by Heidi Nestor, Writer and Editor, Life Alert

Emerald Green was all that the townsfolk saw when they passed Granny’s Victorian home at the end of the street.  There was no mistaking that St. Patrick’s Day was upon them as Granny’s yard had oversized shamrocks strategically placed about and rainbow ribbons weaved in and out through the porch’s rod iron railings. No stone was left unturned as a large Blarney rock sat by the gate with a big “Kiss Me” sign on it while the gothic gargoyle front doorknocker was replaced by a horse shoe.  From top to toe, the Victorian was adorned. But the grand prize sat at the porch stairs - a large pot of gold coins, when unwrapped, would produce a chocolate delight. 

Grateful Granny and the Gassy Leprechaun Inside the Victorian was no different, as Granny pulled from the closet her St. Patty’s day nick-knacks to decorate the inside.  Her favorite item was Wooly McCoppertop, a four foot gnome Leprechaun dressed in a green coat, tall Derby hat, and a long red beard.  His right hand raised high in a “Hello” salutation, while the left hand clenched tightly to a pot of gold. Granny carefully put Wooly McCoppertop in his annual spot, next to the converted gas fireplace.


Many years ago, Granny’s children had complained that they were worried about her living in this big, cold house by herself and that carrying wood to the fireplace would be too hazardous at her age now.  Granny rebutted that retirement homes do not have enough closet space for all of her seasonal decorations or her many boxes of memories. So the kids all pitched in and converted the wood burning fireplace to gas so that all Granny had to do was turn the gas valve  for gas and push a button for a flame.  Another point of compromise for Granny to stay in her home was that she wears her Life Alert Help pendant at all times, even in the shower.  Granny happily agreed since she has used Life Alert on many occupations to help her out of a jam.


Snickers, Granny’s calico cat, joined in helping Granny adjust Wooly’s position by running in and out of the Leprechaun’s legs.  It was very important that the little gnome be placed just right, kitty corner outside the fireplace.  “There!” Granny said.  “Now, it’s the holiday.”  Wooly seemed to smile in agreement.


As the decorating wore on Granny became fatigued and sleepy. She didn’t understand where her strength went.  Snickers jumped in and out of boxes egging Granny to continue with the task but Granny had to sit down first, just for a minute.


“I don’t know why I’m so tired.” She said to the cat that joined her on the couch.  “I’m usually so excited about decorating that I can go all day without a break, I must be getting old.”  Snickers curled up on Granny’s lap authorizing that they take a break.


“Good idea, Snickers.  I think I’ll join you.”  With that Granny lied down on the couch with Snickers.  Before she was able to fall asleep, Granny heard a loud voice say, “CARBON MONIXIDE DETECTED, PLEASE LEAVE IMMEDIATELY,” followed by her phone ringing.  It was Life Alert’s emergency dispatch center.  They were calling to let her know that her Life Alert CO Gas Alarm had detected the poisonous gas and to vacate immediately. 


Granny grabbed Snickers and went outside just in time to see the fire department pull up.  As Granny and Snickers were being checked out, a few of the men went into the house to find where the CO gas leak was.


After it was safe for Granny to go back into the Victorian, the firemen pointed out where the leak came from and who was the culprit.  They pointed the finger at the Wooly McCoppertop!

It seems that when Granny put the four foot gnome Leprechaun by the fireplace, his raised hand had hit and turned the gas value on the fireplace, thus setting off a gas leak.


“Oh my!” Granny exclaimed. 

“Don’t worry, ma’am,” said one fireman, “I heard these leprechauns can be pretty tricky.”

“They're always up to some kind of shenanigans,” informed another fireman, “It’s a lucky thing that you have Life Alert to protect you, without that alarm notifying you and us, well, let’s just say you could have been taken over the rainbow forever.”

“Yes,” granny said.  “Life Alert is definitely my good luck charm.”


The men moved Wooly in front of the big living room window facing the street, where the leprechaun can now wave to all in hopes of spreading the luck of the Irish.

“Now, everybody can see him!” Granny said happily. 


The firemen bid their adieu to Granny and Snickers, and grabbed a few chocolate coins from the pot outside the front door.  As they waved good-by they all smiled at Wooly, who seemed to be much happier in a spot where he wouldn’t cause any more trouble.

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