The reason I bring this up is that today is Monday, traditionally the quietest day of the week. Due to the rock 'n' roll lifestyle that I lead (Gee Note: Staying up late to watch a documentary about a really big monkey is rock 'n' roll right? Right?) I often find myself getting up late on a Monday. In fact it's very rare that I'm even functional before 2 o'clock in the afternoon some days. Normally, due to the sleepy nature of my docile little town, I don't really miss much. However since Friday, due to electrical difficulties involving a combination of my phone charger and a cup of tea, my mobile has been out of action until this morning when it suddenly sprang back in to life.
And you can imagine my surprise when I wiped the sleep away from my eyes to find five missed calls and sixteen text messages waiting for me on my phone. All of which pretty much said the same thing.
"Have you seen the gnome!".
Heck of a way to start the day.
It turns out that our friends at The Sun have been at it again (Gee Note: I know I've ripped on The Sun mercilessly on this blog before. I should at least thank them however for giving me material to work with). This time it's all about Gnomes. “Creepy” Argentinian Gnomes to be exact.
Duendes are mythical creatures, Latin American versions of the aforementioned Leprechauns. Since the summer of 2007 Duendes have seen quite a bit of national exposure in Argentina thanks to this.
Then in March of 2008 the Sun picked this story up from the Argentine newspaper El Tribuno. In true bombastic fashion The Sun announced that this “creepy” gnome had been “terrorising” the small town of General Guemes. And of course they had the evidence to back it up. Namely this slice of cell phone video magic.
Although I have one question. Why is it moving sideways? I mean granted it's a gnome. It is not, however, a crab. You would think that in the evolutionary process they would have mastered the art of walking forwards and backwards. After all, considering their small stature you would think that the ability to move in all directions would come in useful to avoid, you know, predators.
Anyway, this past Thursday the Sun triumphed once again. Crowing that the “Creepy” gnome was back, and that this “midget monster” was making people “too terrified” to go out at night. (Gee Note: Remember that scene in Monsters Inc. where the Abominable Snowman complains that people call him “Abominable”? It makes me think that somewhere in Buenos Aires a gnome with a funny walk is reading Thursday's Sun and crying in to a bowl of Count Chocula every time the word “creepy” is mentioned). And, of course, the obligatory video followed.
Now apparently this video shows a
Except, and brace yourself for this, it's all pretty much nonsense.
No one is staying at home for fear of running in to a gnome. No one has, as reported by the Sun, spent the night in hospital due to gnome fright. And the natives of Argentina are probably more concerned about the global financial crisis that is crippling their economy than they are about running in to a knee high goblin.
But what about all that video evidence? Well I really don't think that two of the videos, the first and the third featured in this post, can honestly call themselves “evidence” such is the low quality of the footage.
How about the second? The one that only four days ago the Sun used a still from to introduce their second freaky gnome story? The one that blatantly shows a figure in a pointy hat dramatically coming out of the long grass sideways?
It's a fake.
A complete unadulterated hoax.
Because right here you can see the “take one” of the video under the title of Duende Toma 1 (Gee Note: Personally I'm glad those kids chose to stick with “take two” when it came to hoodwinking members of the press. It looks far less like a puppet in that one.)
But there is, you'll be pleased to hear, something genuinely scary about this tale of gnomes roaming the streets of South America. Something that, when you think about, leaves any spooky video in it's wake.
It took me all of half an hour to find out that the second video had been exposed as a hoax this afternoon.
The Sun, Britain's best selling daily newspaper, the people who tell the general public who to vote for and what to believe, are still reporting it as fact more than seven months later.
Which is terrifying when put in to context.
So sleep tight. And try not to have nightmares about the idiocy of the British media.