Wednesday, April 11, 2012

'Tuck's Big Adventure: The Finale!

When we last left 'Tuck, he had been gnomenapped by some guys dressed in Red.  We pick up with his journal at that point:

The guys in Red turned out to be from Kansas. They had seen me with Sassy, the Kansas gnome the night before and were mad.  They feared that I had tried to somehow take Sassy's "luck" away from her. What buffoons!  I tried to not laugh when they said that.  I politely told them gnomes have no affect on ballgame scores.  We are mere fans.  The only power we wield is the power to make your hibiscus flower more brightly than the sun or to spread poison ivy all over every inch of your garden( which was a real possibility for these boys when I got out of this mess).  Then, not being able to help myself, I said, "Kentucky is going to manhandle you in the final.  You may as well go home now."

They took offense to that and put my blindfold back on.  For hours, I was subjected to horrors such as listening to them yell, "Rock Chalk, Jay Hawk!" which is just dumb if you ask me. 
(They even tried water-boarding, but it didn't work.)
 They kept insisting that I answer "Jay Hawk," when they said, "Rock Chalk."  You will be proud to know that I never broke over or wavered.  I am a Kentucky gnome through and through.  When they said, "Rock Chalk," I yelled "IS A STUPID CHEER!" every single time.

Eventually, they gave up and left me alone in the room.  While I was alone, I devised a plan to escape.  I knew that Keith and Andy, and very likely all of Big Blue Nation, was looking for me.  If I could somehow get myself to the balcony, I could wave for help.  I looked around the room and finally saw a Kansas Jay Hawk towel.  Being very good with my hands, I was able to unravel the fabric into a long string.  I tied it around myself, then anchored it to the balcony.  Taking a deep breath, I flung myself off the third story balcony yelling a battle cry, "For the love of Magnolia Hill!!"

I timed my jump perfectly!  I hadn't hung on the balcony but just a few minutes when Keith walked by and saw me.  He was so happy!  He first asked the police to help free me, but they wouldn't help.  The official line from the po-po was he couldn't prove I was with them, but I suspect it was due to my behavior the previous day at the Blondie concert.
(My escape complete. Just waiting for the boys, now!)

(Oliver, my hero!)
Anyhoo, Keith found a very tall young man and very a petite young lady who helped free me!  Oliver, the young man, even gave me a big drink of his hurricane.  It was the best tasting thing I had ever had!
(My heroines!)

Andy insisted that I visit the EMT booth on Bourbon Street to get checked out.  I told him I was fine, but that Andy is overprotective, God love him.  Here I am being seen by the medics:

They did find a small abrasion, bandaged me up, and I was good as new!  We then hit the town to celebrate our Kentucky Wildcats winning their eighth national championship over those stupid Jay Hawks!

I was soooo happy to get back to the apartment and snuggle into the sheets of my bed knowing I was heading home to Magnolia Hill the next morning.

I was so anxious to get back home, I even helped drive!

So here I am, back safe and sound at Magnolia Hill!  My cousin Tick didn't believe all my stories until Andy vouched for me.  Can you believe that?!  I am afraid I now have the travel bug, and I want to see what else is out there past the gates of Magnolia Hill.  If you'd like to keep up with me, Keith has helped me set up a Facebook page, Tuck of Magnolia Hill is my screen name.  Hit me up!

Thanks for reading my story, and I will write more the next time I have a big adventure!


As soon as we got back to their lair, the torture began.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

'Tuck's Big Adventure Day Three: The Best of Times-The Worst of Times

We now join 'Tuck as he continues to journal his trip to New Orleans...

Last night was amazing!  I would rank it as one of the most fun evenings of my life!  It was even more fun than when my cousin Tick and I met those two twin gnomes from Georgia.  But, I am not one to kiss and tell.  I am a Southern GentleGnome.  I will, however,  show you a few pictures of my evening:

(Tasty beverage.)
(Being fly with my gang.)
(Being cool with the dudes.)

 I will allow this much, I met a nice young gnome from Kansas, named Sassy.  She was just splendid.  We both loved petunias and zinnias, and both hated crabgrass and poison ivy.  We eventually slipped away from the humans we were with and walked down to the Mississippi River for some alone time.  I guess time slipped away, and the next thing I know, we are watching the sun rise over the water!

Here is a picture of me trying to sneak back into the apartment without waking up Keith or Andy:
(Shhh, trying to sneak inside.)

Of course, it didn't work.  Gnomes are generally morning people, and as soon as I saw the sun hitting the flowers of the front terrace, I began singing, "Rise and Shine, and give God your glory glory!" which completely blew my cover.

