Now I Want My Own ‘Emotional Support Peacock’


Never mind how my previous column stated that I want an elephant. Elephants are so last week. Now I want an “emotional support peacock,” like that lady who pitched a fit in New Jersey because she couldn’t bring hers onto an airplane.

To her credit, the lady had called ahead to discuss her “special need” with the airline and had been told no.

Four times.

So, of course, she showed up anyway.

My sister, a flight attendant, hooked me up with the video of this woman struggling through the doors of the airport with this nervous 13-pound peacock on her shoulder. It looked more like a judge’s sentence than a support animal.

Judge: For your ridiculous pursuit of attention with absolutely no regard for the health and welfare of others, I sentence you to wearing a peacock on your shoulder for the next 60 days.

Perpetrator: Nooooooo!

I am not arguing against people needing emotional support. Who doesn’t? The mere act of turning on the television these days qualifies as a precursor to PTSD. But a peacock? Are they really the most supportive of the screeching birds?

In fact, forget the peacock. Sign me up with the doctor who prescribed the thing.

Doctor: Debbie, you seem stressed.

Me: I’ve been like this since the election, sir.

Doctor (worried): Are you self-medicating?

Me: Just with my usual wine and chocolate. I’ve upped the dosage, but it doesn’t seem to help. Do you think I need a sedative?

Doctor: I think you need a support animal.

Me (hopeful): Aw, that’d be great. Like a little puppy or kitten?

Doctor: I was thinking more of a peacock.

Me: A what?

Doctor: A peacock. Watching them prance around with their feathers fanned out has been shown to be very calming.

Me: But, but… are they cuddly?

Doctor (laughing): Heck, no! But think of the admiring glances you’ll get when you’re out in public, say, at the airport.

Me: At the airport?!?

Doctor: Sure! Peacocks love to fly!

Me: So I cram it into a pet carrier or what? Do they even make pet carriers long enough for that tail?

Doctor: Don’t be silly! You’ll wear it on your shoulder, like a brooch.

Me: But the claws… the screeching… the sliding glass doors versus those feathers…

Doctor: Now, now. Let’s not get all stressed again. Take this prescription and run down to Petsmart and choose your bird.

On second thought, I’m going to rethink that elephant.