If you’re a musician with a story about being hassled by airline employees for bringing your instrument on the plane or an arts manager dealing with the endless pain in the neck that is making travel arrangements for instrumentalists, Chattanooga Symphony & Opera concertmaster Holly Mulcahy may have a new trick to help bypass the nonsense. Having said that, you should know that it is a bit unconventional.
She recently published an article at Neo Classical inspired by a recent New Yorker article by Patricia Marx about the growing trend of getting pets designated as Emotional Support Animals (ESA). Not to be confused with legitimately trained and certified service animals, ESAs are pretty much a pop-psychology scam that some people are using to bring their pets with them into locations they would otherwise be prohibited, such as airline flights.
Mulcahy, tired of being hassled even when armed with multiple copies of Federal regulations affording musicians the ability to bring their instruments on board with them, was fascinated by reading how polite and accommodating TSA and airline employees were to passengers bringing ESA animals on board a flight, even a pig.
I won’t spoil the surprise but suffice to say, Mulcahy’s solution is amusing if not intriguing: Hi, This Is My Emotional-Support Tarantula.