Thursday, 3 May 2007

Approach Number 5 – Send Them Back Or Forward In Time

On first glance the notion of sending gnomes through time seems fraught with risk and uncertainty, perhaps creating a rupture in the space-time continuum or even giving the gnomes a greater chance for world domination when pitted against less advanced societies. However, on closer inspection, there is no cause for worry. If in the future we do send gnomes back in time and they took over the world we would now be living under gnome domination or would have records of gnome domination some time in the past. Since there are no historical records of gnome domination it stands to reason that if we do send them back in time no harm will come of it.

There is of course the problem of time-travel itself. Some say it is truly impossible. Others think not. Some have no idea either way. To ensure the continued freedom of the human race from gnome domination we must prepare for all potentialities.

First possibility – Time-travel is possible

Unfortunately no one has invented a time machine yet as far as we know. This may seem like a major setback but is in fact not. Inventing a time-machine is not even necessary at all! If one were to invent a time-machine the first thing they would do is travel back in time and give the designs for the time-machine to their younger self. Armed with these plans the younger self would know exactly how to build the time-machine meaning there would be no need to actually design it. In other words there is no point in figuring out how to build a time-machine. We simply wait for someone from the future to travel back in time and give us the plans. Unfortunately we have no way of knowing when this might happen so we go to plan B.

Plan B – Convince the gnome that it has been sent back in time without time-travel actually having happened.

First we need a convincing looking time-machine. A model Tardis readily available from model shops should suffice. Next we put the gnome in the model tardis, put on some spooky music, and spin the tardis round and round to simulate travelling through space-time.

On reopening the tardis the illusion of travelling to a different era must be complete whether one chooses the past or future. There are pros and cons for both time periods.

The Future
The best bet is the far future when the Sun has burned practically all its fuel. To simulate this time period the gnome can be placed in a large fridge with a very dim light bulb painted red to look like the sun. To maintain the illusion the temperature of the fridge should be reduced by one degree every million years or so.

The Past
Simulating the past presents greater technical challenges than the far future. To maintain a perfect illusion it will be necessary to completely demolish your house and garden and switch to pre-industrial ways of life, hunter-gathering for example. If you have a dog or cat you can enhance the illusion of being far in the past by disguising them as prehistoric beasts, sabre-tooth tigers, dinosaurs, trilobites, for example. Parrots or budgerigars can be disguised as pterodactyls. You will also need to move to the country away from any roads and airports since passing cars or planes might give the game away.

Carried out painstakingly, these measures should successfully fool the gnome into believing he has travelled through time, thus thwarting his plans for world domination.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Approach Number 4 – Let Them Take Over Some Other World

In our previous discussions we have looked at practical ways to stop garden gnomes taking over the world. It has to a certain extent been taken for granted that world domination by gnomes is undesirable. However, if the world being dominated by gnomes was not the same world we inhabit there is, in theory if not practice although perhaps also in practice and theory, or perhaps in practice but not in theory. the undesirable elements of world domination by garden gnomes are eroded.

So what other worlds are possible candidates for domination by garden gnomes. The requirements are thus:

No oxygen since gnomes can not breath.

No water since gnomes do not drink.

No organic life forms since gnomes do not eat.

Solid ground to stand the gnomes on.

Gravity so the gnomes don’t float away.

Luckily for us there are several suitable worlds in our solar system: Mercury, Mars, The Moon, certain moons of Jupiter and Saturn, as well as countless large asteroids. However, the most suitable destination is Pluto, for the following reasons:

It’s very far away so the little bastards won’t make it back in a hurry.

It’s very small therefore perfect for gnomes which are also very small.

It should be apparent that sending all the world’s garden gnomes to Pluto is a major undertaking. There are some 500 million garden gnomes on earth. With an average weight of two pounds each this makes 1 billion pounds of gnome to be sent to the far reaches of the solar system, a far greater load than any sent so far. This is an undertaking of the grandest scale requiring co-operation between nations the likes of which has never been seen before.

There is yet another problem. With our current rocket propulsion technology a billion pounds of gnomes is simply too heavy to propel into space at one time, requiring many times more propellant. However, there are solutions to this problem.

1) A gnome elevator.

Once we have a ship in space we can use a really long rope to pull gnomes up into space perhaps even cleverly using a spinning asteroid like a giant fishing reel to reel the gnomes in. Once the gnomes are in space they become weightless and thus require much less fuel to get them to Pluto.

2) Individual rocket propulsion systems for each gnome

While I haven’t the faintest idea whether this would actually use any less fuel than sending the gnomes all at once it does distribute the fuel load more evenly between gnome bearing countries. Each gnome will also require a simple guidance system but since it only took the computing power of a pocket calculator to send men to the moon this shouldn’t be a problem as there are literally millions of pocket calculators that we could use for this purpose. In addition, the shape of garden gnomes is so well suited to being blasted into space it seems a shame not to take advantage of it and the sight of a vast armada of garden gnomes thrusting into space towards their new home would be spectacular to say the least.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Approach Number 3 – Make Them Think They Already Rule The World

In the last article we discussed how to fool a garden gnome into thinking he has snagged a fish, thus keeping him occupied for long periods. While this is a useful strategy for thwarting the world domineering tendencies of many gnomes there are unfortunately a sizeable proportion of gnomes for whom fishing holds no interest. We must therefore seek a different distraction for these gnomes. In addition, we must bear in mind how few of history’s worst tyrants have been active fishermen – a fact that inevitably draws us to the conclusion that their non-fishing gnome counterparts are almost certainly the most dangerous gnomes of all.

