by Heidi Nestor, Writer and Editor,
The harp holding cherub flew in suspended
animation over the porch. Hiding
in the top corner of the front door was Cupid with his arrow firmly
aimed at anyone who entered this domain.
Everyone who passed the Victorian house that stood at the end of
the street knew it was time for Granny’s annual St. Valentine’s Day
Granny loved this special day of celebrating
love, mostly because she and the other women in town would volunteer
their services by bringing food and supplies to the needy, with the day
ending at the retirement home where the ladies put on 19th
Century romantic comedy skits while wearing outrageous bustle skirts.
Granny’s favorite part of the day
was going to the retirement home; it served as a reminder of how
fortunate she was to still be able to live in her home.
Naturally, she had help in the form of Life Alert or as Granny
would call it, “My magic button.” She would tell everyone that once she
pressed her magic button, hunky men in uniforms would suddenly appear to
Granny’s Victorian house was the perfect setting
for the ladies to gather annually for their bustle skirt contest before
heading out into the town to do their good deeds.
Each year the women would try to outdo each other by seeing who
could wear the most outrageous, puffiest, bustle skirt.
The winner would wear a papier-mâché crown while the other’s paid
for her lunch.
This year Granny knew the Best Bustle crown would
be hers. She had been saving
fabric all year to layer and drape the bustle cage, and even enlisted
her grandchildren to come over and start building the skirt days before.
St. Valentine’s Day arrived and Granny very
carefully climbed into her large, inflated, structured skirt.
Looking at herself in the mirror, the rear of the skirt stuck out
a good four feet, which made Granny tilt slightly forward.
She could see how her balance was compromised so she took each
step carefully and made sure to wear her Life Alert emergency pendant.
Thinking twice, she even checked her purse to ensure her Life Alert
emergency HELP phone was in her pocketbook, just in case she lost her
balance while out and about she could call for help.
The ladies started to arrive at Granny’s
Victorian House. Each wore
ballooned bottomed bustles and laughter erupted when the group tried to
walk around or sit. They
chatted about how they had made the ruffled layered skirts and wondered
how their ancestors could possibly have worn these contraptions daily.
It wasn’t long before they heard a yell from outside.
The women tried to run to the door but their
multi-layered skirts would not permit them to move swiftly. After
fumbling over each other, the bustled group finally made it to the door.
Standing outside was a very wide, very fluffy, very ruffled,
super colossal, bustle skirt and corset that balanced the tiny head of
“I can’t move,” Fannie cried. “Help me!”
Fannie’s blue eyes turned to gray, and the women wondered if
their color had drained due to the weight of the skirt, which happened
to be wider than the door frame.
As the women gathered around Fannie they realized there was no
end to the skirt – for its train went on for well over 12 feet.
were you thinking by building this monstrosity?” Granny asked in
“I was thinking
that the Best Bustle crown would me mine this year.” She said proudly.
The women rolled
up her train and maneuvered her sideways the best that they could, but
her bustle butt puffed out so far that squeezing her through the door
required some of the women to go inside and pull on Fannie’s arm while
the other women on the other side pushed her through. They pushed and
pulled squeezing Fannie through the door as if they were squeezing a
watermelon through a straw.
“Exhale” Granny yelled.
“Get all the air out of your body.”
“I already did,”
“You wouldn’t be
in this predicament if you weren’t so darn competitive,” Granny
jealous that I’m gonna win the Best Bustle crown.” Fannie smugly
After what seemed all day, the women finally gave
up and told Fannie to wait outside for the group.
But alas, Fannie could not move, she was stuck in the middle of
the door frame. Now the
women inside started pushing Fannie out but she didn’t move.
Her skirt was firmly wedged in.
“Get me out of
here.” Fannie pleaded.
“We can’t.” said Granny. “But I know someone who
can.” Granny pressed her
Life Alert pendant. When the
Life Alert dispatcher called, Granny assured him that she was fine but
that someone in her home needed help.
Granny wasn’t sure how to explain the situation so the dispatcher
said that the fire department was on the way.
Granny added, “Tell them to bring the Jaws of Life.”
In a short time, three strong firemen arrived and
Fannie was freed from the door frame.
All the ladies were impressed with Granny’s “Magic Button” while
Granny praised all that Life Alert does for her. She went on to exclaim
that she can live safely and independently as long as she has Life
Alert’s protection, and that they have saved her many times from a fall,
house fire, and even a time when CO Gas was in her home and Granny never
The bustled bunch made it to the retirement home
just in time to put on their play.
Later on at lunch, Fannie mentioned how happy she was that Life
Alert got her out of a tight situation as she sat proudly with Best
Bustle crown on her head.
“You look like
royalty.” Granny complimented.
“I may look like royalty,” Fannie said.
“But you’re treated like royalty by Life Alert.
Granny explained, “It only cost pennies a day,
and I feel safe and protected.”
All the women wanted to know more, so Granny gave them the number
1-800-380-0768 to call for a free brochure so they can take control over
their independence if ever they get stuck.
The articles on this
website are covered by a
Creative Commons License
You are free
to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work; to make derivative works; to make commercial use of the work --under the following conditions: Attribution --
You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor. For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Please go to the
Creative Commons License
site for more information on the CC license that applies to this work.
For more information about Life Alert
and its many services and benefits for seniors – available in
, California, Florida, and other states nationwide -- please visit the following websites: