Joined at the Hip!
By Mike Stevens
The Yard Gnome and The Poem Gnome Meet, a Prequel to ‘The Yard Gnome’, and ‘The Poem Gnome”
The cold January wind slammed into Rig, the clay yard gnome, and right behind it, cold, drenching rain. Rig thought to himself, much like the fricking weather, this blows! He watched helplessly as water dripped off his nose, and thought of his previous owner with sadness and bitterness, mostly bitterness. He’d had it made; sitting on the end table, dry and warm. But one day his old owner had held a garage sale, selling off his unwanted ‘junk’. Guess who was apparently considered ‘junk’? Him, Rig! Now, he was just a piece of s**t to be thrown out into the yard, like he didn’t have feelings! Oh yeah, did he ever have feelings, and he was feeling that his new owner was a dick!
One sunny day, many days after being subjected to the storm, Rig was just standing there, which was what he did best, when his d**k-head new owner walked towards him, carrying something under his arm. He opened the bag hiding what he was carrying, and revealed another gnome; this one was wooden. Rig stood there, still as a statue, which this human dick thought he was. The dick put the gnome down next to Rig, and walked towards the house at a brisk clip. Once the door closed behind him, Rig looked at this sorry excuse for a gnome, and jeered to himself. The thing had a reject look about it. Typical inanimate reject-face! Crappy, goon-like features. Why did all the fake ones look so pathetic? Of course, as far as he knew he was the only gnome who lived and breathed. No one was aware of the fact, because he was careful to never let people see him move.
A few more minutes went by, and Rig was getting so bored; he looked around the empty yard. There was nothing to do. He glanced at the new gnome, if only you could talk, he thought. I could tell you how much being out in the garden blows! But the dip-s**t would just stare back at him, unseeing; the perpetual 1000 yard stare. He casually flipped it off; and was shocked when the gnome flipped the bone back at him! Then, the gnome spoke,
“Eat it, friend!”
Rig at first was angry, then he laughed.
“Well, I’ll be; you’re alive!”
The wooden gnome replied, ‘Yep!”
Rig went on, “Well, I thought I was the only gnome who was alive. I’m Rig. Put ‘er there!”
The wooden Gnome replied, “Woody Short, at your service; glad to meet you, and Rig’s a funny name!”
“Yeah, the bastard who made me, was only an amateur puppet maker, to which my uneven eyes would attest; his full time job was as a worker on a deep sea oil platform; hence the name Rig; real imagination that guy had!”
“I didn’t want to say anything, but, wow, you’re eyes are really lop-sided! I mean, one of your eyes watches a jet plane fly over, and the other eye can see if you shoe’s untied. Anyway, Rig, what besides standing out here in the yard, do you do for excitement around here?”
Rig was pissed, but replied only, “Well, I was referring to how they sit on my face, but you’re right, I’m a bit cross-eyed, but you get used to it; as for excitement, this is about it.”
“Standing in the yard?”
“Well, sometimes for excitement, Dick moves me into the garden!”
“Oh, whoa; how do you stand all the excitement? I fill my time writing poetry.”
“Poetry? What, “I used to be a tree standing oh so tall; But now I’m a poet, ya’al”?
“Ha; a yard gnome with a sense of humor; I love it! No, more like, “The gossamer wings of a million butterflies send the mistral wind like a forgotten whisper, through the lonely stems of the alpine flowers”
“S**t, you call that crap a poem? Even I know that a poem is supposed to rhyme.”
“It’s a free form poem, but I can make it rhyme; The gossamer wings of a million butterflies, give alpine flowers a BJ; oh, those lucky guys!”
Rig roared with laughter; “Now that is a poem, and one so beautiful, it’s going to bring a tear to my eye!”
Woody Short chuckled, and replied, “Rig, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!”
Many months went by, and Rig and Woody Short formed a bond. It was a bond born of boredom, as the two gnomes grappled with the knowledge they were most-likely the only two living gnomes. But then again, Rig the Yard Gnome had always believed he was the only gnome that was alive. So one never knows! he thought; and, the fact that they had to both endure the hostile weather. But, at least we’re together, Rig thought.
Then one day, the owner, who they both called Dick, came out in the yard and picked them both up. Now what the f**K? What are you up to, Dick? thought Rig, ignoring the obvious joke. Dick set them both down on a card table set up in the garage, and stuck a tag of some sort onto both of them. 25 cents? Rig couldn’t read, but Woody Short, being a poet-gnome, could. He looked around at the furniture, an ash tray, an old transistor radio, and other items, all with price stickers on them, and struggled to understand. Rig might not have been able to read, but his world experience told him the awful truth; garage sale!
“Woody Short, Dick is selling us, the dick! I wonder for how much?”
Woody Short looked again at the price tags on each of them and replied, “According to our price tags, 25 cents.”
“25 cents? Bulls**t! This is bulls**t! Why, each of us is worth double that, easy!”
Rig looked around at his new home, said bulls**t! to himself, and waddled away in the middle of the night. He’d be damned if he was going to stay with the complete reject who had stumbled into the garage sale and bought him. When they’d arrived at the reject’s house, he’d been left on a table in the garage, where he joined at least 20 other yard gnomes, all staring at nothing through sightless eyes. Rig thought no fricking way! and hence he found himself waddling down city streets, with no idea where he was headed. He wandered past gas stations and grocery stores, on sidewalks almost devoid of people at this early hour. He was careful that in the rare incidences a person walked by, he froze, and all they saw was a regular gnome; not even stopping to think how odd it was to see a gnome just sitting there in the middle of the sidewalk. What was he going to do?
Then he spotted a flat bed truck parked in front of the home improvement store who’s parking lot he was waddling through. On it, were gnomes that looked just like him. Boy, they’d be going home with someone, while he was wandering aimlessly. Then he had a thought; what If he slipped into the display? He looked down at his gnome body; he wasn’t too dirty. It just might work!
Rig had jumped up on the flatbed, no easy trick for a 2-foot high supposed-statue, and had waited impatiently for the store to open. It turned out he didn’t have to wait until opening; the store’s delivery door was flung open, and now Rig, along with the inanimate yard gnomes, was put on display for any customer who wandered by, and once the store opened, many did. It sure was lucky for him that he came from the exact mold all these other bastards were made from.
He had to hope that any perspective buyer wouldn’t look too close, and notice that he was a little dirtier than all the brand-new ones surrounding him. He briefly wondered what had become of Woody Short, but his wondering was cut off in mid-wonder when he spotted a likely-looking couple wandering by; the girl was hot; he had to have her! It didn’t look like they were going to stop, so it was time to unleash the magic he could somehow now do. He didn’t understand it, so he just went with it.