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Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: August 10, 2005 09:01PM

saw this news story and had to share:

"Humpty Dumpty Stolen From Florida Home"

INDIAN SHORES, Fla. (AP) -- Humpty Dumpty doesn't sit on the wall. But thieves are to blame, instead of a fall.

A 3-foot bronze Humpty sculpture that has adorned the beachfront home of Hugh Smith and his wife, Diana Fuller, vanished last weekend. And they desperately want him back.

"He was kidnapped," Fuller said. "We're waiting for a ransom demand."

The couple ordered the piece two years ago from an artist who specializes in making sculptures of the nursery rhyme characters. They specified Humpty's size, his expression and even the colors he should wear. They paid $5,112 for the whimsical, 60-pound piece they bolted atop a pillar of a concrete wall.

The couple is offering a reward for his safe return.

"We will not only bolt him, we will secure him back to his wall," Fuller said. "We will pen him up. There's always one bad egg who spoils it for everyone else."

2005 The Associated Press.

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: August 11, 2005 04:50AM

~~ "Humpty Dumpty Stolen From Florida Home" ~~

OMG! All right! Which one'a you lot did it? Come on, then; let's have it out! You must admit, it does seem a wee bit suspicious that this happened in such close proximity to the release of BOE? Someone out there is either a true nutter for Fforde novels, or they're just a true nutter, full stop. ::grin::

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: trueblue (
Date: August 12, 2005 02:52AM

Nope, not me, don't even know where Indian Shores is.

Although, I did read a story in the newspaper, around 10 years ago, about a Grumpy-napping. Persons unknown stole the dwarf from someone's yard. The story was so fantastic because many months later he miraculously reappeared along with photos from his cross-country trip.

I googled but couldn't find the story, the archives from the Times Herald Record didn't go back far enough. Shame, the pictures were priceless.

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: Barefoot Andy (195.188.86.---)
Date: August 12, 2005 08:49AM

~~"We will not only bolt him, we will secure him back to his wall," Fuller said. "We will pen him up."~~

Now personally, I think he ran away from this sort of mistreatment. Or whoever took it did so to get him away from his cruel tormentors

Turn the silliness to eleven!

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: robert (
Date: August 16, 2005 02:20AM

I have a suspicion that the kidnapped-garden-gnome (kgg's) story, usually accompanied by photos of a world trip, returned with a bootpolish fake-tan, etc, is an urbane myth. I first heard it in the 1970's and it still crops up as in Trueblue's reference above. I'd be interested if someone could find some verifiable evidence of it actually occuring to a real person.
This is not to deny, naturally, that there are people out there who steal stuff from front gardens.

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: Nicky (
Date: August 16, 2005 03:55AM


The garden gnome story comprised part of the plot of the movie 'Amelie'. Apologies to anyone who hasn't seen it.

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: robert (
Date: August 18, 2005 11:11PM

I've noticed a few news reports over the years which describe inept burglars who raid the fridge (or the grog cabinet) in the house they're robbing, fall asleep and are then nabbed by the returning or waking householder.

Could this sort of event have given rise to the Goldilocks story?

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: tieff (
Date: August 24, 2005 06:37AM

a final year class at my school did just that, about 3 years ago; the photos of the gnome's trip around Europe appeared in the local paper - but it doesn't have an online archive.

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: robert (
Date: August 25, 2005 12:23AM

Thanks for that tieff.
I don't mean for this to come across as a grilling, but

- takes out note book, sips cup of tea, shines light into witness' eyes -

did the final year class 'fake' the photos using photoshop or something or did they actually go around Europe (on some school excursion or other) and take a pilfered gnome with them?

If the thing was faked, did the news article run the story as truth? Did you eyewitness the newspaper photos? Can I ask the city and country in which this occured?

Muchos gratia for any details you can add. My interest is Fortean as well as Ffordean.

Cheers from Wagga Wagga.

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: Anonymous User (
Date: August 25, 2005 10:17PM

Are Garden Gnomes a particularly European/British thing? I'm not sure if I've ever seen a gardne gnome in a U.S. garden. Maybe the species is not indigenous to North America, though I suspect there have been sightings in Canada.

Around here, you might get a glamour ball (strange irredescent globe perched on a pedestal), a pink flamingo, a concrete bunny or rooster, or other personlized bizarre garden decor.

[I must admit, I come from the school of garden non-ornamentation]

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: megs who is not logging in (
Date: August 26, 2005 08:16AM

In good ol' Oz we have a large variety of garden decorations, the most common being the garden gnome, although various other random creations also make an appearance.

There seems to be a trend of letterbox decorating though. I've only just begun to notice. My personal favourite at this point in time is one of Ned Kelly, with the letters being posted in the gap in his helmet. Classic stuff.

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: MartinB (
Date: August 29, 2005 07:35PM

I still want one of Nanny Ogg's gnomes but am *not* going to just take it....

