The She Didn’t Do The Right Thing Post

Another sharing moment, from me to you guys, taken from a United Kingdom newspaper report that someone posted on the Internet a couple of years ago. It was such a great story that I simply had to pass the tale on to others.  The names of the innocent and the guilty have been changed to protect this writer, who might have added a few zillion more words than were in the original two inches of newspaper space. Enjoy……

Edna Swiftknickers (not her real name), who resides somewhere in the UK, pilfered her neighbor’s garden gnome, and began using it as a doorstop for her outdoor tool shed. Why she did this will, hopefully, be explained further on in this post……

 The neighbor, one Wilfred Gordon-Rutherford II (probably not his real name, either), was quite fond of this particular garden gnome as it was centered amongst a lovely patch of purple pansies located on the eastern corner of the garden plot retained and maintained by Wilfred Gordon……

The discovery that he had become a crime victim troubled Wilfred Gordon deeply.  His property, one slightly chipped cast plaster garden gnome, had gone missing. The space it had occupied was quite obviously bereft of the charm only a vibrantly painted plaster gnome can lend to a perfectly spaced grouping of Viola cornuta (sissified name for pansies often used by horticulturists on a mission to show off to those of us who are not fluent in Latin).

Wilfred’s victimization soon became a festering wound to his soul which could not be healed until justice was served and the pilfered gnome was either returned intact or Wilfred was financially reimbursed by the thief or thieves……

There was understandable worry on Wilfred Gordon’s part regarding the safety of the seventeen other garden gnomes lurking amongst his beds of bulbs, shrubs, bushes, and the occasional weed or two.  This is what often happens to crime victims.  Their sense of security is violated, causing bouts of paranoia to occur followed by a sense of righteous indignation which brings a scowl to the face and an internal desire for swift and merciless justice to be served on all perpetrators…….

Discussion with his neighbors over the theft of his property included dialogues with the gnome thief herself, Mrs. Edna Swiftknickers. Perhaps, in a move to distance herself from blame for her criminal act, it had been Edna who casually mentioned to Wilfred that it was probably a group of out of control neighborhood children who were responsible for the offense……… 

Edna, who was, herself, a devoted gardener, had been working all spring on improving the soil quality in the westernmost corner of her rose beds.  Such toil and effort required the use of tools, specifically a pitch fork, trowel, and wheelbarrow, all of which were housed in a small tool shed that was positioned very near that plundered patch of Wilfred Gordon’s
Violas cornuta. It’s quite probable that Edna had merely borrowed the gnome to use as a device to prop open the tool shed door so that she could devote both hands to removing gardening gear.  Perhaps, she had intended all along to return the gnome to Wilfred’s pansy patch after its door propping duties were completed.  More likely, Edna chose to forget where the gnome had come from.  She probably came to believe that it had wandered onto her property on its own and requested sanctuary.

 What is recorded fact is that an exceptionally eagle-eyed neighbor, who had an opportunity to tour Edna’s backyard garden, had noted that Edna had acquired a garden gnome and that the gnome was suspiciously not in a place one would expect a garden gnome to be. Naturally, the neighbor probably gossiped with other neighbors about Edna’s gnome-shaped doorstop. The gossip eventually got back to Wilfred…….                     

When Wilfred realized that it was Edna and not a group of rampaging twelve-year-old hoodlums who had pilfered his gnome, he did what many of us might have done had we been in that similar situation; he confronted Edna by phone, demanding an immediate return of his property as well as providing her with a short commentary on her family name that was both insulting and crude……

Wilfred Gordon’s next step was a call to the local constabulary to demand that they immediately appear on the scene, arrest his thieving neighbor, and return his property promptly and in better condition than it had been when it was taken……..

Understandably, the cops did not consider gnome napping worthy of a show of major force.  Wilfred Gordon was informed that a cop would possibly appear on the scene in an hour or so to assist in solving the crime and in retrieving the nicked gnome. Wilfred Gordon was asked to stand down and take no other actions that might aggravate the situation……..

Meanwhile, back at Edna’s, an array of emotions was in play—embarrassment at having been called a thief and unable to deny that fact because she had taken the gnome, fear of what her fellow neighbors might think of her if they found out she was the one who had taken the gnome, and a vivid anger at Wilfred Gordon for shouting vulgar terms at her over the telephone……..

Human nature being what it is these days, Edna probably justified the theft of the gnome to her guilty conscience using a belief system that she formatted into a thin excuse for why she had done it.  Wilfred Gordon had seventeen other garden gnomes in his possession, so he was not without spares. She needed something to prop open her tool shed door; and, it was no big thing to borrow the gnome for that purpose.  She didn’t steal it; she borrowed it for a reason.  She probably would have eventually returned it………


Returning the gnome to its patch of Viola cornuta, in Edna’s view, was not now a viable choice.  She hadn’t admitted to taking the gnome, so the only smart thing to do was to eliminate any proof that she had taken it in the first place.  The gnome had to be exterminated……….

To that end, Edna took hammer in hand and reduced the gnome to a pile of chunky debris, tossing the shattered bits into the nearest garbage container……..

 A cop eventually showed up, took statements, and found no evidence of a stolen gnome anywhere in Edna’s back yard.  No charges were made and the cop left.  Wilford Gordon was livid and, possibly against his lawyer’s advice, he filed suit against Edna for trespass and gnome theft……..

The case made it to small claims court, and it probably would have been tossed out, excepting that Edna had recently become “reborn” after joining the Pentecostal Church of Reformed Sinners Forgiven By Jesus On A Daily Basis.  Being a member of the reborn required Edna to confess, if asked, to the theft of the gnome.  This she did with deep sobs along with a couple of hearty hallelujahs uttered after confessing that she had also hammered the bejesus out of the gnome and got rid of the wreckage in an attempt to avoid being charged with any additional crimes……

No mention was made in the news article as to whether or not the judge hearing the case rolled his eyes heavenwards silently wondering why his courtroom was always the one that the bloody crazies ended up in during Edna’s confession.  It did mention that Wilfred Gordon was awarded $18, which was what the Court judged as the value of one used plaster cast garden gnome, along with any additional court costs. (I have no idea what that figure would be in U.K. currency.) The article also reported that the charges of trespass were dropped after Edna promised to never annoy her neighbor again…..


About Rennie

Welcome to my blog. My name is Rennie. I am 66 years old, retired, and married to a truck loving guy named Dave. We live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest within the state of Oregon, USA. We are a household of two humans and one senior citizen kitty. I named my blog after two things I love to do. MuddiWorks is what I call my studio (a.k.a. extra room in our house where I keep all my art stuff). Kitchen Spurts is the term I came up with to describe my forays into the kitchen to cook. I am presently involved in the exploration of what it's like to be a financially insecure retired person. My blogs will be about things that interest me, amuse me, or irk me. My blog is my vent place.
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