I've been called out on my Hazards of Gardening: gnome issue, not from a gnome, but from a friend who thought that the gnomes in my life would take offense.
First, I didn't mean any offense to any garden gnomes that hang around my gardens. They are a part of them. They protect them. It's just that in my perpetually impatient state, I often don't have time for them. I wish I had more. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.
Second, they are not all old. I actually have a few young garden gnomes that frequent my gardens.
Third, they don't all cough and wheeze. Sometimes they sneak up on my without a sound. They scare me sometimes because I didn't know they were there. I've taken to snapping my head around at the slightest bit of motion.
Fourth, most of the time they remain unseen.
Fifth, I often exaggerate for effect. But that is my prerogative.