Thirty-eight people entered the Goblinology contest and with so much creativity and whimsy on display, picking five wasn’t easy. No two names were alike, and only a couple of jobs were similar. Just about the only thing these entries had in common is that they were all VERY SILLY! Which is perfect, as any Goblinologist can tell you that silly is every goblin’s middle name (how it is that not one of these 38 otherwise meticulous goblinologists got that middle name right is beyond me). I wish I could send a copy of volume 4 to everyone who entered, but in the end, these are the five I selected.
First up, we have Tink’s entry which is not only written in rhyming verse, but is also sweetly charming. I know, I know, sweet and charming are two things a goblin can NEVER BE, which make’s Tink’s accomplishment all the greater.
Proglaisilek, The Stardust Goblin
I’ve many a point, you know,
From head to tail to toe.
They help when I hop to the heavens to pop
Stardust flakes; all the sparklies below.
Good King Jareth’s order, you see,
Is to make the maze nice as can be,
With my good eye I snatch it from the sky
And bring it back down with me.
Although there’s no such thing as ‘fair,’
Every square-worm’s-length gets its full share
(except in the garden, it chokes out the shrubs;
He doesn’t allow it in there.)
If you try to spy it from me,
Pretty baubles your riches to be,
Only sharp jabs and pokes are rewards for you blokes:
Like I too well my privacy!
Next up is Christine’s entry, which is very meta. I particularly like Ziggy’s relationship with the chicken.
This is Ziggy, or, at least, that’s what everyone calls him, his real name having been forgotten, even by him. He gained the name “Ziggy” after sneaking backstage during one of David Bowie concerts in the 1970s, and stealing Bowie’s eye patch. He wears the eye patch constantly, so his rival, Neek, cannot steal it from him. Neek has tried many times, but (thankfully) has never succeeded. (Ziggy’s crooked ear was, in fact, gained in a squabble with Neek during the 1980’s.)
Ziggy lives in the niche by the entrance to the Goblin King’s room, a dangerous position which makes him quite the hero in the people’s eyes, and leads Jareth to threaten to Bog Ziggy every chance he gets. Because of the strange way goblins age, Ziggy is about fifty years old, but still behaves as if he was a human child.
Ziggy has a pet chicken – or “chikn”, as the goblins pronounce it – whose name is Edwina. Neither Ziggy nor Edwina is entirely sure who is the owner and who is the pet in this relationship, but as long as he feeds her she’s loyal (enough).
(Taken from a copy of the Codex Goblinensis. Smelly, but worth the read.)
Jenna’s entry features one of the most elaborate and heart-wrenching back stories of all. I want to know more about this Stink!
NAME: Gregor Von Stinklepitt III (just Stink if you please!)
OCCUPATION: The owner of “Stinklepitt’s pit of Exotic and Exuberant Creatures”
BIO: Stink inherited his shop from his father, who inherited from his father who inherited it from HIS father, who won it in a bet from his cousin’s third wife. On Stinks three thousand and fourth day of work he was arranging the order of an expensive Three Headed Turkey Vulture intended for no other than His Majesty the King of the Goblins himself! While grooming the bird Stink accidentally tugged on a primary feather too hard and it came out. The vulture’s middle head promptly let out a shrill squawk, plucked out Sink’s right eye and ate it. The pain was horrifying but Stink told himself that once the order for the vulture was delivered to the King and payed for, that he would have enough money to retire for good. So he worked on until the job was complete. However, the King was not pleased with the bird’s missing feather and not only did her refuse to pay, but he took the Vulture to the palace anyway and with it, Stink’s right eye. Later, Stink heard from a reliable source–well not so reliable but trustworthy enough– that the Three Headed Turkey Vulture died of neglect and that his eye, which was found in the bird’s sixth belly (two for each head), was placed in a jar and now resides at the palace. Since then, Stink has shown outward dislike to the king, if not downright hatred, and has become sullen and hostile towards anyone who speaks to him. He has been plotting various ways to breach the castle and regain his eye but lacks the courage to carry any of them out. Despite all this, he still holds a tender love for animals and all things that creep, crawl, slither, or swim and finds solace in his shop.
The eye patch inspired several pirate-themed entries. I liked Nelson’s take here as it has a healthy (over)dose of silliness.
Name: Baruk von Beard
Bio: Ever since he was very small, Baruk was raised by his father to be a Pirate and travel the seas doing all sorts of pillaging and causing mischief. He even got the eye-patch as a prize for his fabulous walk-the-plank speech. When Baruk finally had the age to start his adventures he discovered that there were no oceans inside the labyrinth – this misfortune however, instead of making him give up the dream only made it worse: Baruk decided he would be the First of the Gobblin Pirates. He spent some years collecting wood and some more decades trying to fit them together to make a ship out of it, and finally he made it – or sort of – : A small vessel with wheels (and it even has a sail). Baruk now sails across the labyrinth, demanding all gobblins recognize him as a pirate and claiming some of them as his own to come on board to serve as a crew (and others to walk the plank, which causes less fear than he originally thought since it’s less than foot from the ground – but some fear is better than no fear at all, or so he says).
Finally, we have Emma’s entry, which she even mocked up in proper Goblinologist fashion on bog-soiled sheets of parchement! The story behind Killjoy’s lost eye is brilliant! Here’s the text, transcribed from the image below:
The last remaining ‘Goblin of Hindsight’ left in the Underground.
Once commonplace and great in number, the almighty ‘Council of the Goblins of Hindsight’ were effectively wiped out by the unforeseen events of ‘The Great Glitter Flood of 1842′ whilst those lucky enough to have survived were later struck down by a random act of poultry.
Now only Killjøy remains.
His sole purpose in life is to impart his knowledge of health and safety issues, his own area of expertise warning of the dangers in playing with sharp objects. He wanders the length and breadth of the Labyrinth lamenting his tales of woe related stick-poking. His voice can often be heard echoing throughout the Goblin City – “Oy, careful with that, you could take someone’s eye out!”
His own eye was indeed victim to one such act of carelessness; surprisingly he never saw it coming.
Thanks again to everyone who entered. The five Goblinologists featured above will be sent their signed copy of Return to Labyrinth volume 4 this week. As for the rest of the entries, I’ll post them throughout the week.