Monday, April 2

Explanations on a Postcard

The Gnome likes weird signs. He did once take a picture of a sign for you, dear readers, which seemed to imply that it was illegal to place a golf club up a dog's backside, but alas it has been lost from the archives.

At least that one had some words attached to explain its true meaning (no pooping in the street apparently...), whereas this one, spotted at a petrol station just outside Brighton, was apparently thought not to require any explanation.

To the Gnome it provides the timely warning 'Do not attempt to tow away the petrol pump', but does anyone out there know better?

A Fishy Tale

Seeing as the Gnome is introducing new characters, he supposes he should present to the world the latest additions to the Gnome household – Gnome Fish 1 and Gnome Fish 2.

Bought by Mrs Gnome to provide some cheer in the Gnome’s office, they became an instant hit with Gnome Cat 1, who happily spends the working day watching as they tease him with coquettish flicks of the fins.

In fact, Gnome Cat 1 and the Gnome sometimes stare in tandem; Gnome Cat at the fish, and the Gnome at his computer screen, willing it to spew forth an offer of work to reinvigorate his finances.

The Gnome knows there is only a picture of one fish here, but come on - seen one fish, even a Gnome Fish, and you've seen them all...

Eating Well in Philadelphia

There is no excuse for going hungry in Philadelphia – it is a town with a reputation for excess in the eating department. What other town could come up with a signature dish as the Philly Cheesesteak – a delicious yet fattening combination of fried beef smothered in melted cheese shoved together in a 12 inch bun?

Not that the Philly Cheesesteak is by any means an expensive dish – it is available in various outlets for a relative pittance, but it occurred to the Gnome there is an even easier and cheaper way of eating well in the city of Brotherly Love.

Venison was a dish prized by the populace in the Middle Ages. Indeed, the poaching of deer in England was considered such a personal affront to the King it was punishable by a goodly period in the stocks, allowing the locals to participate in one of the first recorded government policies on the environment – namely the recycling of old fruit.

If you know where to look though, venison can be found for free in Philly. Admittedly it is in what can only be called an ‘organic’ state, as it is scattered along the train track from the airport to the city centre. The Gnome saw four deer carcasses, perfectly preserved in the cold winter weather, all of whom had suffered an ill-fated encounter with an oncoming train.

A gentle stroll along the tracks each morning would provide enough venison to feed a family every night, and what is more the walk would help burn off the Cheesesteak you had for breakfast…

Train Toilet Tends Towards Taste Tragedy

On the Amtrak train between Philadelphia and NYC, the Gnome was caught short. There was little alternative but to pay a visit to the train’s toilet, a journey that even in one’s own country is not exactly to be welcomed with open arms, but in another country, even one as evidently civilised as the USA, must be faced with not a little trepidation.

As it happened, all was well with the general cleanliness and despite not having an electronic hand dryer which I could take a photo of to bore you all, the whole experience was perfectly pleasant. Apart from the d├ęcor.

You wouldn’t think there would be much to do for a train toilet interior designer. It is not generally an area noted for its flamboyant use of colour and design. Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen is not noted for his conversion of the humble lavatory into a feast of Louis XIII decadence, complete with heavy velvet drapes and ormolu clocks.

With this toilet though there had been just such an attempt. Recreating a pattern not seen since the Gnome last wore pajamas at the tender age of eight, the walls were wallpapered in a psychedelic maroon and purple paisley pattern that assaulted the eye.

Lunacy in the Aisles

The Gnome would love to claim this story as his own experience, but has to give credit where credit is due. Like all long-running sagas, it is important to occasionally bring in fresh characters to keep the readers interested so please be introduced to the never previously blogged character of Father-in-law Gnome and his recent experience in a Yorkshire supermarket.

Perusing the vegetables (although the Gnome is sure his true thoughts were with the puddings in the next aisle) an elderly, wild-eyed man approached him and waved a vegetable in front of his face.

To Father-in-law Gnome’s astonishment he shouted out in a voice loud enough to be heard the other side of the Pennines…

“They have the nerve to call this a carrot? My f**cking dick is bigger than this…”

He then walked off, apparently satisfied his complaint had been registered by the proper authorities.

What was truly bewildering about the incident though was that the vegetable he had been waving about so aggressively was in fact an aubergine, which makes the Gnome wonder whether all the stories he has heard about Yorkshire inbreeding are quite so exaggerated after all…

The Blow Off Hog

Was it Mark Twain who suggested America and England were ‘two great nations separated by a common language’? This little piece of bus shelter advertising certainly seems to bear the theory out.

What self-respecting UK-based copywriter would come up with the picture and slogan shown here? And what self-respecting English lady would be prepared to take on the challenge of ‘blowing off’ the less than attractive energy hog pictured? Any takers? If there are, please post the ensuing video on YouTube and send the Gnome the link.