The incident with the gnome and the stripper pole


It was after leaving one of the city’s most popular bars that we went on an adventure. My comrades were leaving the city, and wanted to leave their final mark. It began at the Jungle House.

The Jungle House was one of the residences of the person I was dating at the time. It was famous for the ludicrous amounts of drugs consumed there. Had the resident guinea pig licked the floor, it would have been lost to a LSD-induced hysteria.

We marched to the Jungle House. Orange pylons lined the sidewalk, and we were sure to kick each one down in anarchistic rage. The new green tree leaves glowed in the orange light of the arching street lights.

We arrived at our destination. My guy walked up to the door and knocked. A confused woman answered the door.


“Hey,” he said. “This is going to sound weird, but there’s something in your attic that we need.”

She stared for a couple of seconds. Then, “Yeah, sure.” We crowded into her living room and pulled  the attic ladder down. The guy climbed up the ladder. A clamor descended from the rafters, as did a flurry of dust bunnies.” The man pulled the shiny pole from its airborne sarcophagus. My guy leaned into the kitchen where the woman had retired, threw the pole over his shoulder, and said, “Okay, thanks” and walked out the door.

As we were walking down the poor woman’s driveway, the girl we were with cried out. “We have to save Bernie!”

And so, Bernie arose from the cellar doors  which he had been hidden behind with a ruckus which served to thicken the suspense. Like a cursed undead, the garden gnome emerged with gaping porcelain wounds in his face. One of his eyes was severely scratched, and the tip of his hat had shattered earlier. He was wrapped in a sheet of cobweb and film of dust. Having reclaimed these items, we marched down the street, carrying the stripper pole and the worn gnome, cigarettes dangling from our mouths.

We came upon the Moat, one of my guy’s other residences. True to its name, the front lawn was surrounded by a river. Basking in the moment of catharsis, we pissed into its water and unceremoniously tossed the pole in. Bernie walked on with us.

We walked on the soft grass of the neighborhood elementary school play ground, which soon turned into the gravel under the slide. We dug out a homunculus-sized hole under the end of the slide. Now children would end their descent confronted by a perverted gnome ready to perform oral on anything that came down. We climbed over another fence, and went back home.

NOTE: This memory was brought up by the eponymous album by FIDLAR, a tour de force in skate punk full of narcotic zeal and the songs “Nights of Living Dead” and “Rainbows in The Dark” by Tilly and the Wall which both describe the shenanigans I got into the last months of that spring, perforated by the staccato of tap dancing.