I always thought “comfort animals” were bullshit — until I saw one last week in San Francisco.
Going through airport security can be stressful, but the lady in front of me was losing her shit.
I went to grab a gray tray for my shoes and wallet, and she barked at me.
“I’ll be done with it, when I’m done with it. You don’t have to push.” She was wearing an all pink outfit of loose sweat pants and sweat shirt. It was a fuzzy, radiant, pink that could be seen from 5 gates away. Her sort of red hair wasn’t a mess, but it wasn’t combed either.
Her blood shot eyes were intense and glassy at the same time. Her words were breathy and thick– like a female Dirty Harry — do ya feel lucky punk? Do ya…
“Sorry, sorry. Not trying to rush you,” I said as I raised my hands in surrender and waited for her to move.
She turned toward the TSA people and pointed down. At the end of a leash was a little brown dog.
TSA pulled her out of line from the nudie-picture machine. They opened the line with the old-fashioned metal detector just for her and her dog.
“You told me twice, I have to be in this line,” Pink Lady said. “You didn’t have to tell me twice — once would do.”
The female TSA worker rolled her eyes at me, and we both practiced our breathing exercises.
10 seconds later, Pink Lady was yelling at a different TSA agent.
“You didn’t tell me to move, so I didn’t move — you can’t just wave at me.”
Holy shit. It must be frustrating as hell to have a script in your head about exactly how every interaction with people on the planet must go and no one else can read from your secret script.
Obviously, every word must be delivered exactly right and exactly on time, or you must explode at these stupid fucking actors like Lewis Black yelling at the weather.
Pink Lady is in a perpetual state of pissed.
We moved through the line, and I looked closer at the dog that was obviously tasked with being her comfort animal.
I expected to see a calm and happy being that just loves to snuggle with big brown eyes and a head just ready to rest on any shoulder. You know, a true comfort for people under duress.
But this poor pup was 15 pounds of shivering stress. His little eyes were half bugged out of its head. