The Evils of International Gnomery
GnomeWATCH 2006
Gnome digs tunnel and Escapes
GnomeWATCH 2006

An exclusive report by Oleg Vimen

BBC 10 o’clock news. (Signature tune plays, pictures of Gnomes in various poses flash across the screen. Chairman Tenji is seen dressed in black shirt, military cap, cane, leather boots, etc., with a serious expression speaking to senior army officers)

Newsreader: "The Gnome crisis took an astonishing turn today as news leaked of his escape from his kidnappers. Earlier Chairman Tenji consulted military advisors over possible emergency measures to curb the increased threat from gnomish activists. Later in the programme we have an exclusive interview with a man who lived as a gnome for ten years before discovering he was in fact a very short train-spotter with a luxuriant, full-length beard. Also in tonight’s programme, the ongoing nuclear confrontation between North Korea and the USA; will the US respond to the pre-emptive strike on an isolated quail hunting lodge in Texas?"

(Turns to face camera 2)

Newsreader: "The deepening gnome crisis took on a sinister turn as the Gnomish leader—the self-styled Gerald P. Floyd—eluded his kidnappers and went on the run. An anonymous source has provided us with stills from security cameras which the kidnappers had used to monitor their secret hideout, believed to be somewhere in Purley. One of these seems to support the rumour that a hammer, junior hacksaw and shovel had been thoughtlessly left within arms length of the prisoner by his captors—an allegation that has been strenuously denied by Chairman Tenji's office who dismissed it as the work of cunning retouchers working for the recently formed Gnome Rights Alliance—the NRA.

I have with me a respected academic and expert on kidnapper/hostage relations, Professor Derek Matthews of the University of South Rockall. Professor, you are Emeritus Professor of Hostage Psychology and Escapology at the University, I wonder if you could give us your view on recent events—in simple language, for the layman as it were."

Professor Matthews (Writhing on the ground in a canvas straightjacket): "Well, the little chappie in the red hattie was taken from the nice kind policeman by some naughty men..."
Newsreader: "Er…can I interrupt you there, Professor, this is the BBC, so layman’s terms are about GCSE level."
Professor: "Crikey, sorry, thought you were The Sunday Sport—I have them next I think. (Writhing reaches a crescendo and an arm emerges from the neck of the jacket). Well the thing is...a hostage situation like this develops through three distinct stages, in technical jargon we call these stages one, two and three—stop me if I'm getting too technical."

Newsreader (Taking careful notes): "...two and three. Yes Professor I think we are still with you although I must say this is far more complex than I had imagined."
Professor (Reaching over his shoulder to undo the leather buckles): "Yes, well this is one of the more demanding areas of modern psychology, still I’ll do my best. So in stage one the hostage feels considerable apprehension towards his kidnappers and the kidnappers want to kick the shit out of the hostage."
Newsreader: "And this is still stage one?"
Professor (Standing up and stepping out of the straightjacket): "Yes that’s right. Now I believe that during this initial phase..."
Newsreader: "Sorry you’ve lost me there, Professor."

Professor (Pulling a pair of police handcuffs from his pocket): "Initial phase is just academic shorthand for phase one..."
Newsreader: "I think it might be best if you avoid the shorthand. I don’t know about the viewers but I was all at sea there for a moment!"
Professor: "At sea?"
Newsreader: "Sorry, Professor that’s just a layman’s term for being totally lost and confused."
Professor: "That’s very interesting. What would you say if you and all your friends were in a boat on the ocean?"
Newsreader: "Well I suppose we would all be at sea."
Professor: "And that doesn’t confuse you?"
Newsreader: "No, we kind of work out what we mean from contextual clues in the conversation."

Professor: "Well, there is much more to being a layman than I thought! I am glad I chose academia, the concepts are so much better defined. Now, examine these handcuffs—they are completely standard police issue. I want you to lock my hands behind my back and then help me into this large sack... (Voice becomes muffled) Now lock the mouth of the sack with the chain and padlock. I will now attempt to escape from the sack whilst simultaneously analysing the security camera footage."

Newsreader: "That’s very kind Professor, where should I hold the pictures so you can see them."
Professor: "Oh hell, I haven’t thought this through! Look, can you describe the pictures to me?
Newsreader: "Well the first one shows a pile of abandoned chains."
Professor: "I suggest this is not relevant to the escape, the chains may simply be a diversion or false clue."
Newsreader: "A red herring?"
Professor: "No, a diversion or false clue."
Newsreader: "You don’t think they might be the discarded bonds of the escaped gnome?"
Professor: "Absolutely not."
Newsreader: "And the junior hacksaw and shovel?"
Professor: "Common items in any cellar."

Newsreader: "Well, it's a jolly good job you're here, professor. Now, the second picture shows a hole in a tiled floor."
Professor: "Well, that is more interesting. Are there any pipes in the hole? Copper water pipes?"
Newsreader: "Yes Professor."
Professor: "Well then in that case I suggest that the house owner has been the victim of a cowboy plumber and again this has nothing to do with the gnome."
Newsreader: "You don’t think the gnome might have dug the hole in the floor to escape from the locked cellar?"
Professor: "No, that would be preposterous."

Buy this picture on eBayNewsreader: "And the last picture is of the gnome emerging from a tunnel in what looks like a suburban garden."
Professor: "This sounds much more likely to have some bearing on the case. I imagine the gnome sawed through his chains with a junior hacksaw, dug a hole in the floor and used a shovel to excavate a tunnel to effect his escape."
Newsreader: "Well, it all seems so clear when you explain it like that." (Sack writhes modestly) Professor: "Er, you couldn’t reach into my jacket pocket and get the key to these handcuffs could you?"

Newsreader: "I think you are wearing the jacket, professor."
(Men in brown ‘storeman style’ coats carry the wriggling sack away.)
Newsreader: "Well, there we have it. A surprisingly daring escape from such a lowlife scum as this gnome, allegedly. I now have Chairman Tenji on a bluetooth satellite video uplink. Chairman, this is a worrying development?"

Tenji: "Indeed, it was shocking that the gnome had been taken by vigilantes—I don’t think these bold members of the general public—whoever they were, which I have no idea of obviously, had any conception of the grave risk they were running. Gnomes can be very dangerous when provoked. It is doubly concerning that the little (beeped out) is on the loose again."
Newsreader: "Are you any nearer to recapturing it?"
Tenji: "Well obviously that is a matter for the police and these irresponsible vigilantes—a bit of a race you might say. My money is on the vigilantes because we know which way the little (beeped out) went."
Newsreader: "We?"

Tenji: "Bugger! Derek—put the (beeped out) ‘phone down quick!"

Newsreader: "We seem to have lost our connection to Chairman Tenji, obviously a busy man with a lot of responsibility resting on his shoulders. We do have a statement from the Home Office advising members of the public not to approach the gnome if they see him. They should instead contact the police or the local office of the National Satirists Party—whichever is closer. The first member of the public to report the gnome to the National Satirists Party will receive a three-day cruise in the Caribbean (excludes, flights, food, cabin expenses and gratuities). The gnome population were maintaining a stony silence this evening."


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Story © COPYRIGHT How Tenji. Illustration and design © 2006 / 040406
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:

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