You never know who you’ll meet at Go-Go’s, the mascot C-Store of the SSCS blog.

This morning was no exception.

We knew something was up, because when we drove into the Go-Go’s parking lot we saw a big rainbow in the sky, even though the sun was out. What was up with that?!

When we stepped out of our car, we saw quick movement near our foot. We thought maybe we had almost stepped on a cat, but to our surprise it was a little man about two feet high with red hair and a red beard dressed in a green suit and a green hat. He was sucking on a tiny version of one of those lollipops for which Go-Go’s is so famous.

We were surprised but we shouldn’t have been with St. Patrick’s Day only a handful of days away. We wondered if the small green man was some kind of marketing gimmick that Mr. Habib, the owner of Go-Go’s, had cooked up, but we held our tongue, not wanting to insult the little fellow if we were wrong.

He glared at us at first—after all, we had almost ground him under our shoe—but his expression quickly rearranged itself into a smile. We were a little relieved that he hadn’t turned us into a statue or something.

“My name’s Darby,” he said without prompting, “and if you’re wondering, I’m here on behalf of all leprechauns to give Mr. Habib some examples of how to promote the most important holiday of the year into a real money-maker for his business—a pot of gold at the end of his rainbow!”

He gestured up at the swath of color in the sky. We just stared at him, probably a little slack-jawed, still evaluating whether he was angry or not. Before we had a chance to ask him what he was talking about, he proceeded to give us some examples that we thought we’d summarize for you:

We thanked him for the information, and went inside to get our freshly-brewed coffee and hot-off-the-grill breakfast special. Darby followed us in. Mr. Habib was working the counter and seemed happy to see him. We paid for our stuff and on the way out apologized for nearly injuring him.

Darby smiled, and for a minute it looked like a grimace. We thought it was our imagination. His teeth looked a little sharp.

We opened up our car door and was greeted by an unpleasant surprise, a deluge of green liquid, spilling out of the open door. Pants soaked, shoes ruined, we turned to see the imp smiling at us.

“You said you weren’t mad,” we said.

“What do you mean?” he replied. “Who else is going to fill your car full of free beer?”