Toolbox Gnomes and the Owners They "Screw"
September 17, 2003
Shortly after moving into my own apartment about 7 years ago, my father gave me a toolbox with some of the essentials included – screwdrivers, a hammer, nails, pliers, wrenches, etc. It was a nice gesture at the time, and over the years, I have accumulated enough tools and other toolbox related items that sometimes closing the box is like trying to fit Shaq’s foot into Bob Costas’ shoe.
What my father didn’t realize he had given me when he handed over the box of tools was a little green gnome that apparently has inhabited my toolbox. While I have never physically seen the gnome, I believe in his existence because of his one duty in life which he fulfills without fail: just before I close the toolbox, he magically removes an item and leaves it in the room to be found later.
As for his appearance being little and green, I must assume his small size since he fits in my toolbox (which would further explain why I can never close that darn thing), and I’m pretty sure all gnomes are green. I may be confusing them with leprechauns, but he’s my gnome, and I say he’s green. I’m thinking the toolbox gnome closely resembles that Great Gazoo thing from the Flintstones cartoon. In fact, it may actually be the Great Gazoo because every time I finish a home improvement project, I always hear a faint “nice job, dumb dumb” in the distance.
It’s not the gnome’s color that presents the problem, though; it’s his annoying habit of leaving that toolbox item behind EVERY TIME. If you own a toolbox, then I’m sure you have encountered your own toolbox gnome. You finish a simple project, such as installing a shelf, put away your hammer, screwdriver, nails, screws, and tape measure, arrange the items in your toolbox efficiently so it will close properly, lift the 30 pound box full of manly building tools, carry it to an out of the way place, tuck it under a shelf in your garage or basement, head back upstairs, sit on the couch, congratulate yourself on a job well done, reward yourself with some televised sporting events, but as you reach for the remote, you notice a Philips head screwdriver sitting on the coffee table. Impossible! You know you put it away!
How can this be? Stop worrying, you’re not going crazy. Now that you know about the toolbox gnome, don’t try to fight him, because he’s not going anywhere. Just put that screwdriver in the kitchen junk drawer so you don’t miss any more of the game. Heck, by now, you probably have more screwdrivers in that drawer than you do in your toolbox. Worry not about the gnome but about how your team is going to come back from 21 points down in the third quarter. At least that shelf looks straight… almost.