Alan Rhodes

Rollo and Me

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

I was rather upset when I read that starting this month United Airlines will tighten its rules on bringing emotional support animals on airplanes. Apparently they felt things had gotten out of hand when a woman tried to board a flight in Newark with her emotional support peacock. I realize that many fakers are trying to pass off their household pets as emotional support animals, but I’m worried that these new restrictions may affect me, as I am reluctant to go anywhere without Rollo, my emotional support dingo.

I especially needed Rollo a few weeks ago on a trip to Astoria, New York, birthplace, as you probably know, of 1940s screen actress Hillary Brooke. I go to Astoria every year for the Hillary Brooke film festival. I certainly wouldn’t have missed this year, given that they were showing completely restored prints of Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror, Skipalong Rosenbloom, and Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to attend?

When Rollo and I boarded our Seattle-New York flight he was wearing his emotional support vest that I bought on Amazon for $19.99, and in my pocket I carried a certificate from my online doctor, Freddie Feelgood, whose clinic is in Paraguay and whom you probably remember from his famous Necco Wafer Weight Loss Plan.

I’m certainly glad that I had Rollo with me because the flight to New York was very stressful. For openers, the grouchy woman next to me kept telling the flight attendant that my dingo was trying to eat her baby. I said that was ridiculous and the little nip on the ear was an accident because the baby moved suddenly when Rollo was just trying to nuzzle up to it, and all the woman had to do was apply a little pressure and the bleeding would stop. I was relieved when they moved her to another seat because she and her twitchy little brat were stressing me out.

There were many other stressful situations all through my journey. The woman across the aisle had two animals with her, a Jack Russell terrier and a cat. She said the cat was her emotional support animal, but it must have chronic fatigue syndrome because it sleeps most of the time, so she has the dog, who never sleeps, to keep the cat awake. The terrier spent the entire flight running in circles in the aisle and yapping, so I never got my nap.

A few seats behind me sat a potbellied guy in an NRA cap and a t-shirt that said “Build the Wall.” His emotional support parrot kept squawking “Make America great again,” annoying everybody. Finally a young fellow a few rows up had had enough. He put his emotional support python on the floor, where it slithered down the aisle and swallowed the parrot in one gulp. Rather than taking it good-naturedly, the NRA guy got pretty loud and abusive, causing me even more stress.

Later, when we hit some unexpected turbulence, a woman’s emotional support piranhas were shaken out of their bowl. They flopped around on the floor and when the flight attendant came by with the drinks cart they tried to bite her ankles. She had to shut down the beverage service, so I never got my Dr Pepper. This was very stressful, as I’m sure you can imagine.

There were so many other stressful situations on the plane. A woman’s emotional support chimpanzee started throwing its feces around the cabin, and when some of it hit a man’s emotional support Tasmanian devil it leapt over the seats and got into a fight with the chimpanzee, which was a very bloody affair. Finally the guy in the NRA hat charged up out of his seat and shot both animals. This violence was, of course, stressful, as were the afterthoughts that maybe airport security was falling down on the job.

Problems weren’t over when we landed. At the baggage carousel I passed the woman with the baby and Rollo took a frisky leap at the kid. The woman started yelling that he was attacking her baby again. I told the security guy the lady was obviously mentally unstable and Rollo was harmless. This probably would have gone down OK if Rollo hadn’t taken a playful chomp at the guy’s kneecap.

Don’t even get me started on all the stressful things that happened on the way home. Without Rollo, I don’t know how I could have done it.

Past Columns
The Lilliputian Gazette

November 20, 2019

Election Elucidations

October 15, 2019

Buying Sedro-Woolley

September 4, 2019

Rescued by Rachmaninoff

July 17, 2019

Hurrahs and Harangues

May 8, 2019

Ranting and Raving

March 6, 2019

Bellingham 2050

February 13, 2019

Looking Backward

January 2, 2019

Joy to the World

December 19, 2018

A Second Spring

October 3, 2018

Dog Days Deliberations

September 12, 2018

Mr. Cranky’s Files

July 11, 2018

Can We Talk?

June 20, 2018

Midnight Musings

May 16, 2018

April Fools

April 4, 2018

Egregious linguistic offenses

February 14, 2018

Events
Today
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

The Naughty List Market and Cabaret

2:00pm|Broadway Hall

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Connelly Creek Nature Area

Toys for Tots

10:00am

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Holiday Tea

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

Holiday Craft Bazaar

3:30pm|Lynden Library

Drayton Harbor Shellebration

4:00pm|G Street Plaza

Gingerbread House Making

4:30pm|Ferndale Library

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Photos and Stories with James K. Papp

5:00pm|Gallery Pegasus

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm|Washington Park

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Kids Night Out @ Western

6:00pm|Western Washington University

Lost Feast

7:00pm|Village Books

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Darkness and Light

7:30pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Christmastime is Here with Skagit Symphony

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Tarnation and Holiday Games

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Tomorrow
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Toys for Tots

10:00am

Holiday Tea

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm|Washington Park

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Tarnation and Holiday Games

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Darkness and Light

7:30pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

NSEA Work Party

9:00am

Breakfast with Santa

9:00am|Sedro-Woolley Community Center

Winter Faire

10:00am|Whatcom Hills Waldorf School

Winter Arts & Crafts Festival

10:00am|Pioneer Park Pavilion

Old-Fashioned Christmas Market

10:00am|Friday Harbor Brickworks

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Fairhaven Winterfest

10:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Sumas Book Club

10:00am|Sumas Library

Mastering Wisteria

10:30am|Full Bloom Farm

Award-Winning Book Club

10:30am|Lynden Library

Snow Geese of Skagit

10:30am|Christianson's Nursery

Your Life is a Story Writers Group

10:30am| South Whatcom Library

Saltadena Celebration

11:00am|Saltadena Bakery

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

Holiday Craft Bazaars

11:30am

Holiday Maker's Market

12:00pm|Terramar Brewing and Distilling

Holiday Joy with Fidalgo Youth Symphony

1:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Holiday Tea and Crafts

1:00pm|North Fork Library

Festive Feasting Reception

1:00pm|Good Earth Pottery

Teen Art Fair

2:00pm|Blaine Library

Big Holiday reds tasting

2:00pm|eifert & Jones Wine Merchants

Shrinking the Worry Monster

2:00pm|Village Books

Birding for Kids

2:30pm

Bowman Bay Holiday

3:00pm|Bowman Bay

Noel Ensemble

3:00pm|Jansen Art Center

A Deep Dive Into Eve Deisher's Psyche

3:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

One Meditation

4:00pm| Boulevard Park

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Early Railroads of Whatcom County

7:00pm|Village Books

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Center Into Solstice

7:00pm|Cafe Blue

Holiday History Hi-Jinks

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Winter Solstice Concert with SeaMuse

7:30pm|Firehouse Arts and Events Center

Cidertails with Alexine Langdon

7:30pm|housand Acre Cider House

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

The Kelley World Tour

7:30pm|Lummi Island Library

Sunday
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Sedro-Woolley Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Celtic Yuletide

3:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Scarlett and Dicey

4:00pm|Village Books

Vaudevillingham

7:00pm|Cirque Lab

see our complete calendar »