It was a bit of an untimely visit to Sun City Peachtree by this ol’ chap, today, since  it is raining, and he has come to water the grass below the bench. 

I wonder how he got here.  After all, according to a story in the April 30th edition of The Week, the recent blockage of the Suez Canal caused quite the gnome crisis.  It worsened the U.K.’s already desperate shortage of garden gnomes.  Countless gnomes are “stuck in containers trying to come over here,” said Iain Wylie of the British Garden Centre Association.

For their weekly contest, The Week used that story as its subject.  Their request?  “Please come up with a headline for a British Tabloid story about the gnome crisis.”  The contest winner?  “Gnomadland,” by Mary Stahl, of Arvada, Colorado.

Knowing next to nothing about the origins of these personable-looking little fellows, I poked around the Internet to get the 411. 

According to Wikipedia, gnomes originated as a decoration for the wealthy in Europe, and they date back to the ancient Roman period.  In recent years, they have become quite popular across all social classes and have made their way across the Atlantic and into North America.  During the 1970’s, more humorous and light-hearted gnomes came on to the garden scene; and, in the 1990’s, it was all about the traveling gnome.  Pranks with the pointy-hat-wearing, bearded fellow was all the rage and made national news.  As a practical joke, people would kidnap them from gardens to keep them company on their world travelers.  The kidnapper would send the owner photos of the gnome drinking a beer at Oktoberfest, eating pizza in Italy, or sunbathing on the French Riviera before returning him to his home garden.

I thought about kidnapping this one for our 2022 travels abroad, but I think I’ll just leave him on the bench, so he can keep the grass nice and green after the rains have gone.


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