Realising this fact does however give us a faint glimmer of opportunity: since these gnomes are only interested in world domination and subsequent tyranny the only viable distraction must be something along these lines. If we could actually convince the gnomes that they already rule the world we at one swift stroke undermine their motivation to set in motion their power grabbing plans. We thus eliminate the real threat of them actually taking over. There are a number of possible approaches:

1) Virtual Reality

This approach is potentially the most promising however the current state of virtual reality technology is low for humans and practically non existent for gnomes.

2) Hypnosis

Precious little research has been done in the area of gnome hypnosis. It is therefore difficult to assess the effectiveness of this approach.

3) Build a world ruler’s environment around the gnome.

This is a more practical, though costly, approach. It will require us to build a fancy office with improbably large wooden desk for the gnome to sit behind. In addition it will be necessary to telephone the gnome constantly and create false documents for signing under the ruse that important world decisions need taken. Other gnomes must be outfitted in black suits and sunglasses to pose as bodyguards. There is a real risk that these bodyguard gnomes may figure out and subsequently undermine the ruse so great care must be taken.

A problem with this approach is that the gnome will require ever stronger stimuli to satiate his insane lust for power. One possibility is to place a large TV screen in front of the gnome and show footage of adoring crowds, jackbooted stormtroopers, and invading armies, to keep the gnome’s power lust satisfied.

4) Convince the current world rulers that they are, in fact, garden gnomes.

This highly unorthodox approach may just turn out to be the most successful. As many of today’s world leaders share characteristics of garden gnomes, and some may turn out to actually be garden gnomes, a few overt gestures may be all that is required to convince garden gnomes the world over that they are already in command.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Approach Number 2 - Keep Them Occupied

The typical garden gnome has few interests besides standing at the bottom of gardens all day. This should give us pause for thought; what is going through their heads all this time? Could they be devising schemes the culmination of which will be the subjugation of human beings to the rule of gnomes? Perhaps, perhaps not. But prudence suggests we take no chances as the consequences are too devastating to risk. If we could find a way to keep gnomes occupied it would greatly lessen the risk of them thinking up plans for world domination.

But as we have seen gnomes have very few interests. How then do we keep them occupied?

There is one possibility. Garden gnomes seem to be very fond of fishing – at least they like to hold fishing rods, perhaps as a ruse to ease our suspicions of their world domineering plans. The gnomes’ fondness for fishing gives us an opportunity to keep their attentions away from thoughts of world domination.

So how do we use fishing to keep gnomes occupied? After all, it could be argued, fishing is the perfect pastime for gnomes seeking to take over the world, offering as it does long periods of quiet contemplation for devising strategies to establish global tyranny. All the more so considering that gnomes never actually catch fish. Herein lies our opportunity to confuse and distract the gnome.

If we tie a long piece of thread to the gnome’s rod we can pull on it from a distance, thus fooling the gnome that he has caught a fish. Of course, it may not be possible to continue pulling the thread for long periods due to other commitments but there is something we can do to ensure the gnome is distracted at all times.

What we need is to find a living creature to tie the thread to that is just the right size to make the gnome believe it is a fish. The most suitable creature in this case would be a fish. If you have goldfish or tropical fish in your pond simply tie the thread to one of them and, hey presto, it will pull on the thread as it swims thus keeping the gnome distracted at all times. As gnomes have no muscles in their arms or hands they will be unable to reel in the fish.

If a fish is unavailable another small creature will need suffice, such as a mouse or large beetle. Small birds are another possibility although the gnome may cotton onto the deception if the bird flies off. In addition larger birds may take the gnome with them. While better than having the gnome take over the world this outcome is less than ideal as the bird may tire during flight causing the gnome to fall, possibly landing on someone’s head or in a tank or fighter aircraft thus increasing its potential for world domination. Likewise, squirrels, rats and voles should be avoided as they may pull the gnomes into their burrows or up a tree where the gnome would have cover to scheme and get up to all sorts of mischief; better to keep them out in the open where we can keep an eye on them.

So there we have it: another practical stratagem to keep gnomes from taking over.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Ensure They Don’t Get Elected to Government

Perhaps the most obvious way that gnomes might take over the world is by creating a totalitarian government through democratic means, like, for instance, Hitler, or the emperor in Star Wars. Now some might say that a world governed by garden gnomes would be better than what we have now and while they are almost certainly correct for the purposes of this article I shall assume they are wrong, otherwise there would be no point in writing it.

Now of course nobody in their right mind would elect a garden gnome to office. However this could also apply to the majority of the world’s elected leaders. We must therefore assume that a majority of the world’s population are not in their right minds and that the election of garden gnomes is therefore a very real possibility.

So what can be done to prevent election of garden gnomes? There are simply too many people who might potentially vote for a gnome for a single individual to prevent. Therefore, a vast organisation devoted to stopping garden gnomes must be created. Once this organisation is in place each of its members will be assigned to monitor a manageable number of potential gnome voters. It will be necessary to strike up acquaintances with the potential gnome voters to ascertain if they have pro-gnome sympathies. In addition, electronic surveillance methods, including phone taps and cctv, should be utilised to detect any potential signs of future gnome voting.

Once potential gnome voters have been identified the organisation must move swiftly in deploying anti-gnome propaganda. Pictures of gnomes crushing worms and beetles under their bases, showing the gnomes lack of compassion, may be effective. If such methods fail it may be necessary to physically prevent potential gnome voters from voting, perhaps by placing them in giant gnome casts, filling the cast with concrete, then placing the potential gnome voter at the bottom of the garden next to the other gnomes they’re so fond of. Another method is to phone them up on election day, pretending to be the owner of a garden centre, crying, ‘help, help, someone’s smashed all our garden gnomes and we need help to put them back together.’

Carried out properly these measures should ensure that garden gnomes will never take over the world through democratic means.