I was then bombarded with question after question by the humans about where I had been and who I had been with.  Finally I told them I would tell them all over breakfast, so we headed out for beignets and coffee from Cafe Du Monde:
(I'm trying to explain my previous night)
(Best breakfast I have ever eaten.)

I was feeling great after my wonderful evening with Sassy, so I decided to head to the free concert in the waterfront park.  70's super group Blondie was performing and I am a big fan.  There were lots of people there, but I tend to make friends fairly easy, so I was having a great time.  The only problem was the extreme heat.  It was hot as the blazes of a campfire out there! I still managed to make a few friends, people in New Orleans were friendly!

When Blondie sang "Call Me" I just couldn't stand it anymore, I had to bust a move:

After all that dancing, I waved over the refreshments lady, and asked for a sip or two out of her bucket.  I am not sure what was in it, but it made me feel awfully good.  So good, in fact, I decided I would rush the stage and touch Deborah Harry, the lead singer of Blondie.  That turned out not to be such a good idea, as you can see from this picture:

Furthermore, telling the police I would climb all over them like kudzu climbs a light pole probably wasn't the best idea either:

Thankfully, Keith and Andy showed up right in time, and talked the pigs, er, I mean police, out of handcuffing me.  I was very relived and thankful for that!

We decided to lay low for a while and have some lunch.  Keith said something about getting off the police department's radar, so we went to a restaurant on Bourbon Street.  We were discussing the events of the day, and how excited we were about the big Kentucky-Louisville game being played later that evening when tragedy struck.

I was sitting in the middle of the table with several of my human friends all around me when out of the corner of my eye I saw three men dressed in red running towards me.  The next thing I know, the first man in red had grabbed me and was running with me out of the restaurant!  I screamed, "Helllp!"

(This is what they looked like to me.)
My friends ran after the men trying to save me, but it was too late.  I had been gnomenapped. I was shoved into a pocket so I couldn't see where I was being taken.  When I was taken back out of the pocket, I was thrust into an elevator with these brutes in Red, who were high-fiveing each other and screaming.  I am telling you the truth when I say ol' Tuck was scared to death.

I didn't know what was going to happen to me or if I would ever see Keith and Andy or my beloved Magnolia Hill again!  Oh, someone please help me!

Friday, April 6, 2012

'Tuck's Big Adventure: Day Two

My first day in The Big Easy was an eye-opener!  I saw things that not only had I never seen before, but did not know even existed!  Thankfully, I had borrowed a camera from one of the humans, and was able to catch some of the action on film. Like this:

(We don't see this on Magnolia Hill.)
The food and drink were amazing!  While I personally could have done with a little more fresh herbs being added to the seasonings, like arrowroot and sassafras,  I still thought Cajun food was delicious.

(Fruity goodness.)

I found a drink named the Hurricane that tasted like fruit-flavored Kool-Aid on steroids.  It was tangy and delicious and made me feel very warm and tingly inside.  Some of the humans said the drink was "too strong" for them, but I told them gnomes had a very high metabolism and we didn't notice things such as that.  Silly humans.  I was able to drink the drink straight down, and insisted on ordering another one.

A little bit after drinking the two Hurricanes, I began to get really warm and talkative.  Everything that was being said seemed so funny to me!  I made several friends at the restaurant we were hanging out in at the time.

These are some of my new friends I made there!

It is a little known fact that gnomes are very musical.  Many times when you think you hear the wind whistling in your yard or garden, it is very likely a gnome.  I am not bragging, but I was named the most musical gnome at the 2009 Roots That Look Like Elvis Convention held at Natural Bridge, Kentucky.  So, naturally, when I saw the band beginning to warm up, I introduced myself as 'Tuck, a gnome from Kentucky, and asked if they minded if I sat in for a song.  The lead singer was bit of diva, I suspect he could already spot my talent and was intimidated by me, but he reluctantly agreed after I led the crowd in a rousing C-A-T-S cheer.

He agreed let me sing one song, so I gave it my all and belted out Elvis Presley's "Kentucky Rain."  A gnome always tells the truth, so believe me when I say I was a big hit!
Being a gifted performer, I know to leave the crowd wanting more, so after my song, I hit the road to sight-see in New Orleans.  Because my legs are six inches long, I decided to take an easier mode of transportation:
(Maxing and Relaxing)
(That's me on the bottom.)
This was great! This young human feller drove me all over town, and I was able to see statutes in parks:

(Oh mercy, I am not sure about this.)

And sculptures in museums: 

I even tried on a few hairpieces in a wig store.  My Uncle 'Tan, from Montana wears sometimes when he attends the Summer Solstice celebration, but I decided it wasn't the look I was going for here in New Orleans.

