Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The Legend of the Cutlery Goblin

One day, on Table Mountain (where else?), deep in the Woods of Starched Napkins (okay, I made that one up) there lived a community of Goblin Folk. Now, all Goblins have a porpoise, sorry, a purpose...

'Except the Porpoise Goblins,' says Daisy. 'Who collect porpoises.'

'Of course,' says I. 'I forgot about them. Happy New Year to you and Primrose by the way. Where is Primrose?'

'In the park,' says Daisy. 'At a Get Fit Boot Camp.'

'She doesn't need to get fit,' I say. 'She is a marvel of energy, fitness and figure.'

'She isn't participating as a blobby lardy bottom,' says Daisy. 'She's their new instructor!'

Back to the Goblins...

...every Goblin has a purpose. And that purpose is to collect. That is how Goblins earn their living. They collect stuff and then they sell that stuff for Goblin Gold, unless it is stuff like wood which they can burn to keep themselves warm, or to cook on, or build furniture which they ship out to Ikea. Or stuff like stone which they turn into houses or rockeries. Or stuff like Goblin Gold which is an efficient form of collecting as it cuts out the middle Goblin but often involves a specialised form of collecting known as 'theft,' which even in Goblin World is a bad thing and frowned upon in all the polite circles.

Inventive Goblins soon came to realise that the best way to make as much Goblin Gold as possible was to be selective about the kind of stuff they chose to collect. It was no good collecting ordinary stuff, like newspapers or turkeys or cats because the Goblin Gold exchange rate for this kind of item was generally poor. Especially for cats. Goblins hate cats, probably because cats look funkier in fur. Of course, some Goblins were happy to live frugally - they were known as the Stupid Goblins who went around saying things like 'Goblin Gold doesn't bring you happiness but Goblin Turkey does.' They were happy to participate in activities like darning socks and using vinegar as a cheap cleaning product instead of the purpose for which vinegar was designed which is to sprinkle liberally over those chunky twice cooked chips that over-priced gastro-pubs do so well.

Anyway, Stupid Goblins aside, your average Goblin was very acquisitive by nature and would collect the ladders in your tights if you left them unattended for more than a second. And now arrives the time to introduce you to the Hero of this story whose name I have been struggling to come up with since I started writing and am still drawing a blank so you might need to pop off and have a cup of tea and finish those petticoat tail shortbreads you've got leftover in the cupboard whilst I do a spot of creative pacing...

...and his name shall be...Scrimbleshanks!

'Excuse me,' said Scrimbleshanks, 'but I am NEVER going to answer to the name Scrimbleshanks.'

'But it's a traditional Goblin name,' I said.

'I don't care,' said Scrimbleshanks. 'It is old fashioned, charmless and I don't like it, so stop writing it.'

'Well,' said I, (who was already in a bit of a mood because the stupid people who rent next door set off loud and noisy fireworks at midnight last night in their front drive of all stupid places, about 15 feet from our front window and 5 feet from a major road, and I fretted for an hour that our roof was going to be set on fire by a stray rocket and Flora flipped out completely, rushed into the kitchen and kicked my favourite ever teapot off the work top smashing it into a thousand pieces - Happy New Year my a**e!) 'what name do you suggest, oh Goblin who does not have a writer's file full of rejection letters from agents and publishers?'

'Flaubert,' said Scrimbleshanks. 

'Flaubert?' said I, in my faux-cockney Kentish accent.

'To rhyme with 'flow and 'air' not 'flow' and 'shirt,' said the Goblin formerly known as Scrimbleshanks.

'Bit pretentious for a Goblin isn't it?' I said. 

'So?' said Flaubert to rhyme with air. 

I sighed. 'Okay, so the Hero of this story is called Flaubert. And one day his time came to put aside childish things like Lego, deliberately breaking wind (because it's HILARIOUS!) and Call of Duty 4, and decide which item he was going to collect in order to earn his living. He had spent a short time arguing with his mother about his potential as a celebrity who just needed to bide his time until opportunity knocked, and could he spend that time slobbing on the sofa playing DVDs and eating Dorritos, but she said no, he had to go out and start earning Goblin Gold immediately or he could go and live in the coal shed. He had sulked for a few hours, then mercifully pulled himself together which was a relief to all because sulky Goblins produce a lot of sulphur.

'I am going to collect marbles!' he announced. 

'And your reasoning?' said his mother.

'There must be a lot about,' said Flaubert. 'I am forever hearing Goblins saying they have lost their marbles. Especially you, and Aunt Daphne. And Mrs Pottleshot next door, and Granny Hoo-ha. I shall model my success on Lord Elgin. He found a lot of marbles. In Greece. So I am going to start there. In Greece.

'You just want a holiday, don't you?' said his mother suspiciously, and quite right, too. Flaubert had the decency to look a little embarrassed that what he thought was a marvellously cunning plan had been sprung quicker than a Slumberland mattress. 

'Well,' he said, in that defensive manner teenage Goblins display when they have been caught out doing something they didn't ought to be doing, 'I have definitely decided to become a Goblin Collector abroad. I think my prospects are better in foreign climes. My Goblin Gold fortune shall be gleaned from the exotic.'

Flaubert's mother was not going to argue. Her mind had already stripped the wallpaper in his bedroom, repainted the walls duck egg blue and installed a paying lodger. (Before she stopped work to have Goblin babies, lodgers is what Flaubert's mother used to collect. If you know what I mean.)

'All right, Scrimbleshanks...I mean, Flaubert,' said his mother. 'You do what you have to do. Shall I do you a packed lunch? I've a big pot of pickled red cabbage in the fridge leftover from Christmas.'

Flaubert declined the offer. 'I'll pick up a bite of something on the way,' said he.

'In that case, you'll be needing to take this Goblin Ointment with you,' said his mother, tucking a large tube of 'Crotchitch' in his pocket and shoving him out the door.

And so Flaubert set off to seek his fortune in Goblin Gold. He thought, I shall be led by my instinct. Some mystic force will guide my way and direct me to some rare and beautiful collectible, probably something long and shiny and made of stainless steel. And then I shall return to Table Top Mountain and sell my collection and become the richest Goblin ever to inhabit the Woods of Starched Napkins. Never more will I ever have to darn a sock...'

'You've never darned a sock in your life!' shouted his mother, opening the door to check he was well and truly on his way.

'Whatever!' shouted Flaubert. 

Part 1 of 'The Legend of the Cutlery Goblin' was brought to you containing several product placements - to recap: Ikea, Lego, Call of Duty 4, Dorritos, Slumberland and Greece (x2). In order for these products to remain associated with this best-selling story, the author is expecting to arrive by Friday one Hinkelschmerking sofa bed, Lego Battlestar Galactica, a gross box of Dorritos (plain or cheese, she isn't fussy), a king-size Slumberland mattress and a mini-break to somewhere non-touristy in Greece. No Call of Duty. You can keep that. It is disgraceful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great witty ditty esp like line about stealing ladders in tights. More please