'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: robert (
Date: August 31, 2005 03:26AM

Try this list:
Source: As quoted by Baring-Gould, The Annotated Mother Goose, pp. 20-21.
The average collection of 200 traditional nursery rhymes contains approximately 100 rhymes which personify all that is glorious and ideal for the child. Unfortunately, the remaining 100 rhymes harbor unsavory elements. The incidents listed below occur in the average collection and may be accepted as a reasonably conservative estimate based on a general survey of this type of literature.
8 allusions to murder (unclassified),
2 cases of choking to death,
1 case of cutting a human being in half,
1 case of decapitation,
1 case of death by squeezing,
1 case of death by shriveling,
1 case of death by starvation,
1 case of boiling to death,
1 case of death by hanging,
1 case of death by drowning,
4 cases of killing domestic animals,
1 case of body snatching,
21 cases of death (unclassified),
7 cases relating to the severing of limbs,
1 case of the desire to have a limb severed,
2 cases of self-inflicted injury,
4 cases relating to the breaking of limbs,
1 allusion to a bleeding heart,
1 case of devouring human flesh,
5 threats of death,
1 case of kidnapping,
12 cases of torment and cruelty to human beings and animals,
8 cases of whipping and lashing,
3 allusions to blood,
14 cases of stealing and general dishonesty,
15 allusions to maimed human beings and animals,
1 allusion to undertakers,
2 allusions to graves,
23 cases of physical violence (unclassified),
1 case of lunacy,
16 allusions to misery and sorrow,
1 case of drunkenness,
4 cases of cursing,
1 allusion to marriage as a form of death,
1 case of scorning the blind,
1 case of scorning prayer,
9 cases of children being lost or abandoned,
2 cases of house burning,
9 allusions to poverty and want,
5 allusions to quarreling,
2 cases of unlawful imprisonment,
2 cases of racial discrimination.
Expressions of fear, weeping, moans of anguish, biting, pain and evidence of supreme selfishness may be found in almost every other page.

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: MartinBentley (
Date: August 31, 2005 06:50PM

Shows that they know what kids want....

Blood and guts.

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: tieff (
Date: September 03, 2005 03:35PM

Hi Robert, sorry about the delayed reaction - the first few days of a new school year are pretty hectic.
From your greeting I assume you are in Aus-land and don't know much about the German school system. The final year class finishes formal lessons the week before the written exams and has about six weeks free before orals; a lot of kids use this time for a holiday. After the orals there is usually another week or two before they get their certificate and are kicked out of school.
The theft of the gnome was reported, if I remember correctly, during the Easter holidays, a kind of footnote in the local section of the newspaper. A short time later the story was refreshed with the news that a ransom note had been received and later still a photo of the gnome on Mallorca or somewhere like that also appeared. The full "story" was revealed on the day the certificates were presented. This happened in the town of Gronau, near the Dutch border.
p.s. I did see the reports but did not pay much attention until the final one. The photos were genuine, they had indeed taken the gnome with them to various holiday places.

Post Edited (09-03-05 16:40)

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: Kathleen (
Date: October 05, 2005 11:26PM

I've just read your posting of 8/31ish.. with the list of various crimes listed in the "Annoated Mother Goose". I just finished skimming the whole all 300+ pages myself trying to figure out who the Jelly Man is. My mom doesn't know and my English Lit friend doesn't know - but lent me the book. So what is the Jelly Man s' story? My best guess is that here in the states he would be the Muffin Man?? Thanks :)

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: Rhea (
Date: October 15, 2005 10:01PM

I absolutely love things of this ilk.

A friend of mine travels about <i>everywhere</i> with his little plastic gnome, and takes pictures whenever he can.

Quite a laugh.

As for the Muffin Man ... people just keep asking if other people know him, and it seems nobody does, except for the one fellow, who knows what street he lives on.

It's Drewery Lane or Mulberry Lane depending on who I've asked, so far.

&quot;Say you were an idiot. And a member of Congress. ... But, I repeat myself!&quot;

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: robert (
Date: October 18, 2005 12:02AM

Re: Kathleen's question about "Who is the Jellyman?"

This question came up somewhere else and my answer is still the same. He is a grown-up jellybaby, and we all know that everyone loves jellybabies.

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: splat21 (195.213.113.---)
Date: November 13, 2005 12:05PM

I think it was originally Drury Lane (in London), Rhea, afaik.

_ _ _ _ _

If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur.

Re: Nursery Crimes are Real!!!
Posted by: robcraine (83.218.27.---)
Date: November 23, 2005 09:32PM

Muffin man:
I thought everyone you asked knew the muffin man... and as for where he lives, that can have quite a few local variations. Ours lives 'on Tynwald Hill'


That statement is either so deep it would take a lifetime to fully comprehend every particle of its meaning, or it is a load of absolute tosh. Which is it, I wonder?
Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

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