A gnome-themed Romeo and Juliet move is out in theaters, and we’re likely to see it since Matt recommended it. Anyway, that movie apparently is encouraging some pranksters in the family.
I’ve been gnomed.
And not for the first time.
Most Tuesdays, Audrey and I will meet at the Hilltop Grille at Mount Mercy University for “Taco Tuesday,” when tacos are plentiful and cheap. While chatting this Tuesday, we came up with an idea for a “Mount Mercy Times” photo contest—rather than merely show pictures of details and ask students to guess where they are, have a gnome who travels from place to place (the MMU travel gnome) and take its picture. The contest can be “where is the MMU gnome now?”
Little did I know that the gnomatic bent of the conversation was a pretext. Sometime between Tuesday and Thursday, four gnomes suddenly appeared in my office.
When my gardens were mysteriously gnomed last summer, strong circumstantial evidence implicated two of my children—the youngest and the oldest. This time, I don’t need Sherlock Holmes or Mary Vermillion to crack the case—only one member of my family has both a history of gnoming and a key to my office.
In the 1990s, when we lived in Early, Iowa, and our children attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in Storm Lake, Iowa, the kids joined the St. Mary’s band. Mysteriously, garden gnomes randomly began to show up in the band room there. I think Mr. Suits, the band teacher, strongly suspected the Sheller kids, and, to be honest, I don’t think his suspicions were misplaced—and the gnomes were purchased, suggested and sometimes even placed by the children’s mother.
A known gnomer.
Recently, there have been gnome incidents in the Nursing Department at MMU. Now, I am not a witness and I don’t know if Audrey is the Nursing gnomer—certainly the idea of haunting others with gnomes can come from other sources. Maybe Mary Tarbox is a fan of “The Full Monty.” Anyway, even if Audrey isn’t the nursing gnomer, certainly a gnomatic incident there may have revived her latent gnomish tendencies.
Yes, I said it. I’m married to a gnomad.
And Wednesday afternoon, I began to notice some gnomes. The first I saw was atop a shelf attached to my desk. Then, I noted one lurking among “Yellow Submarine” figures I have (not toys, action figures, of course). A third gnome was soon spotted on my window sill.
That night, Audrey denied it, of course, but during the conversation, also blurted out that, in fact, there were four gnomes. Aha! J’accuse!
And Thursday, sure enough, a fourth gnome was indeed found when I went to put my lunch in my minifridge. Poor fella. Must have felt like Gnome, Alaska.