It’s time once again to answer a few letters


It’s been awhile since I’ve answered my mail, and there’s a good reason for that: I didn’t have any.

Letters were arriving by the truckload when I first started this blog, but dropped off precipitously once readers got over their initial outrage at my offerings and started to ignore me instead. My following dwindled to a loyal few.

To be sure, some curious new readers have replaced the disgruntled masses, and a few questions have also been arriving inside Christmas cards. Acquaintances who would not waste a stamp on me are doubling up by sending a Christmas card to my wife — who by most accounts remains sane — and including an obligatory blog question for me in the same envelope. This merely confirms what I already suspected: Roamin’ Gnomials readers are cheap.

In my more lucid moments I realize a blog with fare that vacillates wildly between gnomes and death is not everyone’s cup of tea. I’m not bitter about it, but the fact is that people are short-sighted. Some day those people will have a problem with gnomes, and some day they will die — quite possibly on the same day. Then they’ll come crawling back, and it’s then that I’ll laugh in their faces!

But until that day comes, I might as well answer these letters.

Dear Roamin’ Gnomials:
It is very cold where I live, and I would like to know if it is okay to leave my garden gnomes outside all winter.
— Viktor

Dear Viktor:
I assume you’re talking about a gnome statue, and if that’s the case, by all means leave it outside. Indeed, it could be dangerous to bring it inside. Your big mistake was getting a gnome at all, but don’t compound the error by bringing it inside, as this will almost certainly cause real gnomes to take up residence.

* * *

“ … John and I were going to drop in and see you guys last week, but then we thought better of it. Which reminds me, how’s the blog going? It’s pretty ‘interesting.’”
— The neighbors

Dear neighbors:
You can drop in and see us anytime, but maybe it’s wise that you thought better of it. You see, we already have one visitor who dropped in unexpectedly, and he’s causing some havoc around here. If you were to stop by, maybe our houseguest would follow you back across the street when you went home, and that would be right neighborly of you indeed.

* * *

Dear Roamin’ Gnomials:
Come on, who are you trying to kid? You knew that dead guy at the cemetery, didn’t you?
— Joe

Ah, you must be referring to William. No, I really didn’t know him and I’m not going to find out anymore details about his life.  But if you don’t like reading about an unknown dead man, that’s okay. He stopped reading about you a long time ago.

* * *

The Roamin' Gnomials Naming Trophy was wisely rejected by the winner, an Irish ex-pat, who gave it to her husband, who displayed it in his office, which is now infested with gnomes that are causing all sorts of problems.
The Roamin’ Gnomials Naming Trophy was wisely rejected by the winner, an Irish ex-pat, who gave it to her husband, who displayed it in his office, which is now infested with gnomes that are causing all sorts of problems.

Dear Roamin’ Gnomials:
Why are there no gnomes in Ireland?
— Seamus McTavish

Dear Seamus:
Indeed, Ireland is the only place in the world where gnomes do not live. That is because the place is already crawling with leprechauns, and the gnomes can’t gain a foothold there. The Great Gnome and Leprechaun War — won by the leprechauns —was eons ago, but it’s still spoken about in hushed tones when Irish families gather at night around their peat fires and drink their whiskey, neat. Curiously enough, an Irish ex-pat is credited (blamed) for winning the contest to name this blog, and her insights were probably gained by listening to stories at her grandmother’s knee, while sitting around the fire and drinking great quantities of whiskey. It also explains her strong aversion to gnomes and her refusal to accept her trophy, foisting it instead upon her unsuspecting husband, who’s had gnome problems of his own ever since. As an interesting aside, the brutal outcome of the Great Gnome and Leprechaun War also explains why gnomes — to this day — will not eat potatoes.

* * *

This gnome has moved into our house and is already causing havoc. He knocks the bows off the Christmas presents at night, eats our mints and drinks our eggnog.
This gnome has moved into our house and is already causing havoc. He knocks the bows off the Christmas presents at night, eats our mints and drinks our eggnog.

Dear Roamin’ Gnomials:
I was given a lovely crystal by a friend, but then couldn’t find it anywhere! Finally I located it, but it was being held by the gnome I keep in my house. How is this possible, because I sure didn’t put it there!
— Morgaine

Dear Morgaine:
Let me tell you a little something about gnomes, because a lot of people have the wrong impression about them. Gnomes are diggers, meaning that their natural home is below ground. They’re really not into gardening or other above-ground pursuits, despite what the gnome marketers would have us believe. Primarily, gnomes are miners and tunnelers, so it’s not surprising at all that the gnome in your house would glom onto your crystal, as they truly love all kinds of stones and gems. I also hate to break it to you, but that gnome you have isn’t a statue, it’s real! I know because I have the same problem here. About three weeks ago, a gnome showed up in our house and is standing by the fireplace.  I thought my wife bought it, and she thought I bought it, but finally we figured out that neither one of us bought it. Once we figured it out that a live gnome had moved in, we understand why the eggnog and Andes mints keep disappearing. It’s quite possible that you’ll never see your gnome causing mischief. Gnomes can stand stock still for hours, and they’ll do just that while you’re awake. But once you go to sleep or turn your back, that thing you thought was a statue will start running around, creating all kinds of trouble. And the really bad thing is there’s nothing you can do about it. You can throw the gnome out, but he’ll certainly come back with reinforcements, and then you’ll have a regular gnome infestation on your hands. It’s best to just let him handle your crystal if he fancies it, and try not to lose any sleep about what he’s up to after dark. I’ll close by asking a question of my own: Have you noticed any chocolate that’s gone missing?


Add yours →

  1. Dear Roamin’ Gnomials,
    Thank you so much for clearing that up! As a matter of fact, I found a few empty, crumpled wrappers from my imported 85% cocoa dark chocolate bars behind the secretary in the Curiosity Room. Mr. Gnome has taken up residence there instead of the garden. Although to be fair, I don’t have much of a garden yet because I moved in a few months ago and will not be planting anything until Spring. Now that I know where the crystal is, I’ll let him have it for now. All things considered, he appears to be guarding the house. I haven’t been bothered by vampires (so far)…..
    Morgaine aka magickmermaid

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wise decision to let him hold the crystal. Things could take a nasty turn if you were to take it from him.


  3. All this has gone over my head. What’s up w/gnomes.?? I thought the blog was abt William. Why are questions being asked abt the gnomes??? You never talk abt the gnomes in your entries. is it me??? What have I missed?

    Liked by 1 person

    • On the contrary, I’ve talked about gnomes a number of times. William is indeed a PART of this blog, but only a part. I’ve blogged about a great many things — food, travel, men’s fashions, baseball, cemeteries, board games, newspapers, dentistry … and gnomes. If you’re confused by it all, take solace in the knowledge that you’re not the only one. But it might be a little less confusing for you if you were to peruse the headings at the top of the blog. Things are loosely broken into categories. Posts about William — which seem to be your favorite — are under their own heading, called Year in the Death. They’ll all be listed under that heading.


  4. If your readers ever do come crawling back from the dead, dragging their gnome problems with them, I truly doubt that you’ll be laughing in their faces. (Which raises the question: Are there zombie gnomes?)

    Liked by 1 person

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