Allergic to Octopuses? Really?
How would you know?

Well actually, there's a strong chance that you could be, since octo-pollen is eight times stronger than the pollens that cause havoc for hay fever sufferers every year. And the symptoms are pretty much the same, except that your head will swell up to three times its normal size and when you sneeze you'll pepper your immediate surroundings with ink.

That's why 'octo-fever' has been called the most unsociable of conditions. If your silhouette has an uncanny resemblance to a punchball and you can't be trusted near a trifle without showering it with thick, black octo-mucus, then it's very likely that you won't be invited to parties. You're certainly not coming to any of mine, anyway.

What's more, octo-fever is currently on the rise. At one time you would only expect to suffer from it if you lived on the coast and you didn't practise safe snorkelling. But climate change and whelk migrations have prompted octopuses to move inland and take up jobs in insurance and banking, meaning that you're much more likely to encounter one on the bus to work. As a result, considerably more people now report allergic reactions due to the slime secreted by octopus flesh.

So, is there any relief for octo-fever sufferers? Well, for some time now it has been possible to buy special creams and lotions that can be rubbed into the skin. Unfortunately, it's rarely possible to get the octopuses to sit still long enough to do it, and if you try to pin them down they get all cross and flappy, which really does nobody any good.

Thankfully Dr Heinrich Crabs at the Heidelberg Institute of Advanced Molluscs has the answer.

"Oh hello. Yes, thankfully I have the answer," says Dr Crabs. "It came to me one evening when I was scrubbing my potatoes in the back yard. It's all to do with giraffes. As everyone but the most muddle-headed numbskull knows, the giraffe is the natural predator of the octopus and they can often be seen in coastal regions, wading into the surf and plunging their heads deep beneath the water looking for the squishy little fellows."

Dr Crabs realised that the giraffe is naturally immune to octopus toxins, and that a serum extracted from giraffe blood could be the basis of an effective octo-fever cure.

"That's right," says Dr Crabs. "I did! I did realise this! And from today my octo-cure is available for you at home, you lucky people. Now your allergic octopus reaction can be a thing of the past. Conquer your octo-fear with my giraffe serum and never let explosive ink-snot embarrass you again."

To get hold of your limited edition sample of Heinrich Crabs' Miracle Giraffe Serum, personally signed by the doctor himself, send your stool sample* to:

Hey, what can I do about these damn Octopuses?
Box 555
Nr Heidelberg

*The security of your stool sample is important to us. We will only share it with companies, organisations or individuals if we have your consent to do so.

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