We had a good Christmas Day (although Boxing Day sucked because I had the flu for a couple days.)

Now, it’s common in our household to play games with our presents – a few years ago I gave Gizmo Guy a new computer and forced him to go on a treasure hunt throughout the house for the various components, each time he found one, he’d find a poem attached that would give him a clue to the location of the next. This year Guitar Hero’d decided to wrap his girlfriend Blue Monkey’s presents up individually and put them all in a huge box he’d gotten ahold of at work. It was at least four foot high and several foot square.

So while Guitar Hero was out at Blue Monkey’s home for Christmas Eve dinner, I was sitting in the living room wrapping up the last few prezzies, staring at the massive box that was taking over the room. I made a random comment to Curly (youngest son) about how we should play a similar trick on Guitar Hero to give him a taste of his own medicine.

With input from Curly and Gizmo Guy, the plotting began. A few weeks before, Blue Monkey had given Guitar Hero a tiny garden gnome figure. For those uninitiated, it’s common for garden gnomes to be stolen and sent around the world, their pictures being sent back to the owners of the gnome at the Eiffel Tower or the Great Wall of China. GH’s little gnome has seen no such exotic sites – yet – he has however been found on Gizmo Guy’s pillow (not my doing), in the butter dish (not my doing either), and on the roll of toilet paper in the main bathroom (again, not me! Honest!).

We finally decided that the gnome needed to get his own back on Guitar Hero for all those stunts by hiding the amplifier he’d be getting for Christmas.

We wrapped a box the same size as the amp and put it in exactly the same spot where the amp had been sitting beneath the tree. Even put the same bow on it. And just in case GH decided to try to move the present, Curly added forty pounds of GG’s weights to the box to mimic the real amp’s weight. And made sure that the gnome left a ransom note inside the fake present telling Guitar Hero that he could ‘amplify’ his happiness by finding both the gnome and the present. We then puzzled out various devious places to hide the real present.

Guitar Hero came home that night and noticed the wrapped box and laughed but didn’t suspect a thing. Christmas morning we all waited with baited breath when GH finally opened the present (saving it til last of course) and reached his hand into the box. The puzzlement on his face when his hand encountered nothing was priceless. It took him at least 10 – 15 minutes, and more than a few clues before he finally discovered the ‘gnome’s’ hiding place in the crawlspace almost directly beneath where he’d been sitting.

Guitar Hero and his amp have been happily reunited and the gnome is satisfied that he’s exacted his revenge.

Until next time that is. I’m pretty sure that gnome is going to crop up again.

Roaming Gnome
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