Fuel Drinking Gremlins - [Gremlin] - (latin: imbibus gremlinicus)
• About this Gremlin: A gremlin pest, known to guzzle fuel from tanks using its long, retractable vacuum nose which it uses to drink expensive, high-octane fuel and gas from engines, they store it in their shiny ink-black bodies which are said to 'puff-up' as they drink. (it said there are two sub-orders – 75 & 100 octane) [in their defence, All gremlins drink fuel to some extent, but this type is especially gluttonous.]
• History: The "Petrol Boozer" or "Fuel boozer" Gremlins were earliest talked about in “SsH! Gremlins!” by H. W., John Crowther Limited (London) [originally published in Dec 1942.] Their faces somewhat resemble gas masks, but are said to work like vacuums in which they will drink the fuel from the planes. - (according to a dictionary on army slang, "boozer" was likely derived from "bowser" as in fuel trucks.)
(Unlike the above, Mine has wings because as many early British Gremlin were drawn with wings bearing the RAF insignia!) - The petrol boozer was also made into an "obviously lifelike plastersine model" by T.L:Duigan & V.A.Hodgkinson of the DFC. - [Below, sadly I haven't been able to locate a better photos]The Petrol Boozers "American Gremlin" counterpart is the 'Drinking Gremlin' (latin: imbibus gremlinicus) the entry for which is drawn in 'Gremlin Americanus' [originally published by Eric Sloane in December of 1942.] - the included entry & letter goes as follows:
"Drinking gremlin... The Drinking gremlin drinks anything which should not disappear, anything that should not be emptied. when the engine sputters and conks, you may rest assured that there has been a drinking gremlin In your tank. when radiators go dry – that's a gremlin prank too. Empty liquor bottles are often blamed on the gremlins, but gremlins never need stimulation to play their merry tricks. the author doubts they ever even touch drinking liquor. it was the drinking gremlin who first thought of sucking the ink out of fountain pens, but he surrendered his privileges in this field to the squadron's of high altitude gremlins. Air traffic being more rare at great hights, the high altitude gremlins needed one sure-fire trick.
Dear Eric – I made the acquaintance of the drinking gremlin in the days of the first word war, they puff up when you least expect it and drink everything from high octane to vin ordinaire. Best regards, Col Carroll cone, Pan American airways."
The part about gremlin being blamed for 'Empty liquor bottles' seems to stem from the belief that gremlins were named as such because of "Fremlin beer." - "Fremlin's Brewery company tradition included the fabled existence of an unseen, ambivalent house spirit named Robin Hodfellow" - Apparently those that drank the beer would say they saw at the bottom of their bottles.) the beer would have been quite popular among aviators in Britan around the time gremlins where first spoken of in 1923...
[Judy varga's 'gremlins on the job' 1943]
Coincidentally members of the camphor shoot beetle group, where discovered (in 1999) to be attracted by the ethanol content in petrol, they are now known to create holes in fuel containers!
• See also: Gremlinology.
art sticker by @samkalensky (yo that's me!) part of my gremlinology series of stickers.