There is something dastardly about garden gnomes. For as long as I can remember I have felt distrust towards these vile little creatures. Distrust isn’t really strong enough, maybe, fear and loathing is a better description. Like how many people feel towards mimes and clowns, its an irrational suspicion of hidden evil. Anyway, a few months ago Walgreens had a sale on garden gnomes. Two for five dollars was just too good to pass up. I bought six, locked them away while I contemplated a way to creatively dispose of these snarky little demons of the garden. For six months I schemed and plotted. Meanwhile I did what I could to put them through the hell they deserved.
I had two of these gnomes stand guard over our cat litter boxes. Yes inside the box. Later I used one of the gnomes to watch over the operation of my submerged pond pump. Gnomes can breathe water. Two other gnomes were sent out back to watch over our vegetable garden and were instructed to keep our cats from crapping in the freshly tilled soil. Apparently, from the looks of the garden the gnomes were not doing their job, lazy bastards. I was still thinking of a way to punish them when a hail storm interrupted my plans and punished them for me.
One day while I was shopping for some targets and ammo at JAX and it occurred to me that gnomes would make fine rifle targets. The only draw back would be that it would only take one shot to shatter the little bastards. This would be hardly satisfying enough. Then I came across a display of Tannerite on the wall by all the paper targets. Exploding targets…perfect. I became enchanted with the idea of detonating some garden gnomes. I only had four gnomes left after the hail storm so I went back to Walgreens. They only had one gnome left. The little bastards must have known what I had in mind and were in hiding. I bought the sacrificial victim and went home. I accidentally left the one I bought at home when I drove my HPM out to the prairie.
I made some plywood stands to place the little gnome upon. I placed these stands upon a pole so they little gnomes would be well above ground. This was to help prevent possible fires. My thought at first was to place the Tannerite behind the garden gnome so the bullet would have to pass through the gnome and strike the Tannerite and thus instantly spread garden gnome guts all over the prairie. As with many great schemes this one had its flaws.
First, the effective area of a Tannerite target is about the size of a 50cent piece, so hitting a target that size at 25 yards, with out a scope is tough, hitting it when you can’t see it is double tough. Second if you get close but miss the Tannerite, the gnome is toast with no boom. Third my buddy Elvis wanted to use the rifle he just bought. It’s a military surplus Russian Mosin Nagant and he is not quite familiar with the rifle, its sights, or its ammo. Also he is still learning how to deal with recoil. It seems that he can remember how to hold the rifle tight to his shoulder and absorb the recoil or he can aim carefully but not both at the same time. This takes practice.
So his shots generally went like this:
Boom! “Damn I missed”
Boom! (Sound of gnome shattering) “Ouch! Damn. Can you put it back?”
Boom! “Damn I missed again!”
And so on until the gnome was beyond repair and the Tannerite finally, mostly by accident, blew up. The other gnomes watched with a certain amount of morbid amusement, like watching an incompetent firing squad, which was exactly what we were.
With the next gnome we took no chances. We placed eight Tannerite targets behind the gnome. Figuring that even if we missed it would go off. First shot BOOM! The Tannerite went off and simply pushed the entirely intact, but singed gnome off the stand. He shattered on a rock on the ground. Not entirely satisfying, but at least it went boom. The seven other Tannerite targets were scattered everywhere, they didn’t go off and were entirely intact.
We traded shooters for the next round. Only two gnomes left. It was my turn at bat and I have a reputation as a fairly good shot to protect. We set up the gnome target the same as before. I shattered the gnome with the first shot. The bullet somehow went between two Tannerite targets with out setting them off. I was disappointed to say the least.
Then Mark showed up with a scoped rifle. His is a real tack driver; he took several shots at a target and proved he could hit a quarter sized target at 50 yards consistently. So with only one gnome left it was up to Mark. We placed the gnome at 50 yards and stacked 6 Tannerite targets and taped them to the gnome’s belly. Mark took aim.
At last a satisfying end to the great gnome hunt of 2008.
The hunt was over and it was time to clean up. Garden gnomes are biodegradable but shell casings are not. We picked up our brass and burned the plywood stands.
For all the gun nuts out there here is your chance to show off.
Using the above photo try to figure out what was the ammunition we used. Here is a hint: There are 10 different rounds.