The Evils of International Gnomery
GnomeWATCH 2006
GnomeWATCH 2006Gnome Flees on Stolen Motorbike

Our Gnome Crisis correspondent Oleg Vimen interviewed the shocked owner

Not content with assaulting a chicken, the renegade gnome, Gerald, has now stolen a valuable, vintage motorcycle in his increasingly desperate attempts to evade capture

Andy Pratt is a man who has experienced the evil of international Gnomery at first hand after the renegade gnome—the self-styled Gerald P Floyd—made off with his vintage motorcycle.

Oleg: "Mr Pratt, I understand you have recently had a motorcycle stolen by a gnome?"
Andy: "Look mate, could we play down the gnome bit—it doesn’t go with the biker image."
Oleg: "So you have recently had a motorcycle stolen?"
Andy: "Yes mate, it’s a bleedin' liberty. Probably the best example of a three-year-old Indian import Royal Enfield 500cc Bullet you'll ever see, or not see now—as it turns out."
Oleg: "Bullet, you say? Do they still make them?"
Andy: "Absolutely, the tooling was all shipped out to India in the 1960s—this is your genuine article we are talking about, not like that Triumph Bonneville pastiche bollocks they're flogging to middle-aged accountants who want to recapture their teenage kicks."
Oleg: (abashed) "Oh...I quite fancied one of those…"
Andy: "Well I suppose if you have to have a modern bike it is better than the Japanese Tupperware that’s about at the moment but it hasn’t got the character of the original."
Oleg: "Look, I need to ask about the Royal Enfield."

Andy: "Right mate: single cylinder, four speed box, electric start fitted—if you're a girlie. Show any family car you like a clean pair of heels up to about 40 mph, after that you can’t read the speedo because of the vibration."
Oleg: "No, I mean when was it stolen? What did it look like? Any tips for the police on tracking it down?"
Andy: "Right, well I know it was here yesterday because I remember it wouldn’t start—classic stuff! Slightest bit of damp in the air and the electrics pack up and go home to Madras, trick is to get a can of WD40 and—"
Oleg: (losing patience) "—So it was stolen yesterday?"
Andy: "No, like I said, it was here yesterday because it wouldn’t start. But I got her going and took her to work. Fantastic, you’d have loved it. Did you say you had a Bonneville? Well your slow speed handling would be crap compared to the Enfield. Anyway, I must have been doing at least 60—the fillings in me teeth all rattle at 55 so I can tell the speed—when this little geezer in a pointy red hat jumped out in front of me. Bloody 'ell, he didn't half pen and ink!"

Oleg: "That'll be the gnome them. Probably just fed."
Andy: "Fed?"
Oleg: "On potted shrimp. Potted shrimp is like crack cocaine to a gnome."
Andy: "Bloody hell. I'd heard they were randy little buggers...women go weak at the knees at the sight of them some bloke down the pub told me. Potted shrimp, you say...Expensive stuff, is it? Do Tesco's do it?"
Oleg: (exasperated) "I really have no idea. Look, was it a gnome or not?"
Andy: "Well, it may have been him then, although this was 9 o’clock in the morning so I was pretty much sober. Anyway, the real thing with the old Bullet is not so much the not starting as the not stopping either. Drum brakes you see, classic—absolutely brilliant—not a hope of stopping, so I swerved round him. Say what you like about old British motorcycles but for swerving, not starting and not stopping either we led the world, mate."
Oleg: "So he didn’t steal the bike?"
Andy: "Not then."
Oleg: "Later?"

Andy: "Well I got home about seven o’clock. Fantastic run, I only needed to change the spark plug twice and fit new contact breaker points at the six mile point. That’s the thing about a classic bike like that, they’re so easy to maintain—oh a bit of trouble with the carb outside the paper-shop, it shook loose—just needed a couple of bolts tightening. So I put the old bike away and went in to have me tea. This morning when I went out to go to work it was gone."
Oleg: "So it went in the night?"
Andy: "Yeah, the little shit half-inched it at twenty-seven minutes past three."
Oleg: "That’s very precise."
Andy: "It woke the whole bleedin' street mate—have you ever heard one of those things starting? Fantastic noise, ground shakes, brilliant."
Oleg: "Did you try to stop him?"
Andy: "Do you think I’m mad? If I can get the money back off the insurance I'm buying a car."
Oleg: "I see, any ideas where he might have gone?"
Andy: "Well, not far would by my guess. I suggest you follow the trail of leaking oil and if he’s done more than 15 miles without breaking down it will be worth an article in ‘Classic Bike’ magazine. Oh, and if you find the damn thing intact, do us a favour..."
Oleg: "What, bring the old girl back?"
Andy: "Leave it out, mate—set a match to it!"
Oleg: "What about the gnome?"
Andy: "Oh yeah, bring the gnome back. I've got a monkey riding on the little shit being ransomed. If you torch the fucker I'll be well gutted."

In other news today, the US ambassador in Seoul died unexpectedly after handling what is believed to be a Japanese fugu fish—a gift from the Korean Premier in return for President Bush's generous reconstruction of three of his country's largest cities yesterday. A spokestypeperson for the peace-loving humanitarian leader, Kim Jong-il, said that the ambassador would be given a state funeral with full military honours. We understand that the climax of the ceremony will involve the launch of eight long-range missiles, tipped with nuclear warheads which have been targeted at the holiday homes of Condolezza Rice and Dick Cheney.


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Story © COPYRIGHT How Tenji. Illustration and design © 2006 / 070406
Gnomewatch 2006 - souvenir edition


Over period of 20 days during the spring of 2006, four leading Internet satirists collaborated to create a truly surreal charity event in aid of Amnesty International, during which we ransomed a captured garden gnome oneBay gnomewatch The auction ran from Monday 3rd April until Thursday 13th April and raised £275.00

The self-styled 'Gerald P Floyd' - the Gnomish Ringleader

The hilarious and satirical adventures of the gnome unfolded in a series of News Bulletins that began ten days before the auction started, on 24th March and ran right through until it ended on 13th April.

The first special article we published was 'The Evil which is International Gnomery'—on 24th March 2006. If you want to recapture the full flavour of this unique event you should read this first. You will need to pay attention! Hints are dropped and clues are left in each episode that build up to an unexpected climax which you'll miss if you just skim through the stories.

Then read the rest of the news bulletins which are listed on your left. These are listed in the order in which they were published—oldest first. The final twist was unravelled in the third of our special reports—Gnomes Show their Hand. We hope you enjoy the show!

GnomeWATCH blog - click to read auction comments
During the auction we kept a running Blog of what people were saying about the event. Click the banner to read their comments.
GnomeWATCH Media Packs

Throughout the auction we made Media Packs available to the Press onBuy the Press Pack on eBay — containing high resolution versions of the images we created specially for GnomeWATCH. Most were 1200 x 1600 pixies — sorry, pixels in size. So if you fancy a permanent memento of the event in glorious colour without a copyright watermark—make us an offer and we may be persuaded to mail you a high quality colour print (or prints, if you're feeling really flush). Hit the button to contact us:

Gnomemail us
Gnomewatch 2006 - souvenir edition
Gnomewatch 2006 Suporters
The following websites supported Utterpants GnomeWATCH 2006:
Utterpants Gnomewatch 2006