In a recent Facebook post giving his views on same-sex marriage, U.S. Republican congressional candidate Anthony Culler of South Carolina had this to say:
Same-sex couples that seek to destroy our way of life and the institution of marriage are NOT cute and cuddly but rather (for those of you that are old enough to remember the movie), Gremlins that will only destroy our way of life.
Regardless of your political persuasion or your views on same-sex marriage, I think you’ll agree that this guy needs to be more worried about upsetting gremlins with his disparaging of their image and reputation, especially if he does his campaigning from an airplane .
Stories of gremlins – small beings who are believed to inhabit airplanes and cause mysterious mechanical problems – first began to be told by British Royal Air Force pilots during World War II, the first war where aircraft played a major role. There are rumors that some World War I pilots also saw gremlins but were afraid to talk about them for fear of bringing more bad luck.
Gremlins are described as being anywhere from 6 to 12 inches tall and human-like in appearance and dress – the large ears and eyes came when they were depicted in movies. More mischievous than evil, they were accused of things like drinking fuel, biting through cables, cutting fuel lines, slashing wings and occasionally pinching gunners and bombardiers trying to do their jobs. Numerous British and American pilots claimed they saw gremlins, including Charles Lindbergh on his historic trans-Atlantic flight. Gremlins have also been spotted in factories, computer installations and other places where mechanical devices malfunction for no apparent reason.
South Americans talk about a gremlin-like shape-shifting creature called the Chullachaqui that plays tricks on hunters by impersonating their prey and getting them lost deep in the Amazon jungles. The Chullachaqui is also small and human-like but not just mischievous – it has been blamed for killing humans.
Win or lose, Anthony Culler needs to apologize to gremlins or spend the rest of his life hiding in a cave with no mechanical devices or computers. With his views on same-sex marriage, that sounds like where he belongs.