Finally night fell on Bourbon Street, and according to Keith and Andy, it was party time.  I was a little worried about my finances because I had not intended on buying that big sculpture that is pictured above, so I called my cousin, 'Tick, and asked him to wire some money into my account.
Tick is real good about stuff like that.  He said he would do it right away, so I threw on my beads and headed out to Bourbon Street.  I was hoping I could find some other gnomes who had made their way to the Big Easy for the Final Four.  Now that I had some cash coming from 'Tick, I could afford to live it up tonight!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

'Tuck's Big Adventure: Day One

Today's guest writer is my very own friendly garden gnome, 'Tuck.  He wanted to share his recent adventure to New Orleans with you.

Howdy! My name is Kentucky Redbud Bluegrass Goldenrod Stewart, but my friends call me 'Tuck for short.  I live and work in the garden, yard, and mountainside of Magnolia Hill in Hyden, Kentucky.  My day is usually filled with inspections of different sorts, making sure all is right and protected here in my small piece of the world.

My greatest two passions are collecting roots that look like Elvis and Kentucky Wildcat basketball, so imagine my surprise when the humans who live on Magnolia Hill with me, Keith and Andy, asked me if I would like to join them on their trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, to watch the University of Kentucky play in the Final Four!  I was happier than a bird with a french fry, and immediately agreed to go!

(Tick is very laid back.)
The humans loaded the car with a seemingly endless supply of bags stuffed with clothes, but I already was wearing my University of Kentucky outfit so I saw no point in taking anything else.  Humans can be so weird about that sort of thing.  I called my cousin, 'Tick, who lives just down the river from me, and he assured me he would watch over Magnolia Hill for me for a few days.  Now 'Tick may have a lot of problems, especially with his dislike for ladybugs and dragonflies, but I knew I could trust him to protect everything for me.

Around midnight, we finally attached two Kentucky flags to the back windows of the car and headed out.  I was so excited, I could not believe I was actually leaving Magnolia Hill for the wide open road and a chance to see my Wildcats win their eighth national championship!

(Ready to Roll!)
Oh, what fun the road trip was!  We made up cheers and shared them with each other.  The humans taught me this one:
You ain't got no alibi,
You're ugly!
Yeah, yeah
You're ugly!
We know how you got that way,
Your mama!
Yeah, yeah
Your mama.

I came up with several ones that we all shouted out to the top of our lungs while driving through Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.  For some reason, though, when I shared my favorite cheer, it wasn't received very well.  The cheer simply goes:

Louisville, Louisville
Don't be blue,
Tinkerbell was a fairy, too!

Apparently, in Keith and Andy's world, the word fairy means something entirely different than in my gnome world.  I just personally do not like fairies, especially Tinkerbell.  I think she is stuck on herself and has gotten above her raising, but anyway, I apologized and we continued on our road trip and pretended that incident never happened.

(That's me, pumping gas!)
I learned so many things on the drive.  For instance, I now know what a gas station is and how to put gas into a car.

(Not very tasty at all.)
I also learned that plants and flowers growing at the places called gas stations have an oily film coating and do not taste very good at all.

(Children's menu, Tink's ass, I am an adult!)

Once we crossed the state line into Louisiana, we blew the horn and I led us all in the C-A-T-S cheer.  We had driven all night, so we stopped for breakfast at a restaurant called the Cracker Barrel.  Keith asked the hostess for a table for four and one gnome.  I was so offended when the hostess left me a children's menu.  Can you believe the audacity of her?!  Could she not see my grey beard?  I told her I was older than her grandmother and that I hoped dandelions overtook her entire front yard.  That may have been a little harsh, but I had been up all night long and was a little cranky.  The coffee, however, hit the spot, as did the piece of biscuit and dollop of gravy I woofed down. 

I took a long rest on one of the rocking chairs outside the restaurant while the humans shopped a little in the store.  I needed to breathe in some fresh air.  Although it was fresh, it smelled and tasted funny and I got a little homesick for my own sweet air at Magnolia Hill, but that didn't last very long once I reminded myself that I was on my way to the Final Four to see my beloved Wildcats!

(Daydreaming about the Final Four!)

After breakfast, we piled back into the car and laid rubber for New Orleans!  I was going to row down my window and yell something as we went across Lake Pontchartrain, because I happen to know several trolls living in and around the bridge there, but as soon as I rowed the back window down, the UK flag that was attached flew out and directly into the windshield of the car behind us.  I was so embarrassed I didn't know what to do, but Keith was nice and just had me ride in the front seat with him the rest of the way into the city.
(Lake Pontchartrain means 'Tuck has made it to New Orleans!)
We had arrived in New Orleans! Part two tomorrow.