« this is | Main | contortionism »

January 03, 2004

where oh where can my little gnome be?

In the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe yesterday there were ads for

Where Is My Gnome?

Apparently some hapless guy named Bill has lost his gnome--or someone has taken it. Or have they?

The news clip gave me a huge chuckle at its must-be-a-joke style but the big give away was the fact that the domain name for whereismygnome.com was purchased on November 25...but oddly, his site says the gnome wasn't stolen until December 9. Not very smart thinking on the prankster's part...

So what IS the site really about? A huge, expensive gag? Taking out ads in papers like the Herald and the Globe isn't cheap. Bill's site, owned by a guy named Bruce, is based out of Raleigh, NC, which makes me think that perhaps other ads have been taken out in other cities as well. To what end?

When you call the phone number, you get Bill, in the nerdy voice, asking people to leave a message about the gnome and at the same time, telling his mom to hang up. The mailbox, of course, is full.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

If you want a great gnome movie subplot, check out Amelie, ...which is one of my favorite.

For Christmas, we bought gnomes for Joe's parents and his brother and his wife. We picked them up from Joe's friend, Bill (not the same Bill above), who owns a VERY charming little garden/flower shop in Beverly called

BoxGarden Billy, which is located at 641 Hale Street, Prides Crossing, MA if you are out and about. Bill is selling some of the Kimmelgnomes, which are some of the coolest gnomes I've seen...all reproductions of antiques.

We picked up WhatKnot for Rosie, Joe's mom.

And Cladmadder for Joe's brother and his family.

Apparently you are supposed to keep the gnomes outdoors...keeping them inside is very bad luck.

Perhaps Bill's missing gnome is among these 180 that have piled up at a French police station...

Posted by crystallyn at January 3, 2004 03:19 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference where oh where can my little gnome be?:

» Gnome for the holidays from Boston Common
Crystallyn cracks the case of the guy who bought ads in the Globe and Herald looking for his lost garden gnome.... [Read More]

Tracked on January 3, 2004 10:46 PM

» Carnival of the Scribes from Bow. James Bow.
On this day of the fourth Carnival of the Canucks, I'm doing a carnival of my own, this one focusing on writer blogs. This will not be a weekly event, unless somebody else wants to take it up. We have... [Read More]

Tracked on January 6, 2004 10:40 AM


Travelocity Commercial features the Gnome, just saw it on TV.

Posted by: Heidi at January 6, 2004 12:23 PM


Posted by: ANN at January 6, 2004 05:28 PM

I KNEW it had to be some really clever marketing ploy. I love finding crazy stuff like this. :)

Posted by: crystal at January 6, 2004 05:40 PM

Hope the gnome didn't find it's way to the Big Brother house. He might be a goner.

BTW- The newspaper ad has also shown up in the Indianapolis Star.

Posted by: Terri at January 6, 2004 08:33 PM

I think I saw the gnome in a stray dogs jaws. Sorry. I hope that wasn't it.

Posted by: Megan at January 6, 2004 11:17 PM

I love gnomes... I noticed Bill's "ad", in the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner (THE major newspaper in SF!!) ... It was listed three times accross about five pages... THAT is some big marketing money... we'll just have to see what happens... :)

Posted by: Lynne at January 13, 2004 02:06 AM

I saw the web sight as well. It is actually pretty hilarious.

If you read through the sight, he goes on to add other sights just like it as well as linking information about travelocity and how his gnome has been traveling with his captors.

I would not be surprised if this turns out to be a ploy by a travelocity agent that is trying to make it good with his company.

Either way, it is a pretty good sight. I still pass it around to friends.

Posted by: Geoff at January 20, 2004 10:50 PM

One's in danger of getting bubbles up one's whoopsey-daisy!

Posted by: Lisa at January 28, 2004 08:51 PM

I have seen the Whereismygnome.com ad in movie theaters while waiting for the movie to start in Utah.

Posted by: Jeremy at February 4, 2004 09:55 PM

See http://www.internetnews.com/IAR/article.php/3296161 for more info.

Also, If you have ever see the Domino's commercial for Domino's Dots (kid running down the street about to get crushed by a giant cheesey dough ball) the Gnome also is in that ad and gets bonked by the rolling Domino Dot - I could swear the name of the Gnome in the Travelocity commercial is Dottie Bonkers - What does anyone else think?


Posted by: BigMike at February 8, 2004 10:58 PM

Well whether this a joke or not,i know how you feel,i got my gnome stolen outta my front yard(a present from my secret sister)my co-workers joke all the time that they see him on TV (the Bill commercials)i've been so sad ever since! hope you find him!!!

Posted by: missi at February 25, 2004 12:26 AM

You might call it a big marketing ploy, but I know for a fact that Bill's Gnome was actually just bored and looking for a way to get out and see the world. This Travelocity gig came along and he jumped on it. I had the pleasure of meeting him earlier this year when he came through SF on his travels, and I played tour guide for him for the day. Maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to have my own sponsor too!

