It’s been a month since the Ever Given, the Hot Slut cargo ship, blocked the Suez Canal for six whole days. Lots of jokes, memes, and LOLs. But the incident has sent the shipping industry into a tailspin, and everything that needs to be transported from Point A to Point B is like me after a nighttime nacho binge: backed up. The real victims? Garden gnomes and British gnome enthusiasts. During the pandemic, Brits have been extra-obsessed with their gardens, and gnomes were already hard to come by. Add the Ever Given drama into the mix, and the freaky little dwarves have all but disappeared.
Iain Wylie, the chief exec of the Garden Centre Association, told the BBC:
“With goods arriving from abroad, garden centres were affected by the ship getting stuck in the canal as much as any other industry. Garden furniture, ornaments, of which gnomes would be some, being stuck in containers trying to come over here”
Oh no, I just pictured the gnomes banging their tiny fists against the inside of their shipping containers and hatching complicated escape plans. Poor lil’ guys. I hope they’ve got enough oxygen in there.
Ian Byrne, the assistant manager of Highfield Garden World in Whitminster, says his store hasn’t been carrying garden gnomes for six months:
“There aren’t any [gnomes]. There’s definitely a shortage. It’s a combined thing with garden centres being so busy, I looked at some figures based on March which said garden centres were 97% busier than they were in 2019.”
Ian says he’s been desperately contacting suppliers across Europe and Asia, but the issue is the raw materials to make them (plastic, stone, concrete) all in short supply. OMG, will gnomes go the way of the dodo bird?! I hope not. Those magical little men can turn any garden into a magical fairyland. And I like the part in Amélie where Amélie kidnaps her dad’s precious gnome and sends pictures him traveling the world. The was based on (and probably inspired) real events:
Wait, maybe the gnome shortage is connected to all this world travel? Take an extra close look at each hitchhiker you pass on those highways…