Gnomads Gnomes

Kidnapped Garden Gnomes - Fun or Felony?!

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While domestic gnomes tend to be homebodies, there are cases in which they've gotten itchy feet and begun a series of globetrotting adventures. The most famous, of course, is the Travelocity gnome, he of the effete British accent and wrongheaded advice. While he's obviously a gnome, most gnomes believe that he's strayed so far into the limelight that he's forgotten what it really means to be a gnome; he's crossed over into a sort of gnomic Dark Side, if you will.

Then there are the widespread cases of (gasp!) gnomegnapping, which has risen to near-epidemic proportions in recent years. The crime seems to have originated some 20 years ago, with a gnome in Sydney, Australia who was taken while sunbathing in his front yard. He wasn't returned until two weeks later. Gnomegnapping received its greatest exposure in the 2001 French film Amélie, in which the title character gets an airline flight attendant to send her father's Garden gnome on a tour of the world in order to inspire her Dad to travel. Sure, it seems like a fun idea, maybe even therapeutic for Amélie's Dad, but just think of the trauma that poor gnome went through! A different foreign city every day, dragged around sightseeing whether he wanted to go or not, and -- the ultimate of indignities! -- being stuffed in amongst the flight attendant's unmentionables, alone in the dark, during those long, long flights!


There was a time when the existence of gnomes was an open secret that few talked about; however, in the past few decades gnomes have increasingly become a part of popular culture. Aside from the literary gnomes we've mentioned, one place where gnomes have gotten famous is in the world of multiplayer online games such as Runescape, EverQuest, and World of Warcraft. These aren't your red-capped garden dwellers, oh no: online roleplaying games depict gnomes as close relatives to dwarves, Wee Folk with a talent for tinkering. Online gnomes have the ability to create technologies uncommon to fantasy worlds, so if you need a gun or a robot, a gnome's your man (so to speak). Those real gnomes who have heard of their online counterparts generally approve, since the portrait is generally accurate. (What they think of the Nac Mac Feegle remains, mercifully, unknown.)


On to part nine :: Naughty Garden Gnomes, Underpants Gnomes & More!
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