I heard on the radio this morning that Mister Rogers is trending in the news. Mister Rogers, of all people! That takes me WAY back. Anyway, Mister Rogers is trending because PBS commissioned John D. Boswell to do a remix of clips from the show, and came up with a piece called ‘Garden of Your Mind’. It’s an interesting piece, and it got me thinking. What grows in the gardens of MY mind? Would there be silver bells and cockle shells, or stinkweed and nettles?
First of all, there would definitely be more than one garden. There would be a garden of whimsy, a creepy garden, an angry, spiteful garden, a silly garden, a formal garden, an intelligent garden, a wistful garden, a peaceful garden, a passionate garden and a kitchen garden, and, I’m afraid, they would all be overrun with yard gnomes.
You know, they get everywhere. Sure they look all cute, with their pointy hats and round bellies and cherubic faces, but they are TROUBLE! Cockroaches have nothing on yard gnomes. And there’s just no getting rid of them. You just TRY and find a yard gnome exterminator. Look in the yellow pages! There are no listings for that at all!
They’ll climb up in your apple tree and take one bite out of every apple. They tease the ladybugs and make them cry. They harass the frogs, and try to ride them like ponies. This will annoy a frog quicker than you can shake a stick at it, and he’ll leave and there will be no one to eat all the bugs. Yard gnomes like bugs. Especially rowdy bugs. Thug bugs. They like to have fon-dew parties and drink until they’re stupid.
Then they do things like turn your mailbox the other way round so the mailman can’t open it, or move your driveway so it stops at the front door, or pop up and down in front of the window all night and tease Charlie, so he barks viciously at seemingly nothing and gets in trouble. And the bugs just encourage this bad behavior. They are a terrible influence on yard gnomes!
One time, they repainted my house this horrible, eye-gouging shade of electric purple, but it turned back to blue the moment I stepped out the door. Tricky devils! They’ll steal your mail, remove whole sections of the sidewalk and put it above the door so when you open it, it falls on you. Nothing is funnier to them than concussing some poor, unsuspecting soul. Yeah, they’ll laugh like idiots for hours, and do you think they’ll call 911 for you, or put pressure on it to stop the bleeding? Don’t hold your breath.
And heaven help you if they get in the house! They’ll walk around in your best shoes and wear the heel caps off, which puts ugly marks all over the floor. They’ll put sticky hand prints on the fridge and eat all the marmalade. They smudge the furniture and adorn the drapes with cat hair and half eaten lollipops – and I don’t even have a cat! They watch pay-per-view all day long while you’re at work, running up enormous cable bills! And they watch very not nice stuff! Nasty little gnomes.
Now, it’s well known that if yard gnomes take up residence in the house the only thing you can do is try to entice a brownie to live with you. Brownies are standoffish and can be terribly rude, however they are very industrious and yard gnomes hate that! It makes them look bad. They’d sooner kick a brownie than look at him, but brownies don’t like to be kicked and they’ll give that yard gnome whatfor! So generally, a yard gnome will avoid a brownie at all costs, even if it means moving out of your house, and will sometimes go so far as to vacate the yard entirely and move next door. Your neighbors won’t like this, but hey, it’s every man for himself in yard gnome warfare.
Because brownies are standoffish, you might have difficulty tempting one to abide in your abode. You need to have a good, comfy mouse hole for him, and maybe leave things lying about like bits of string and peanuts and postage stamps, and perhaps cotton swabs or butterscotch and a good assortment of cardboard and Elmer’s Glue. You know, things he can make use of.
You might also try letting the fairies in the garden know that you’re in the market for one. Perhaps, if you’ve been very nice to them and said nice things to them, they’ll negotiate a deal for you. This is, of course, as everyone knows, the best way to get a brownie to move in and protect your humble home from the dreaded yard gnomes. Hey, don’t roll your eyes at me! Quit laughing! Fairies are actually pretty bad@$$ when you get right down to it, and can be very shrewd wheelers and dealers if they have a mind to.
Of course, if you haven’t been nice to them, they’ll just be silly and may side with the yard gnomes. If you’ve been hateful to them, and swatted at them and laughed at their wings, or worse, ignored them altogether… ***wince***. Everybody knows that this is the worst possible thing you can do to fairies, as they are very, very vain. They hate that. I mean they really HATE that and then you’ll really be in heck! They’ll egg your windows and key your car and bring every mole in the county running to your yard. You thought the gnomes were pesky!
I hope you haven’t ignored them. That really is ill advised. Better take them some marmalade… quickly. I said quickly!
Don’t bother with the elves. They don’t care. They only care about the trees and such and frankly, they see you as the garden pest, much in the way that you see yard gnomes as garden pests. I know. The very idea. Elves are mean, what can I say.