It seems that a few of our so called ’emotional supports’ and/or ’emotional comforts’ are turning into strangers; some with, some without, consent. Service peacocks, turkeys – out of the blue – (willy-nilly) just now forbidden on airplanes, on trains, cruise ships, in halfway houses, gyms. Also ‘under review’ for possible expulsion – ‘hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, spiders, reptiles and non-household birds’. The lot, sadly. And, all of the above on the cusp of exclusion from suburban malls, schools, post offices, government offices, public parks, museums, graveyards, train stations, hospitals, movie theaters, shoe shops, youth hostels … on and on. Ditto ‘comfort turkeys‘, possums, even goats.

[© REUTERS-An emotional support peacock was turned away from Newark airport]

So much for these helpful pets. What then is there to keep us safe, to protect us from unraveling? We can count on whats not yet at risk of prohibition: Rabbit’s feet, crystals, maneki-nekos (lucky cats or fortune cats), wishbones, handkerchiefs, ladybugs, four-leaf clovers, evil eyes, voodoo amulets, Celtic love knots, St. Christopher metals, alligator teeth, horseshoes, laughing buddhas. Happily, the protective cricket is still unthreatened, as is the three-legged toad. Chances are though, I fear, that one-by-one, whatever offers a leg up, will be ripped from our hands/pockets, from under our pillows.

What’s remains? Foot massage remains. The French cruller remains – the glazed, airy cruller, the kind Auntie Em offered Hickory, Zeke and Hunk after Dorothy gets back from Oz. Ethel Merman* remains. And? What’s as yet untried remains. As in? As in persons, places, sensations. An idea whose time has come. When? As soon as the false bottom falls away, revealing what’s been cleverly concealed so far.


*[“Down in the Depths” by Cole Porter sung by Ethel Merman]