throwback: the gnome saga.

It’s time for another college throwback! This is how I began the journey of writing weekly college updates. In my quirky innocence, this story happened to me and is still one of my favorite college memories. Things to know:
1. Kaley and I enjoyed being floor mates my freshman year at ORU. She jumped on the gnome train with me early.
2. Melissa, Starla, and Melissa were floor mates. They were gracious to join the search party.
3. I still like gnomes.

The Adventures of College Life I – August 20, 2007


Kaley and her gnome.

It was a warm, musky Friday night when Kaley Herndon and I, Joy Bork decided to go to Wal-Mart and buy lawn gnomes. But alas, this was not the real beginning of the adventure. That started when I asked Kaley what she thought about the dwindling population of Lawn Gnomes in our society today. Kaley didn’t have a complete answer, but I filled in with my amazing improv speech skills…
And I quote:

“Assets of Lawn Gnomes in our society:
1) They keep our gardens safe from bunnies and other small rodents.
2) They help enhance the air because of their protection of green plant life.
3) They make our homes and dorms look warm and inviting.”


Kaley with gnome signs.

Upon this convincing speech, Kaley and I were moved to help the dwindling population. We made an exodus to our local Wal-Mart. As we entered the garden department, we noticed how small the lawn gnome population really was, because of the small selection thereof. Upon arriving in the garden glamor section, we found our two gnomes. We lovingly named them Harry and Fred. It was a lovely evening afterward. They trekked all over the store with us finding lint rollers, boxes, white boards and many other college life necessities. Upon arriving back at the dorm, we gave our gnomes a woman’s touch, since their wardrobe was clearly in need of it. Then we placed them in their places of glory…on the left side of each of our doorways. We were then moved to run around the circular halls of our dorm with PVC blowguns that shoot amazing ammo: Marshmallows. While I was being chased, I was looking for Harry, my gnome, as a reference point as to the location of my residence. After missing my room two or so times, I realized that HARRY WAS GONE!


Melissa making signs.

So, as the good protector that I am, I went after Harry. Kaley and I recruited several others to aid in our search: Melissa, Starla, and another Melissa. We scoured our floor, Janine’s floor, and a few other places. When our search turned up no leads, we came back to my room (Search HQ) to regroup and come up with a new plan. One of my comrades suggested making lost notes. So, all four of us began creating art in the effort of having Harry returned to us. Kaley then posted the notes all over the floor and put a petition in the elevator. We then decided to rest and let God do the work.

After some time, all evidence pointed towards my next door neighbor, Hannah, as the thief of my lawn gnome. The evidence was mounting…a comment made before the crime (“Joy?!?! What is this evil troll lady thing doing outside your door??!?!?), an observation after the crime (“So, you guys are making lost signs?”), and evidence later on from two separate conversations:
My roommate, Mattie: “I heard Harry was in the bathroom!”
Me: “Who told you that?”
Mattie: “Hannah.”
Evidence also came from a conversation on the way back from an evening chapel service with a connection to the thief (I don’t remember his name…)
Him:” Joy! Do you know who stole your gnome?”
Me: “I have my suspicions.”
Him: “Who?”
Me: “My next door neighbor, Hannah.”
Him: “You’re probably right…and I think you should get her back.”
Both of us: *Evil laugh*


Oh Hannah. From gnome thief to wonderful friend.

The evidence is all pointing in Hannah’s direction, and only God can convict her to confess the truth before God and us.

So ends your first glimpse into my college life.



The Adventures of College Life II – August 29, 2007
Since my last update, there have been numerous other abductions of Harry, my innocent lawn gnome. One day as I woke up, I had the familiar sensation of needing to relieve myself at the latrine. On my way back, I noticed that HARRY WAS MISSING! Given the turn of events at the last abduction, I assumed that Harry would show up soon enough and that his abductors just wanted a reaction. Being the ornery person that I am, I decided to not give them the reaction they wanted and go back to bed. Later in the day, one of the girls on my floor came up to me and told me that Harry freaked her out really bad when she took a shower that morning.  Apparently, Harry’s abductors thought he needed to take a shower, so they set him outside the shower stalls in the east bathroom complex. My friend was still in that after sleep groggy state, and the sight of a man in the bathroom apparently startled her into a scream.



But this was only the first abduction of Harry. Another day, I awoke to find Harry missing once more. I found out from a source later in the day that Harry was visiting the west bathroom complex. On Sunday, I was on my way to lunch when I entered the elevator and found my dear Harry guarding the corner. I exited the elevator on the fifth floor and placed Harry in a temporary holding location until he can get over the shock of being abducted three or four times in a week.



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