With the season of goodwill firmly behind us, we are now deep into peak Goblin Mode season. In case it passed you by, Goblin Mode was voted by nearly one million people to be the winning Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2022. The la-di-da types in the Oxford Dictionaries office describe Goblin Mode, which came to prominence during the dying days of the pandemic, as “a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly or greedy, typically in a way which rejects social norms or expectations”. I, for one, fit that definition.
Some people like to call this time of year Twixmas, but they are the kind of people who call shirts “blouses” and dresses “frocks” and talk about “popping” to the shops. Trust me, you don’t want to be a Twixmas person. A Twixmas person is someone who industrially booked a “last-minute Twixmas break” in an overpriced hotel with other, like-minded people who are grimly determined to “make the most of Twixmas”. They glide from their perfect Christmas straight into “yay, Twixmas!” and don’t seem to understand that Twixmas is a marketing ploy made up by the same heinous people who invented the interminable and exhausting Black Friday.
Step one: Wear your nightwear – bonus points if it acquires food stains at some point – for a minimum of 48 hours but preferably for 72 hours at a stretch. This is entry-level Goblin behaviour, achievable by anyone
Twixmas Mode is no way to live at this time of year. For a start, it involves leaving the house and mixing with other people. That’s the last thing any of us should be doing at the arse end of another depressingly eventful year. Resist Twixmas. Deep down in your murky depths you know you want to be a goblin, a strange, unapologetically feral creature who eats Quality Street for breakfast and binge-watches Couples Come Dine With Me for hours on end. In bed.
Fortunately for you, I was familiar with Goblin Mode well before it became a trend and am happy to pass on the skills I’ve acquired after decades of goblinesque behaviour. It’s my firm belief that everybody has a Goblin Mode. Some of you will not need to look very hard for your inner goblin. Others will have to dig a bit deeper. All who try will be rewarded with a few blissful days of not giving any fecks whatsoever. The perfect time to find your goblin was five minutes ago. But now will also do. For those unfamiliar with our hedonistic, vaguely unhygienic but ultimately superior ways I hereby present my five-step, foolproof guide to Goblin Mode.
Step one: Wear your nightwear – bonus points if it acquires food stains at some point – for a minimum of 48 hours but preferably for 72 hours at a stretch. This is entry-level Goblin behaviour, achievable by anyone. More bonus points if you do not leave your house at any point or if you must leave it, do so in the stained nightwear staring defiantly at anybody who tries to #Goblinshame you. (Yes, it’s a thing. Don’t let them win.)
Step two: Text someone in your own house from your bed. I’ve been doing this for years but I understand that the very idea of it causes some regular people to feel almost unbearably lazy. Ease into it by pretending you thought the person you were texting had actually gone out. Example: “Hi could u get me a batter burger or even a spice burger while u are out?” If they reply: “I’m not out, I’m in the sittingroom doing the hoovering” then well done, step two of Goblin Mode is unlocked. You are now in a text conversation with someone in your own house. You can take it from here. Ask them to bring you an extra blanket or some instant noodles on toast or the last of the chocolate orange or whatever strange snack (the stranger the better) your little goblin heart desires in that moment. Dream big, my goblin friends.
Don’t shower. Don’t brush your hair. Don’t do anything you feel you should do to avoid potential societal or romantic rejection
Step three: Create what my OG (Original Goblin) friend calls a Corridor of Filth. This is an area beside the bed where you dump everything you’d normally tidy away or put in the bin. In full Goblin Mode you don’t have the energy or inclination to reach the bin. There are used tissues here, a plate with the dried remains of baked beans on toast plus several triangles worth of a giant airport Toblerone you’ve been hiding from everyone else in the house. Ideally, the Corridor of Filth will eventually cause someone else in the house to express concern about a possible infestation. At which point – congratulations!
Step four: Don’t shower. Don’t brush your hair. Don’t do anything you feel you should do to avoid potential societal or romantic rejection. If it helps to think of yourself as a self-cleaning entity, then go ahead, but what you actually are is a goblin and they don’t tend to care about being clean. That slightly putrid smell? It’s Eau de Goblin. Have a good sniff and enjoy.
Step five: Put on the fire. Not a real one. The one on Netflix called Fireplace for Your Home. It was created by an American man called George Ford and it is the perfect backdrop for Goblin Mode. There are a few different fires you can watch but Birchwood Edition is my favourite. It’s the crackle of the wood, the way the logs catch and caress each other in front of the rustic bricks of the fireplace, the skill and care George took to build a fire of logs that lasts exactly one hour and has a glow so authentic, you’d swear it was giving off heat.
In conclusion, do not step into Twixmas. It will be 2023 soon and if it’s anything like 2020, 2021 and 2022 who knows what fresh horrors await? Exactly. Time to put your smelly feet up in front of a fake fire and step into glorious Goblin Mode for as long as you inhumanly can.