Thursday, March 18, 2010

To 'Gnome' me is to hate me

We already know that everyone has their own opinion on art. But with that said, in my travels I have developed a strong sense of what is and what SHOULDN’T BE lawn art. I really do not mind a little non-standard creativity outside the faceless boxes we all live in. However I have never really understood any attraction at all to lawn gnomes? My rejection of the dopey gnomes is probably based on some childhood trauma that I have masked with other odd behaviors as an adult? Nonetheless, some people hate clowns – I hate bearded gnomes and it’s time to come out of the tool shed about it.

Once on a trip, back to see my wife’s extended family for a get together, I was invited to the home of my wife’s Uncle. They are nice normal folk who live in a nice normal Indiana town and I had met them a couple of times before. We pulled up to their attractive brick home in anticipation of a fun chat for a couple hours before heading off for dinner. The front and side lawn were manicured expertly and I learned that the Uncle did ALL the lawn work and maintenance himself.

Indiana in the summer can be hot and a tad sticky at times. Since air conditioning is expensive and houses can get a bit stuffy, my wife’s Uncle invited us out to the back yard porch to relax and have a glass of lemonade. Horrors upon horrors, this pretty little home with nice ordinary people in it, had not one or two gnomes, but DOZENS?!

I mean this was the house of gnome horrors. This was probably the place where gnomes went to die but it sure didn’t look like heaven to me? Remember these are ordinary people like you stand next to in any grocery aisle in America and think nothing of it. For me, this scene was akin to what the cops must have felt when they started rummaging through Jeffery Dahmer’s memory albums.

In fairness, the scene would have been termed quaint or eclectic by less gnome-challenged people than myself. There were all kinds of concrete and ceramic figurines decorating the back yard. Every space had meticulously detailed outcroppings of decorative rocks with varied statuary. The collection consisted of dogs, little girls with umbrellas, frogs playing instruments, birds, pots, stepping stones and gnomes of all races, creed, and creepy origin.

Needless to say I was more than happy when we extricated ourselves from the home of gnomes. Whenever I travel now, I don’t use Travelocity since their website and ads feature that stupid talking gnome. I have to switch the channel when his cocky ceramic head appears in commercials. I’d like to lure that little gnome somewhere ‘down under’ on vacation and bury him in the same way. Or better yet invite him to a spirited game of lawn darts with the real sharp BANNED darts from the 70’s. Given his short little legs I doubt he can out-run me for very long and the bright tunic he sports will make him a much easier target.

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