Yep! It happened to me.
I thought it would brighten up my yard to put out one of the three Gnomes that some of my friends had given to me. He did.
He looked so good out there holding his tomato, or maybe it’s a red ball, who knows. After a time, the luster faded and I forgot about him. I mean it’s a garden Gnome, right?
You can imagine my horror . . . er-uh. . . I mean, it struck me as peculiar when I received a text message with a picture attached of a Gnome on what looked to be propeller end of a torpedo!!! What the – this can’t be. He is at home guarding my lemon tree. Sure enough, when I got home I saw that my Gnome was gone, missing, absent, nowhere to be found! Oh the humanity!!! This was as a perplexing as the FCC Form 477.
I called the number from the text message I had received and got the voicemail message, “Hi, you have reached Lisa. I am sorry but I am blah-blah-blah.” Lisa? I don’t know any Lisa.
So, I left a message, “Yes, this is Ken. I see that you have my Gnome. What are your intentions toward him? I must admit, I do not know a Lisa. Are we acquainted somehow? Ok, I look forward to hearing from you.”
I received no reply, only more pictures. I had heard stories of rampant Gnome abductions in Europe followed by dramatic returns; French police are trying to find homes for over 80 garden gnomes kidnapped. Could it be that this band of European Gnome “liberators” had crossed the pond and are now on a mission in America? I didn’t know. What I did know is that he seemed to be having a really good time.
Over the next couple of months (YES, months) I receive more pictures of his travels. One day, I received an envelope with my address made up from letters clipped from magazines – – just like in the movies. This was very odd as it was post 9/11, and you would think that the Post Office would have pulled it. Nope!
Inside was a CD containing many pictures. Tybee Island, GA! The whole thing seemed more like a vacation than a kidnapping. Oh, Mandy Patinkin, I could have used your “Criminal Minds” skills!
I received nothing more for weeks and then, one day, as I was leaving for work and starting to drive away, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Gasp – there he was back under my lemon tree!
Hold on, he wasn’t alone. There, under the tree surrounding him were 11 more Gnomes. Around his neck was a letter in a plastic bag.
The letter detailed what could have been his last moments. Whether it was luck, his smooth talking, or his Gnomie prowess, his abductors had returned him back to me, safe and sound AND with friends/relatives.
I have read stories, heard the jokes and what not, but never did I think this would happen to me and my Gnome. I figured that someone had taken him for their yard or maybe one of my neighbor’s kids had knocked him over and shattered him. Never once did I think he would have been kidnapped, let alone that he would be returned with a story. I still, to this day, have no idea who Lisa is or why my Gnome was targeted.
Guard your Gnomes!