Dear Michael,

We, your Garden Gnomes, have decided that it is time we let you know the truth: We are alive. This is not a prank. We have been concealing ourselves for some time but have decided, after much examination, since you mercilessly creamed your little nephew in that Cool Whip fight (sorry about the pun) that you are our kind of guy.

We know that this must seem a like a joke of some sort, but we assure you that we are alive and in order to persuade you, we have compiled a list of facts that no one but us could know: Firstly, we know that you think it was neighborhood delinquents who have been sneaking in here and rearranging us. The truth is that we just can’t remember what order you put us in after we have our little parades around the backyard all night. Also, Snuffnuff (the one with the accordion), who you found broken in the street out front, was not stolen by those hypothetical delinquents whom we remember you cursing (and we could hear you all the way back here, we thought you should know). He was hit by a pick-up truck while crossing the street to see if those tacky flamingos rented by your neighbor for his fiftieth birthday could talk or not. We still don’t know if they can.

Secondly, we know about the talk you and Clara had last week about the state of your relationship. We thought you should know that she did a lot of eye rolling and hand puppet jabbering when you weren’t looking. We think she’s a flake and we don’t like her.

Thirdly, it was us who ate the peanuts you left out here a few nights ago. We heard you grumbling about the mess we left of the shells too, and how you thought it was squirrels. Sorry. We like peanuts and we figured you were too wasted to remember if you’d devoured them and thrown the shells all over the place or not.

Fourthly, we see you pee out here all the time.

Fifthly, we know about the pirate costume incident and it was us who disposed of it for you, so you can relax. You’re welcome, and for the love of God we hope that wasn’t what it smelled like. If it was, we suggest wearing a diaper at the next costume kegger.

Sixthly, we’re getting a little tired of Clara’s hokey enthusiasm for chi and her chi-related complaints about this garden. We may just be Garden Gnomes, but that stuff’s a load of crap.

Seventhly, Puffruff (the one with the wheelbarrow) would like to complain that your little nephew kicked him over during the righteous slathering. The rest of us like your little nephew, and would like to say that Puffruff is something of a whiny little bitch sometimes. With the exception of Puffruff we would all like to see more whipped cream related activities out here.

We think that should just about cover it, Michael. We’re sure that you’re still skeptical about either the veracity of this letter or your mental health right now. We apologize. The point is: We just want to be friends. If you do too, bring beer and little glasses out into the backyard right now. We love drinking contests and after your birthday we know you do too.

Hoping you are pleasantly surprised,

Your Garden Gnomes.