Thursday, August 01, 2013

A tale of two gnomes, Mets pride and Yankee shame

This is a tale of two gnomes, and I warn you, it’s not pretty.

I was pretty excited when this very classy gnome arrived on Wednesday.

There’s a lot going on here.

First, like everyone else, he’s celebrating the Mets hosting the All-Star for the first time since 1964. But he was lucky enough to find a giant apple – or a Big Apple – with the game logo as his own very special souvenir.

I was thinking my cap, program and mini “Apples on Parade” figure were pretty cool, but our gnome friend clearly has me beat.

When you get something that cool, you’re not just going to park it on the shelf. You’re going to show it off. That means getting into the spirit of things with a fancy outfit.

Your options there are:

A)     A Mets jersey and cap, proclaiming your love for the Amazin’s.
B)      Lady Liberty.

I see the gnome working here. He couldn’t decide between wearing his David Wright jersey or his Matt Harvey jersey, making Lady Liberty the obvious choice, forever lifting her lamp beside the Golden Door, which, I believe, is the Seaver Gate at Citi Field.

All in all, it’s a dignified approach. And, incredibly, I found it on clearance at

I thought my family would share in their appreciation for this very special souvenir, and prepared a spot for it on the living room mantle.

Alas, they recoiled in horror, as if a statue of a gnome sitting on an All-Star Game apple wearing a Statue of Liberty costume was not the coolest thing ever.

Apparently friend and colleague Dave Pelland was inspired to go searching on to see if there were any All-Star Game gnomes still available.

Instead, he found this creepy scary gnome.

You need to know that Dave has experienced true terror.

We spent a year working in the Bridgeport Post’s North Bureau, enduring conditions and abuses that decorum prevents us from describing here.

Those experiences must have hardened him, because he was not freaked out by this other gnome.

The website calls it “New York Mets Mad Hatter Gnome.” I call it “Mascot Slaying Gnome.” This gnome has what appears to be the severed head of the beloved Mr. Met replacing its traditional pointy gnome cap. He also has a sawed-off bat and four baseballs.

Your repulsion to this new gnome, also remarkably on clearance, will depend entirely on how you view Mr. Met.

If you are one of those people who insist that Mr. Met is a guy wearing a mascot costume, this gnome will frighten you.

It appears that the hooligan gnome used his bat to pummel the poor intern wearing the costume, knocking him unconscious and stealing the costume’s head, because it’s not like someone playing Mr. Met is going to give up the head willingly. This gnome is a thug and a thief.

But the rest of us know that Mr. Met is a living being so devoted to our team that his over-sized noggin has taken on the appearance of a baseball.

That means our gnome has gone down a more sinister route. He’s probably a Yankee fan, distraught over the impending lifetime ban of Alex Rodriguez.

Of course, ARod is only the latest Yankee busted for using performance-enhancing drugs. Considering the accusations surrounding Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, Aaron Boone and other True Yankees, the Bombers are perhaps the most roided-up franchise in the sport.

The team is a fraud. The 2000 World Series trophy should be awarded to its rightful owners, which would be the Mets. (The Yankees should return their other trophies, too, but I don’t care about those as much.)

Confronted with the realization that the much-heralded “Yankee Magic” comes in a syringe, the gnome apparently snapped. He searched out the living symbol of all that is good: Mr. Met.

Filled with rage, the deranged gnome whacked Mr. Met from behind with his sawed-off bat, severing his head and, in a particularly ghoulish gesture, removed his pointed Yankee cap and replaced it with the lifeless but still smiling head of our mascot friend.

It’s like a scene from “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” with this gnome as Leather Face.

I understand the shame that must come from being a Yankee fan. But slaughtering innocent mascots and wandering around with body parts worn like trophies is simply unacceptable. And it’s certainly not appropriate for the mantle in the family room.

So, perhaps, once my family learns about the alternative, murderous gnomes out there, I’m sure they’ll welcome my apple-sitting, Liberty costume-wearing gnome as a beacon of taste and a worthy companion to the injured and retired Gnome of Victory and Celebration and his intact replacement.

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