On Feral Goblins

The other day, as I was wending my way along the city streets, I saw, on the back of a passing bus, an advertisement for a product called Feroglobin.


I have since learned that this is an iron supplement for the formation of haemoglobin. But it seems to me that a moving vehicle is not an advisable place to advertise it, for one glances at the poster, and before one has a chance to read it properly, away growls the bus, out of the range of one’s vision, or at least of my, myopic, vision. I would have liked more time to scrutinise the advertisement, for on that first glance I misread it as Ferogoblin. I then spent rather a lot of time wondering (a) what in the name of heaven a Ferogoblin might be, and (b) why it was advertising itself on the back of a bus. My mind reeled.

Readers may recall that almost exactly a year ago I wrote here about the official colour coding system for goblins. To recap briefly, the agreed categories are as follows:

Red : Hobgoblins.

Orange : Fat Goblins.

Yellow : Pilfering Goblins.

Green : Teutonic Forest Goblins.

Blue : Goblins found under sinks.

Indigo : Wet Goblins.

Violet : All other goblins not classified above.

According to this list, Ferogoblins – which I take to be a contraction of Feral Goblins – must be included in the “all other goblins not classified above” subset, unless of course there are goblins which are both feral and hob, or feral and fat, or feral and given to pilfering, or feral and dwelling in Teutonic forests, or feral and found under sinks, or feral and wet. I suppose such goblins might well exist. But for the sake of argument, and because it is tidier, let us assume there is a discrete type of goblin known as the feral or fero-goblin. Logically, then, it must fall within the “all other goblins” category, which would mean code violet. Yet intuition, and indeed common sense, tell us that violet is not at all the most suitable colour for a feral goblin. In fact it seems utterly inappropriate, the sort of colour one might only apply to a feral goblin in a world turned upside down, a topsy turvy world of chaos and confusion.

This insight leads us to the startling conclusion that feral goblins must therefore be somehow outwith the known colour spectrum. Imagine that! I told you my mind was already reeling, and now it reeled even more. It perhaps also accounts for their feral nature, that they may be untamed and prone to havoc on account of being set apart from the normal run of goblins. Such alienation can cause low self-esteem, as we have learned from many addle-brained social psychologists in recent decades. What could be more damaging to a sense of goblin selfhood than to be forever banished, by one’s very nature, from the visible colour spectrum? It is a harsh fate indeed, so no wonder they turn feral.

However, I was clearly thinking along the right tracks, because so terrible a social stigma could well account for feral goblins advertising their existence on the backs of buses. It is one way to get yourself noticed, as the producers of several dire West End musicals have discovered. But an advertisement on the back of a bus does not come cheap, and one wonders how the feral goblins raised the necessary cash. My guess is that they were in cahoots with the pilfering goblins (code yellow), who diverted a proportion of their ill-gotten gains to the feral goblins in return for the Lord knows what maleficent favours. Being feral, the feral goblins may have agreed to, for example, gnaw and slash at and scratch and screech at innocent passers-by, terrorising them into a state of paralysing fear so that the pilfering goblins could come leaping down from the rooftops and make away with their wallets and purses and cashboxes. No doubt the two groups would then meet in a secluded goblins’ nest to divvy up the proceeds.

This does raise the question of the bus operators’ willingness to accept advertising on the backs of its buses from such nefarious clients. Or, let us say, it would raise that question were it not the case that I misread the advertisement, which turned out to have not a jot to do with goblins whatsoever. You live and learn.

4 thoughts on “On Feral Goblins

  1. Might I suggest that as they are ferrous they should either be iron grey or possibly a deep blood red (Farrow and Ball’s ox-blood red does it for me. My dining room used to be painted in ox-blood red and it was full of goblins.)

    Hope that helps.

  2. I’ve been listening to Lights Out, a 1940’s radio show, and they were sponsored by Ironized Yeast Tablets. I’m pretty sure Feroglobin is the same product. You’ve burnt your bridges with Vitabotics, but perhaps we could learn what bile beans are known as these days, and see if a manufacturer is willing to sponsor your show.

  3. floral binges

    barflies long
    fireball song

    sobering fall
    lifelong bars

    falling robes
    lifelong bras

    foreign balls
    befall groins

    brief gallons
    gall bonfires

    flair belongs
    felling boars


    (since you mention it)

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