Posted by: Ludwig the gnome at March 8, 2004 03:24 PM

I just received an email saying that someone had stolen a man's gnome. He could not find it, but received many pictures in his mailbox of his gnome in many famous places around the world(which are the pics on the Travelocity commercials). But just recently after three years of a lost gnome, it showed up back in the front yard with a note attached saying, "I had a lot of fun on my adventure around the world." So...some strange person traveled with it while taking pics of it from all over the world...sent them to the owner of the gnome...then returned it with a note that was supposedly written by the gnome. So you see, if it hasn't been returned to you...then Travelocity isn't responsible for your stolen gnome. But I hope you find him anyway.

Posted by: Lacy at March 23, 2004 11:02 PM

It's not MY gnome. It's BILL's gnome...which IS the Travelocity gnome. It's a very old thing...the stealing of gnomes, which became popular in the 80s in Europe...stealing them and taking pictures of them. Travelocity just took off with it and came up with a clever marketing scheme that featured the gnome.

The thing that annoys me about the Travelocity commericals is that they could have tried to make the gnome look better in the locales, rather than super-imposing his picture into everything. I mean, Ludwig the gnome is in all his own pictures...shouldn't Bill be too?

Posted by: crystal at March 24, 2004 06:23 AM

Have you given Joe's mom and brother their gnomes yet? They are cute. Would LOVE to go to the police auction when they sell the gnomes. :)

Posted by: rrrrobin at April 5, 2004 07:51 PM

I think all the fame The Roaming Gnome is getting if fabulous; and know for a fact that this gnome is enjoying all his travelling because he is being looked after by the great group of folks at Travelocity!

There have been a number of gnomes making it in commercials ... exposure is great ... and Amelie is a super movie! I've watched it quite a few times now.

Posted by: QueenGnome at April 25, 2004 09:37 PM

Has anyone found a website where you can purchase bill look-alikes?

Posted by: Arda at May 3, 2004 04:51 PM

You'll find him in Alaska-- Nome, Alaska. ;p

Posted by: Dee at May 5, 2004 06:35 PM

where can i see the commercial of the travelocity traveling gnome....the newer one when he is in europe?

Posted by: V at June 4, 2004 07:08 PM

Gnomes are seriously classy and so oddly interesting! I honestly CANNOT get enough of them!!! They are eye candy to me- but they have to be simple- just standing statues with nothing elabourate. Amelie definatley brought out the best in garden gnome lovers! ;)

Posted by: ashley at June 15, 2004 08:12 PM

Im hoping by posting this here that travelocity will start selling the gnomes lol. My 13 yr old daughter is going nuts wanting one of these things. Gnomes are sooo cool

Posted by: donna at June 28, 2004 01:51 PM

I had 3 concrete gnomes and someone stole 2 of them and kept the for 6 months, they cleaned them up and then one morning I went to go get in my car they had brought them back. They set one right by my car and the other one on my mailbox.

I was glad to get them back. Now the 3 of them are in my back yard under lock and key.

Maybe Bill will get his back. I wish you luck.

Posted by: Kelly at July 1, 2004 01:37 PM

Does anybody know where to buy one of the Travelocity gnomes? I have searched the web for one and CANNOT find one just like him. Please post if you know a website. THANKS!


Posted by: Gina at September 14, 2004 06:46 PM

Hey...when I saw the Travelocity commercials the first time I thought...hey that's just nuts!! When I was in college in Chattanooga, Tennessee back around 97-98 and was hanging out with friends on the "Walking Bridge" there...we ran into a gnome. Some other college kids had stolen a gnome and took it on vacay with them to Arizona and other places...taking pics and such. They were pulling it around in a little red wagon. We set it up on a bench with my friend Levi's guitar and put the guitar case with a few coins in it on the ground in front...making it look like he was playing for change!! Pictures were taken and that was that!! Then I see the Travelocity commercials years later and busted out laughing...no way could that be the same gnome!! It probably isn't, but wouldn't it be so funny if one of those college kids went on the be the one to come up with Travelocity's gnome campaign?

Posted by: Iulia at October 13, 2004 12:31 AM

I happened to see the new Travelocity commercial with the couple coming back from their vacation into their hotel room. Does anyone know which one I'm referring to?? Well, I liked the commercial, but my question is this: What is the "slow jam" playing in the background?? I happened to hear the same exact tune on a Cinnomon Toast Crunch commercial with the guy sounding like Berry White or someone, and he's watching his wife eat her cereal; LOL. NAME THAT TUNE???

Posted by: adajavu at October 21, 2004 07:56 AM

HELP!!!anyone seen the add around christmas where you can get gnomes with their own seriel numbers on them so you can track them if lost or stolen? apparently there is a site where people can look up their gnomes and find out what they've been up to and/or display photos and log the travels of their own gnomes.let me know i want to take my gnome to vegas soon.

Posted by: gypsy at January 17, 2005 02:53 PM