Gnome, Gnome on the Range

It appears someone in France has taken that movie Amélie a little bit too seriously Remember how, in that movie, the impish Audrey Tautou kidnaps her father’s garden gnome and has an airline hostess friend bring it along on her trips and photograph it at tourist sights around the world in order to inspire her father to get off his butt and travel? Cute, right?

Well, it’s not so cute when the garden gnome is instead kidnapped, forcibly repainted, and made to live in a garden measuring a modest 215 square feet along with 169 other gnomes (think 6 train heading to Grand Central at 5:30 on a Thursday night). And that’s exactly what happened in France this spring.

When the gnomes first started disappearing, accusing eyes turned to the Garden Gnome Liberation Front (FLNJ), an organization devoted to the emancipation of “nains de jardin.” But is appears they weren’t responsible. Rather, 53-year-old man has now been arrested in the town of Mauron in connection to the crime after 170 gnomes were discovered on his lawn. Although police believe they have the right perpetrator in custody and are prepared to repatriate the stolen gnomes, returning them to their rightful owners (given the repainting) has proven tricky.

So, you’re probably asking yourself, why on earth would anyone kidnap 170 gnomes? Our hypothesis: luck.

The name “gnome” is derived from the Ancient Germanic word Kuba-Walda, which means “home administrator” or “home spirit.” So not only are gnomes kitschy and fun, they’ll bring good luck to any outdoor endeavors. So, this guy must have been thinking, “If one gnome will bring good luck, 170 will bring REALLY good luck” (but in French).

If you have other theories, we’d be glad to entertain them.

Read the full story HERE.

–Deb

(Photo by DPA)