Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Scholarship 2nd Runner-Up

I cannot tell you enough how hard it was to choose a scholarship winner as all of the entries were so well written and incredibly creative. Our 2nd Runner-up is Callista Cox from Logan, UT. We would like to share with you her entry:

What Garden Gnomes are REALLY for

Ah, the garden gnome: small, ceramic creatures that add a bit of whimsy to your yard while accentuating your lovely flower bed displays. These delightful (and somewhat scary-looking) garden d├ęcor items have been placed in lawns, potted plants, and more since the sport of gardening began. For ages they have entertained us with their cheerful painted faces and pointy red hats, all the while sitting there as harmless as could be. But what most people don’t know is, these seemingly harmless little statues have the potential to be of much better use than they are while sitting in the garden. Yes, my friends – the ever-popular garden gnome’s best use is, in fact, for a foolproof system of self-defense.

You may be wondering, “Now then, how on earth does one use a cheery, harmless little garden gnome as an instrument of self-defense?” Well, have no fear, dear readers, for that’s where I come in. I have compiled the following list of instructions that will help you on your way to becoming the best burglar-deterring, gnome-brandishing gardener the world has ever seen.

Step One: Assemble the Gnomes

By “assemble the gnomes”, I do not mean building a garden gnome from scratch. The art of garden gnome manufacturing has only been perfected by the most skilled gnome artisans, and the skill is not easily learned by newcomers, so that will have to be a lesson for another time. By “assemble the gnomes”, I simply mean this: begin by collecting as many gnomes as you can possibly get your hands on. There are many places where you may acquire a gnome. For example, the Red Hill General Store has many deceptively cheerful-looking garden gnomes for sale on their website that can be used for all your garden-defending needs. When selecting a gnome, look for characteristics that will be most useful in deterring a burglar or similarly threatening person. The pointier a gnome’s hat, the more chance you will have of injuring an attacker when you hurl said gnome at his head. Another tip is to go for gnomes that are lightweight enough for you to be able to throw them long distances, but heavy enough that they will make a significant dent in any threatening characters you may be inclined to use the gnome against.

Step Two: Learn Self-Defense Techniques

The most important step after you have collected a large stock of suitable gnomes is learning the proper way to use them. One does not use a garden gnome in a similar fashion as a sword, for example, as the reach of a gnome is quite short and will not be able to deal out much damage to attacker when used in this way. However, that pointed hat on all garden gnome’s heads is a built-in self-defense mechanism that, when used the right way, will be successful in chasing off any threatening character that comes your way.

To utilize the pointed hat of a gnome to its best potential, simply hold the gnome around its middle (this will not hurt the gnome), lean back a bit, and then jab forward, much like you would when using a small knife or dagger. Be careful not to loosen your grip on the gnome at this point: proper form is required to be able to make the best use of a garden gnome’s pointy hat. Don’t be discouraged if you cannot seem to get the hang of this technique at first. Practice makes perfect, and there are other ways of using a gnome in self-defense, such as this next technique.

Gnomes come in a variety of different styles. Notice the excellently pointed hats that can be used for self-defense.

The most popular way of using a garden gnome against assailants is called the “gnome hurl.” This technique involves winding up one’s arm with a gnome in hand (similar to a baseball pitcher) and then flinging the gnome forward with all your might towards the intended target. This is the most straightforward way to use a self-defense gnome, and with a bit of practice one can become an accomplished gnome-thrower. A good way to practice is by starting out using baseballs instead, since gnomes are likely to break when thrown and are harder to aim than baseballs due to their shape. Take a trip to your local park or baseball field and practice your aim with a few baseballs. For a target, try hitting a nearby tree or fence – throwing baseballs at your friends is not advisable.

Step Three: Remain Vigilant

Garden gnomes – always ready for action!

Once you have put together an ample supply of ammunition (ahem, gnomes) and have adequately practiced your aim, the only remaining step is to stay alert and always be ready for any threats that will provide you with an opportunity to utilize your newly acquired self-defense skills.

Remember, always trust your instincts when you find yourself in a dangerous situation. Even with the knowledge of garden gnome self-defense skills at your disposal, don’t forget to use your head and do not use force unless you find it absolutely necessary to protect yourself. The power of garden gnomes has the potential to be abused by irresponsible folk –take great care that you do not become one of these.

Few are aware of the potential of the seemingly harmless garden gnome. Now, you are one of the few who share the secret of these delightful garden attractions. May the gnomes serve you well!

Unfortunately, the manufacturer that we get our supply of garden gnomes from has discontinued these charming little creatures, but we still carry some small garden statues.


  1. Hurray for gnomes! Very amusing entry. :D

  2. Definitely a great entry. I'm sure you can see why it was so difficult to choose a winner. All our applicants did such a wonderful and creative job!



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