Underpants Gnome; Southpark Evil Garden Gnomes

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It's doubtful that Rien Poortvliet, who educated us about gnomes and their culture in a series of popular books a few decades back, would approve of the naughty gnomes that have recently begun appearing in gardens around the gnome-loving world. In fact, if he were still alive, he'd probably have a heart attack. While some of these cheeky little devils are heartily amusing, most of their activities and, in fact, their general attitude are about as far from David the Gnome as you can get. It's not so much the beer drinking gnomes, you see, as it is the dirty wee folk going about their business naked, mooning and flashing poor, unsuspecting visitors, and doing all manner of other risqué things, right out in public! Even worse are the rude gnomes, the ones who can be seen giving folks the finger. The shame of it all!

These days, it seems, there's a certain subpopulation of evil garden gnomes making their presence felt in gnome-human affairs. Now, this is not to say that, in ordinary circumstances, the occasional gnome won't pull a few devious tricks if someone deserves it. It's been known to happen, and everyone knows that Siberian gnomes in particular can be wicked at times. It's a bit disheartening to see this rude attitude become so prominent, however, leading some of us to wonder: could these be pixie spies, placed to make gnomes look bad? Surely no self-respecting gnome, no matter how cheeky, would pee into the well or go mooning the little old ladies down the street. Nor would they steal underwear for profit, the way the Underpants Gnomes of South Park fame do. Or would they?

Gnaughty lil' Gnomies!

Actually, most of these wicked little gnomes are kind of funny, and they're certainly more rude than evil. Gnomes tend to be solitary, after all; maybe some of them don't like people staring at them, so why not have a churlish attitude? I suppose if you think about how conservative and straight-laced most gnomes are, it makes sense that some gnomes would rebel against that. Maybe the mooning, flashing, and beer drinking gnomes are the gnomic equivalent of our “no class” human beings, as willing to give you the finger as most ordinary gnomes are to hide from you. These are the gnomes who live in little houses with the doors hanging off the hinges, their little tiny trashcans spilled over and gardens full of weeds! While some may delight in playing dirty tricks and practical jokes, and causing all manner of devious trouble, most will still give you good luck -- only it'll be sloppy. You may still get saved from that rampaging Buick, for example, but you'll end up face down in the ditch, covered with mud.

Survey Says!

How do most gnomers feel about these rude wee folk? Naturally, some of us are less than amused, though most of us take it in stride as just a new development of the gnoming hobby. Take these naked gnomes, for example; some folks think they're a hoot, though the Irish police apparently don't. Back in December 2004, for example, they ordered the owners of a furniture shop to cover up their naked gnomes (or is that "gnaked gnomes"?) after a prudish motorist complained.

Be that as it may, naturalist gnomes are acceptable to most of us, and it seems that the current wave of "dirty gnomes" may well continue. We can't decide which is worse… an ugly plastic pink flamingo? Or a squatting gnome caught with his pants down. As long as nobody gets hurt – it's all in good fun.




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