Was he talking about eating one? Im confused...but if he was, 5 bucks a POUND!? Wow...thats a lot compared to the Octopuses in my local fish market...here they only cost like 3 bucks a peice and they aren't small. I hate seeing them dead though, or battered and torn apart...cuz there such amazing animals.
At tropical fish shops in my neck of the woods (Los Angeles - San Fernando Valley), I've seen the prices on octopus range from about $29.00 - $69.00. Most have been either pygmies (sold as "baby" octos) or have been our local "mudflat" octopus - the same variety found in the seafood section at Ralph's supermarket.
The staff generally know nothing about their charges, if they are a more exotic variety aren't sure how old they are, etc. When the time comes for a ceph, I'm sticking with people/companies that breed their own so I know the history and health of the individual animal.
Will have to study up a little on my local octos, but I've noticed that the "mudflats" at the local fish shops had the twin blue spots on their webbing but were otherwise of a putty-to-light brown color. The octopus (generally curled up on themselves) in the fish department at the supermarket tended to be identical, but of salad plate size.
I live on the North end of Koreatown; an awful lot of octopus gets consumed around here (sometimes live, I'm sorry to say, though that isn't among the translated items on the menu). Not aware of any local octopus fisheries in SoCal, but most of the Mariscos stands and restaurants in my area all prominently feature pulpo as well, and they must be getting them fresh from somewhere. I'll have to inquire about their place of origin.