Bingo's Home for Wayward Gnomes Garden and Sanctuary 

Recent events have me taking an inward look at how I treat the smallest on the fringes of our society ... the garden gnomes. For those of you who haven't been following the saga of Jack Gnome, let me give you the abridged version.

I recently discoverd that a gnome living in my yard had been stolen. Or maybe he wasn't stolen. Through letters and photos left on my vehicle's windshield and, most recently, a CD powerpoint presentation of Jack's adventures, I discovered that Jack was on a "walkabout" because I had been a "gnome gneglector."

The accusations of gneglect by Jack Gnome, of gnot providing a gnurturing environment and of gnot acgnowledging his gnome "gayness" ring true. I was previously unaware of my homognomic beliefs. I didn't even gnow his gname was Jack until I began getting letters from him. I also discovered that his buddy, who remained in the strawberry patch, is named Luther. My bad.

Jack, if you are reading this, since you left I've worked on improving the garden, pulling weeds, planting flowers and making it a "happy" place once again. Now, I've even taken it a step further. To atone for my previous sins, I have decided to establish Bingo's Home for Wayward Gnomes. It will be a sanctuary in my magical garden for all gnomes, elves, pixies, and other fairy folk. There they will find other assorted folk of their same ilk, as well as flowers and non-magical creatures such as cats and toads. In addition, there will be gnome bowling, gnome barbecues, a jacuzzi and, most important, the special magic of children. And I'll pick up all the dog poo.

This sanctuary idea isn't new. In Barga, Italy, escaped gnomes have established one. There is also a 4-acre gnome reserve in North Devon, England with over 1,000 gnomes. There are even a limited gnumber of wild populations of gnomes that still remain. On a North American Gnome Web site, a distribution map shows Idaho as one of the largest areas for wild gnomes. Unfortunately, this habitat is shrinking, creating smaller and smaller genetic "islands" of isolated gnomes.

On the darker side of the gnome thing is the Europe-based Garden Gnome Liberation Front, which kidnaps gneglected gnomes from private gardens. Since 1997 the GGLF claims to have "liberated" over 6,000 gnomes. Sometimes these gnomes are discovered traversing their escape routes. Other times, their discovery is tragic. Recently 11 gnomes were found hanged under a bridge with an accompanying gnote, "When you read these words, we will no longer be part of your selfish world in which we serve only as decoration."

I invite all lonely and orphaned gnomes to join together in my special sanctuary. Because a gnome is a terrible thing to waste.

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