Having an emotional support leprechaun sham-ROCKED while it lasted. Almost one year ago today, on St Patrick’s Day 2017, I followed a rainbow and found a leprechaun dozing at the end of it. I could tell this leprechaun was an emotional support leprechaun because he immediately walked up to me, hopped on my shoulder, and whispered, “You’re doing great, lassie.”
Since then, Seamus became my emotional support leprechaun and hasn’t left my shoulder. We do everything together and Seamus functions in all the same ways as an emotional support animal. When I’m stressed, I pet Seamus’s hairy back. When I’m hungry, Seamus and I eat bowls of Lucky Charms together. When I meet a guy I’m interested in Seamus gives me cheesy Irish pick up lines to use like, “I’m not the Blarney Stone but you should still kiss me.”
With my red hair and general Celtic appearance, no one has ever questioned why I’m carrying a leprechaun around with me. In fact, many people who pass us tip their hat at Seamus to greet him. Nobody seemed to mind until today, when United Airlines REFUSED to let my emotional support leprechaun on the plane.
Seamus and I made it through TSA just fine, though he wasn’t happy about having to take off his little leprechaun boots (leprechauns are notorious for their foul foot odor). But when we got to the United Airline’s gate the attendant asked for Seamus’s boarding pass. I told them that Seamus was my emotional support leprechaun and not a separate passenger but they just rolled their eyes at me.
After arguing with the airline attendants for 10 seconds I knew what had to be done. I looked over at Seamus who looked back at me with the usual gleam in his eye. Seamus looked trusting. He knew I would never hurt him. He knew I would either find a way to get him on the plane or exit the plane myself.
“I have to go to the bathroom”, I told Seamus, who looked a little puzzled since he knew I just went before trying to board the plane. I smiled reassuringly at Seamus while I turned towards the bathroom and picked up my pace. Every noise in the airport seemed amplified at that moment. The woman slurping her iced latte, the businessman flipping pages of his newspaper, the clacking of shoes, it was all unbearably loud. Seamus was humming an Irish River Dance song in my ear. I started to jog towards the bathroom because I just wanted it all to be over.
I ran into a stall and slammed the door behind me. I crouched down in front of the toilet as Seamus stopped humming. He slowly turned his head toward me with widened eyes. At that point I removed Seamus from my shoulder for the first time in a whole year and shoved him in the toilet. Seamus is only about the size of my hand and never learned how to swim so he started drowning. The last words I said to him were “Irish you could have lived, I really do!” before pulling the lever and flushing him down.
I stood up and composed myself then walked back to the gate. Every step without my emotional support leprechaun I grew increasingly unstable. The airline attendant asked, “Where’s your leprechaun?” but I just glared at her and shook my head. How dare they be so unreasonable? How dare they leave me literally no other choice but to flush my beloved emotional support leprechaun down a toilet? I took my seat and ordered a Guinness from the drink cart. Seamus used to love Guinness, I thought to myself. Then I cracked open the can, propped my feet up on the seat in front of me, and Googled “How to sue a major airline company.”