November 29, 2014

So the lady getting on the plane with you seems to be carrying a duffel bag, "But it turns out it wasn't a duffel bag."

"We could smell it and it was a pig on a leash. She tethered it to the arm rest next to me and started to deal with her stuff, but the pig was walking back and forth. I was terrified, because I was thinking I'm gonna be on the plane with the pig."

Said the professor, who wasn't pleased that this lady sat down next to him.

This doesn't surprise me at all, because I've read "Pets Allowed/Why are so many animals now in places where they shouldn’t be?" It's got a whole section where the author — Patricia Marx — tested the phenomenon of emotional-support animals by taking a pig on a plane:
We settled into seats 16A and 16B...  Daphne arranged herself on my lap... [A] flight attendant passed Row 16. “Aren’t you adorable!” she said....

[On the return flight] A smiling agent, approaching us at the gate, said, “We heard a cute piggy went through security.” She added, “If you want to pre-board, the cabin crew would love it.”

At the entrance to the plane, we were greeted by three giddy flight attendants: “Oh, my God, don’t you just love her?” “I’m so jealous. I want one!”; “I hope you’re in my section”; “I’m coming back for pictures.”

As we exited at Newark, a member of the flight crew pinned pilot’s wings onto Daphne’s E.S.A. sweatshirt.
Why didn't the pig next to the professor get the same friendly treatment? It too was presented as an emotional-support animal. One difference is that Marx's pig was only 26 pounds, and the one next to the professor is said to have been 50 to 70 pounds. The latter pig was also described as smelly and "disruptive." I'll also guess that the lady sitting next to the professor was not as smooth a talker as Marx, who was creating material for what turned out to be a hilarious and disturbing New Yorker article.

50 comments:

Amexpat said...

This is getting crazy. Yesterday, a lady sat next to me on a flight from Denver to Newark. She had a small dog that she let out of her cage after a few hours. The dog took a crap on her side and she stepped in it. She cleaned up as best she could, but the smell lingered.

I also saw a young guy - looked like a stoner - with a very large dog that he took on the plane. It also was marked ESA. The flight took a couple hours extra because of a landing for a medical emergency. Don't want to think of where that dog relieved himself.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Back when I was selling at farmers' market -- I've since given up on those markets because they're just not worth the trouble -- I had increasing problems with "emotional support animals".

Farmers' markets generally prohibit dogs for some very good health-department type reasons. There exists, however, a coterie of ESA people who delight in flouting such rules. It is easy to get a doctor's ESA "prescription" over the internet, and I'd sure like to see health departments begin to bust those operation.

For me the break-point came when an obnoxious woman kept bringing her ill-behaved ESA dog (all 75 lb of him) to the market and walked around all morning, buying nothing but a muffin or two.

When I told her to keep the dog away from my stand she intentionally brought him closer and had him lift his leg on my stuff, which earned the dog a really hard kick in the arse end which lifted him off the ground and rolled him ass-over-teakettle.

The nearby crowd (especially other vendors) cheered lustily and the woman called the cops. After about two minutes of questioning me and witnesses he issued the woman a $100 citation for violating city health ordinances. She never came back ... but there were always others.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I have also shipped a non-trivial number of pigs and sheep via commercial air, and my wife has carried several purebred puppies with her in the passenger section.

As one who raised and sold hogs for years, a 50 lb pig does not belong in the passenger compartment. 25-pounders are plenty big enough as it is. Even though I could have purchased first-class seats for them cheaper than shipping them in the cargo bay, I always shipped my animals below deck. Easier on everyone, including the critters.

What the ESA people are demonstrating -- and every single one I've encountered has been a woman -- is that they are indeed so fucked in the head that they're unable to establish a relationship with human beings.

Back in my youth, such folks were institutionalized, where they couldn't harm themselves or bother others. Now their dogs piss on farmers' food and their pigs stink up airplanes. And it's called "progress".

Ipso Fatso said...

If pigs could fly....

