Written by Mark Kentish Smith
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Thursday, 27 March 2008

image for No More Midget in a Red Hat?

(Based on a story about a 'creepy gnome' terrorizing a small town in Argentina) Source: The Sun (UK)

Betty, my wife, doesn't go out at night anymore. Neither do I. Neither does the dog. Not now. Not since we saw 'it'. Heaven help us. Betty can't even talk about it, can you? No, she can't even answer my question. Doctor says she's in shock, suffering from the 'brain craps' as he calls it. And all because of that 'thing' out there.

First time I saw it was around midnight last Tuesday, Wednesday, you know, on the cusp, Tuenesday we'll call it. We were standing on our porch- me, my wife Betty, our dog, 'Satanic Breezes'. We were outside listening to wind. Suddenly I heard a rustling. My wife heard it too. Rustle. There it was again. We looked at each other, all three of us, wondering, 'What on earth?' Then Betty saw a hat, moving in the grass. It was little, pointy and red in the glow of the streetlight. It seemed to be moving sideways. It was a little red pointy hat moving sideways through the grass on our front lawn. I was scared, confused. I remember my wife saying that she could feel her sphincter muscles tightening, instinctively. I told her that I had mine like a clenched fist. I couldn't tell from looking at the dog but I sensed from its fearful face that it was doing the same thing, with its sphincter muscles.

Then we saw its face. I clenched harder…the face gradually formed through the gloom. It had a beard- a white beard… and a pipe. Yeah, a pipe dangled from its mouth. I was immediately scared for my wife because I knew how sensitive she was to secondary smoke inhalation. I don't think the creature cared about that. He looked like an old man and moved in a sideways jerky motion, just as you'd figure an old midget would do when impersonating a crab on your front lawn. We stood motionless by not moving, at all, and watched transfixed as it jerked and moved, jerking, off around the corner. And just as quickly as it had come, it had gone, disappeared, vanished, like butter in a hot crumpet.

People say, 'Sounds like you saw a gnome of some sort.' We answer, 'Ne!'(Czech for 'No!') I prefer to think of it as a socially irresponsible jerky midget in a red hat.

Why did it come to our home? Why us? We spoke to an expert, a man who said he had studied 'gnomes' and other mythical creatures at close quarters, in their natural habitat. For ten years he had lived with them, he had fished and napped with them. He had some ideas- thought maybe it was here to guard buried treasure, or perhaps protect 'Holden' -the Germanic patron of spinning- from the evil 'Yule' witch- she who can only be appeased with muffins. Or else, we were told, it may be the spirit of 'Rubezahl', 'Prince of the Gnomes', whose mischievous nature includes breaking into houses and eating people's tax receipts for the last financial year. He said he could not be certain what this thing was. He did suggest that we prepare a list of questions for it, should it return, including such queries as: 'What are you?' and 'Where do you come from?' and 'Can you enter a house through the cat flap?' I cried out, 'I need answers!' He just laughed and left.

We don't laugh now. My wife hasn't laughed for nearly 3 weeks. And we were always laughing; we were famous for it, won competitions. Look at her face now. Just look at it. Jesus wept.

Now what? Now we sit. We wait. We look. Will it return? We don't know. What will we do if it does return? We don't know. How will we feel? We don't know. Well, frightened. I guess we can answer that one. We wait for the midget in the red hat. He'll be back, someday…

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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