Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Snakes on a Plane

Today at work, I gave a presentation on service animals (including the benefits of “Service Ponies”).

In doing the research for my presentation, I also learned about Emotional Support Animals. These are animals that provide psychological and emotional support for people with disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Agoraphobia, etc.

If one is traveling with an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), airlines must allow the animal to board the plane as long as documentation from a qualified mental health professional indicating the need for the animal can be provided.

But are you ready for this? Some people keep snakes as Emotional Support Animals.

Really. I'm not making this up!

Have you even been on a plane and have a little toddler pop his head up over the seat in front of you?

It’s cute. I like that.

But can you imagine sitting there, listening to your i-Pod, eating your little-bitty bag of peanuts and a snake slithers over the seat?

I used to be afraid of flying, but I got over it. Now that I’ve been on some really turbulent flights, I’m pretty much inured to them.

But I really don’t know how I’d react if a Support Snake came at me on a plane.

Bing Bong! (That’s me, pushing the button to summon a flight attendant)

“Umm. There’s a snake on my tray-table.”

“It’s not your snake?”

“No. And it ate my peanuts. May I have some more please?”

I’ve been seated next to some pretty strange people on a plane. (I try to deflect conversations with them by reading a book or being plugged to an i-Pod). But it would be just my luck to be seated next to someone requiring an Emotional Support Snake.

I’d want to ask them, in my best Dr. Phil voice, “What the hell did your parents do to you???”

So, if you encounter a snake on your next flight, now you'll know that it's only there for emotional support.

And if you encounter a Support Weasel, it's mine.



At 6:58 PM , Blogger Red7Eric said...

Egads, how horrific. Altho' aren't animals required to be kept in their carriers anyway?

All the same, if my adoptive lesbian mom knew there was a snake on a plane, she'd have a meltdown; she's seriously phobic -- as are many others where snakes are concerned. That'd be a tough call ...

At 12:16 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Thanks for that image.


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