PG&E threatens to blast population of gnomes
January 28, 2013
Pacific Gas & Electric is threatening to exterminate gnome dwellings in Oakland. [SF Gate]
The frequent presence of little men with pointy, red hats and large, white beards helps keep Oakland residents’ minds off crime while walking the city streets. But, PG&E says the gnomes are invading their property and setting a dangerous precedent.
Hand-painted gnomes on 6-inch brown wooden boards appear in seemingly random places all over Oakland. The gnomes are also finding homes on PG&E utility poles, often nailed to the bases.
But, the little, happy figures have become too big of a problem for PG&E.
“We’ll be dispatching a crew to remove them,” PG&E spokesman Jason King said. “The concern is that the gnomes could inspire additional people to place things on our property.”
King said the gnomes “compromise the integrity” of PG&E equipment.
Many Oakland residents say otherwise, and gnome hunting expeditions have become a common form of recreation in the city. Residents have also created photo essays and websites pertaining to Oakland’s gnomes.
One gnome appeared on the window sill of an Oakland café, and the owner did not take issue with its presence.
“They’re cool to have around,” Haddon Hill Café owner Isaac Lim said. “They’re totally welcome here.”