“I have called you all here today because, let’s face it, we are at a crossroads.”
Shirley began her speech to the amassed group of gnomes. They were crowded in the living room, hundreds of rows of red pointed hats barely reaching her knees. They all stared silently back at her.
She had not heard any of them speak before, but their attentiveness made her feel that her words were connecting. She cleared her throat, trying to shake off the nerves of all of the attention.
This is crazy, she thought. The last issue she thought adopting new indoor plants would cause would be a gnome infestation. Root rot or spider mites were things that she had prepared for. Speaking to a group of gnomes? Not so much.
“I’m sure you’re all lovely,” she continued, trying to keep her announcement as gentle as possible for fear of repercussions. “But your obsession with pots, and tearing my plants out to sit inside them, is causing a huge mess in my house. Even the large indoor plant pots are struggling with you disturbing the soil so often.”
A mass of ceramic eyes all blinked at the same time. They then turned to each other, leaning forward to whisper in the ears of the gnome next to them. It made Shirley’s hair stand on end.
“I’m not saying you can’t sit in them,” she quickly corrected herself.
The gnomes turned their attention back to her. Shirley tapped her foot out of habit, unsure of what to say next. She chose her words carefully.
“Look, I get it. All of my plant pots are… well, they are simply good pots. Melbourne gets cold this time of year, and the soil and pots are warm, I understand how nice it must be.”
She met as many eyes as she could in the crowd, hoping her sincerity came through in case there was a language barrier.
“I just don’t want to be repotting my indoor plants constantly,” she continued, “so as I compromise – what if I buy you all some personal plant pots you can sleep in? And you leave my plants alone?”
Shirley didn’t want to consider how many pots she would need. If it meant the onslaught on her plants would stop, it was worth it. The gnomes all began jumping for joy. Relief filled her body.
Her gnome problem was officially fixed.