October 2, 2018

Just Saying…

By Q.C. Jones

Goblins and other bumps in the night.

A little insider information for you. Most times, your pal QC Jones writes about whatever comes skipping down the twisted neuro-pathways of his slightly diminished and massively demented brain. But, in the world of big-time journalism, even high power correspondents receive direct editorial direction. Earlier this week, the editor-in-chief of 50+ Lifestyles sent this message, “It’s deadline time. The Goblins of October are calling your name.” I was skating on journalistic thin ice. Determined to come up with something… shall we say, Gobliny, I set off on a late-night hike to Washington, DC’s Chinatown for a bowl of hand-pulled noodles, a couple strong hot teas and an assortment of hard to identify duck parts. This assignment demanded high octane brain food.

As I shuffled back to my K-street hotel, I noticed the witching hour was fast approaching. The combination of sleep deprivation, spicy oyster sauce and a dash of Tsingtao beer brought my mind into tune with the scenery. I couldn’t help but notice an Asian inspired collection of scary creatures throughout Chinatown. A block or two away, I noticed similarly spine-chilling gargoyles on a late 1800’s building. Why is it, regardless of continent or culture, things that go bump in the night have found their way into the human psyche? Something’s up. Maybe, just maybe, we aren’t alone. Let’s explore.

Goblins, Goblyns, Goblings, and Bobelins depending on your country of origin appear in the stories of countries from the British Isles to Scandinavia up to northern Europe meander into the heart of Asia. And, Goblins can be a nasty lot.

As a group, they are usually small, sometimes only a few inches tall and have magical abilities. They can morph into human form but when not changed they are downright U-G-L-Y. They excel at thievery, relish creating mayhem and a few crave the flavor of human (as opposed to Honan) flesh.

The uneducated tend to stereotype. Not every small creature is a Goblin. For instance, some put Goblins and Hobgoblins into the same category. There is a difference. The Hobgoblins tend to have better relationships with humans. The “Knocker” is quite similar to the Hobgoblin in both temperament and appearance; it makes its home in a mine and often befriends human mine workers so long as they stay on its good side. The Phooka is also similar to the Hobgoblin in attitude, yet takes the form of a dark black horse. Another black, yet very small, sub-race of Goblin is the Bogey; the Bogey is extremely difficult to kill due to its size; hence the problem with the Bogeyman. But wait… there’s more.

Consider the Goblin-esque creature known as the Hogboon. The Chinese version of the Goblin is the Tengu. These guys sometimes mimic the appearance of a dog-like Chinese demon, by day they take the form of a bird. Even though I have no idea why Tengus are respected by Buddhists as guardian spirits despite their demonic nature. The ancient Greeks struggled with the Kallikantzaro which has a long and lean snake-like appearance. It gets weirder.


Next time you take a trip to the beach be wary of the Kol’ksu; an ocean-going Goblin. They look like mermaids; delicate features, white and green skin, and a friendly face. But don’t be fooled, Kol’ksus are some nasty hombres. Not only do they have a taste for human flesh, but they can also become invisible at will. But the crème-de-la-crème of their nastiness is their ability to cause humans who stumble into their presence to simply disappear from the planet.

Taking stock of the widespread prevalence of these nasties, one might come to the conclusion: there is some truth to this whole Goblin deal. Some hypothesize they could be the Satanic helpers (aka demons) mentioned in the bible. Giorgio A. Tsoukalos the star of the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens might make the argument Goblins are the decedents of some alien race which crash-landed on the craggy summit of some obscure mountain. Truth is, I have yet to formulate a fully scientific opinion. But just in case, let me arm you with a few tips for keeping Goblins out of your yard.

Do it yourself Goblin repellents are as common as midsummer mosquito foggers. First, Goblins don’t like iron. In the middle ages, iron was in short supply so the local folks recycled. An iron horseshoe placed near the doorway kept the pesky creatures out of the house. As a kid, we had a horseshoe near the back door. I cannot remember a single Goblin
incident throughout my early childhood.

Goblins are also afraid of running water. Pretty easy today. Leave the bathroom sink running and you’re safe. Back in the old days, this was pretty hard to pull off. Think about it, the QCA didn’t have running water until the late 1800’s. My guess is our ancestors had to turn to another ploy.

Wearing your clothes inside out is reported to repel Goblins. So if you see QC Jones out and about with his coat on wrong, consider me Goblin proof.

Just saying….

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