Interested. Maybe, somewhere in the UK, a few walls are still adorned with cephalopod wallcharts. Maybe a small child, or a businesswoman, or an elderly grandfather, gazes at the octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish while eating breakfast, day after day. Slowly memorizing the colors, the names, the shapes.
Appreciating, for just a few minutes every morning, some of the remarkably beautiful and varied creatures with whom we share the planet.