Laslo Spatula said...
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SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Hey Laslo - I'm sure you think you're pretty cute, but you're little different than a common spammer. Get over yourself.

It is a good way to get rid of me, though (so there's that), for as soon as I see a consecutive string of your manic 'posts', I am gone from the thread.

Why is there always someone who ruins it for everyone else?

paminwi said...

On our flight from NYC to Milwaukee just yesterday a woman had a pit bull as her ESA. Thank goodness we were on Southwest and could sit wherever we wanted.

Laslo Spatula said...

Heavens, I certainly don't want to be the guy that SomeoneHasToSayIt describes, that's horrible. All deleted now.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

I'll stay on point. People are sure abusing this whole Emotional Support Animal thing. And it must certainly be extra-traumatic when the Emotional Support Animal inevitably dies: You can probably get another Emotional Support Animal to help you through the grieving process, but then the cycle begins again.

Laslo Spatula said...

Although an enterprising person could see the future: Emotional Support Animal Taxidermy. I tried not to make it funny.

Curious George said...

My ESA is also a pig, in the form of Nueske's bacon.

Laslo Spatula said...

They did this to my father Andy Kaufman, you know: Saturday Night Live had the audience vote on whether he should ever be on the show again, and the audience voted for him to go away. I am my Father's Son.

Whirred Whacks said...
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Mark Caplan said...

This post wasn't completely fair in that we got the seatmate's point of view but there was no link for the sausages.

MadisonMan said...

Would it be wrong to feign a horrible allergic reaction if someone with a pet sat next to me on a flight?

Would it be wrong to prod (surreptitiously) that same animal with a sharp pen?

Would it be wrong to engage the person supported by the pet that the pet is going to die very soon? And actually, not soon enough?

I fly infrequently. Once or twice a year for work, and when I have to go to funerals that are more than a 12-hour drive away.

MadisonMan said...

Curious George: LOL!

Now I know what to say to the person with the Emotional Support Porky.

BLTs taste so darn good!

Krumhorn said...

I can't escape the feeling that Laslo and Betamax know each other well. Someonehastosayit was certainly not saying it for me

I am Krumhorn

William said...

What are the odds that there are two such sensibilities as Laslo's and Betamax on the same planet, much less the same blog. A more vexing question is that perhaps someonehastosayit is yet another version of the same character as the schizophrenia progresses. Now I wonder about the posts deleted. Remember that old joke about sending a "Disregard last telegram" telegram.

Ann Althouse said...

It's easier to complain that a disgusting pig is sitting next to you when it's not a human.

Keep that in mind.

Laslo Spatula said...

So I'll put some comments here to keep down the clutter.

I have an Emotional Support Stripper.

I am Laslo.

exhelodrvr1 said...

So what happens when a Muslim or a Jew complains?

Mary Martha said...

What happens when an 'Emotional support pig' is next to a Muslim?

We already have issues with Muslim cab drivers refusing to pick up blind people with guide dogs. It doesn't seem like the emotional support pig would be any more welcome.

Anonymous said...

I don't swing by the Althouse blog to read about Marxist pigs!

Then again, maybe I do.

chickelit said...

One hundred years ago or so, a rumor circulated that a pig had been saved from the Titanic: link The story wasn't true, but the woman involved lived a long lonely life.

Laslo Spatula said...

Re: "One hundred years ago or so, a rumor circulated that a pig had been saved from the Titanic"

I was waiting for a Kate Winslet joke.

I am Laslo.

jaed said...

When I told her to keep the dog away from my stand she intentionally brought him closer and had him lift his leg on my stuff, which earned the dog a really hard kick in the arse end which lifted him off the ground and rolled him ass-over-teakettle.

Better you should have kicked the woman's ass. It wasn't the dog's fault, if the owner told him to do it.

I bet you would have gotten more applause, too.

richard mcenroe said...

So you're saying my support badger is a bad plan?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Ann. STOP IT! I was drinking tea. Now the keyboard is a mess.

