Apathy Gnomes.

When I’m over 100 pages into a book and I can’t make myself care about anything or anyone in it, I close my eyes and hope the Apathy Gnomes enter into the story.

 
Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the Apathy Gnomes, since they may live inside my head and nowhere else.

Apathy Gnomes magically appear in books where each moment of my reading the book is filled with total apathy for the characters. When they do show up, the book is always improved.

Actual photographic proof of an Apathy Gnome in the wild.

Apathy Gnomes like to hide in dark, secret places. Then, they spring out at bland, forgettable characters. They scream a high pitched, keening noise and beat the deadbeats about the face with mallets.

Examples:

  • “The teacher was unsure of himself; his life a series of choices he could have chosen differently, but could also have chosen exactly as he had. He stood up from his desk and then sat down again, unsure of himself in the most unsure way. Then, an Apathy Gnome leaped out of his desk drawer and stood on his chest. “SCREEECH!” wailed the Apathy Gnome. Unlike the teacher, it was interesting and did something. It began beating  the teacher in the face with his mallets.”
  • “She knew she wanted to get to know the new boy so badly, but she felt shy. There was something different, yet uninteresting, about him. She walked up to him at his locker, her face pleasant and expressionless. Then, two Apathy Gnomes fell from the drop ceiling. “Yi-yi-yi-yi,” they yelled, smashing boy and girl in the head. “But I’m a vampire,” he whined. The Gnomes looked at each other, shrugged, and continued their mallet onslaught.”
  • “The personality-free adventurer carefully opened the inventor’s final seal. The blonde girl, whom he had sex with before she did anything but ask him to explain the plot to her, waited patiently behind him. He opened the seal and yes, there was something inside. It was an Apathy Gnome. It brandished its mallet menacingly and smiled at the adventurer.”

They’re mean little suckers, but Apathy Gnomes make boring books fun again. I thank them for all they’ve given me through the years (you don’t get a degree in Literature without a little help from the  Apathy Gnomes), and I hope they make you smile as much as they make me smile.

Go on! Get ’em, Apathy Gnomes!

– Axel

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