There was a great discussion on my very most favoritest blog ever, In the comment thread, we were addressing how difficult it is to determine real individuality in the Avril Lavigne generation (“no one trusts a haircut anymore”). In Nadya’s tentacular followup posting, she pointed out one reliable, if more subtle indicator: “If someone’s eyes light up when the word “tentacles” is mentioned, chances are they’re my kinda person.” I’ve actually met friends this way…. I thought it was just me.

The real corker for me was a comment to the followup, from one Sue Bamford, which I reproduce here in its entirety:

It seems that even when my hair is blonde and I’m wearing a sensible suit I can’t seem to quite ‘pass’ in the mundane world, eventually something happens to out me as ‘weird’. My friend J (an accountant) has the same problem, and between us we now have a phrase to cover that look of horror on people’s faces that happens when they realise we’re a little odder than normal; we say ‘our tentacles must be showing’, as though one has peeled off the human face and revealed something altogether more squiddy underneath.

I consider this to be massive, lossless data compression for an idea I’ve been compelled to describe on too many occasions, but lacking the succinctness of Sue’s expression. Nicely put, Sue. I hope we meet sometime, and I hope I’ll be able to spot that telltale tentacle.