"It's easier to complain that a disgusting pig is sitting next to you when it's not a human."

FullMoon said...

Laslo Spatula said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Although an enterprising person could see the future: Emotional Support Animal Taxidermy. I tried not to make it funny.
Ah! The sweet smell of success!

Edmund said...

It is easy to get a doctor's ESA "prescription" over the internet,

It doesn't even take that. The local TV station showed how you can get "ESA" equipment for animals over the internet, no questions asked. It makes people with service animals very angry to see others mooching off of their legitimate needs. (Service animals are specially trained to perform tasks for their human partners.)

Achilles said...

Edmund said...

"It makes people with service animals very angry to see others mooching off of their legitimate needs"

This. They just have to push it. And anyone want to challenge the notion that most of the people abusing ESA's are middle-aged women who spend the rest of their time ruining as much enjoyment and quality of life for other people as they possibly can?

They are the same people that bitch and moan about shirts. When Obama passes a stimulus to ostensibly push "shovel-ready" jobs womenists bitch and moan until much of the money is diverted to "female friendly" jobs. Now you can't kiss a princess on campus without worrying about getting kicked out of school. 4 male sports positions are lost for every female sport position added thanks to title IX. It is the STEM industry that is wrong when women don't want to become engineers, but a 60% female graduation rate from college is ok. I am not going to get into actually hiring women as an employer but I have stories. Let's just say it is a nightmare. And 9 out of 10 are great employees but it only takes one to ruin it for everyone.

BDNYC said...

My emotional support wife should be allowed to fly for free. She can sit on my lap.

John said...

I like Lazlo.

He does tend to overdo it from time to time but I can skip those if I wish.

I vote for him to stay but perhaps contribute a little bit less.

On topic, I fly a good deal and object to the idea of animals on planes unless as cargo.

I also think the idea of an emotional support animal is silly. If they can't go outside without their dog, cat, pig, snake, let them stay home.

John Henry

John said...

"What if I had a fish, is that a pet?"

"I'm just trying to understand the rules here."

John Henry

Anonymous said...

Little sooner has we started the S.S. before we felt intense pressure to disband.

S.S=Support Scorpion.

It still stings.

richard mcenroe said...

Pigs are meat, or pigs are vermin.
Better off dead either way.
Pigs are not pets or therapeutic, anymore than rock pythons or service weasels.

Anonymous said...

Good grammar were among the casualties.

FullMoon said...

My friend has a blind hog. Finds acorns.

Cynicus said...

What happened to betamax3000?

richard mcenroe said...

FullMoon-- Does it also tell the time correctly twice a day?

Freeman Hunt said...

Airlines shouldn't be allowing animals without special service training in the cabin. I would be furious if I were expected to fly with someone's pet wandering around my seat.

Humperdink said...

Maybe the lady was just clearing the plane of potential terrorists.

Bruce Hayden said...

I also think the idea of an emotional support animal is silly. If they can't go outside without their dog, cat, pig, snake, let them stay home.

Completely agree.

Thinking though that to some extent, this isn't new. I remember living in a stately old apartment building some 40 years ago. A friend would, on occasion, visit, along with his male Elkhound. A bunch of the blue hairs there came equipped with mini-dogs,some also male. Almost like a fashion accessory. Or,at least until the male fashion accessories shared the elevator with my friend's Elkhound, when the former would bound from the arms of their putative masters (really mistresses here), and proceed to mark their territory, as canines are want to do. Never had actual fainting, but we kept hoping. But always an interesting spectacle.

I think that maybe the solution is to collect people like this, along with those of unusual girth, and maybe those who are not as diligent in their personal hygiene as the rest of us might like, into a special section of the plane. Somewhat how smokers used to be segregated in the back, until they were banned completely. May have to sound deaden the section a bit, if natural enemies end up in close proximity. But that is the cost of life in the fast lane.

Aric said...

Sounds like I need to get a prescription so I can bring my Emotional Support Handgun on the plane.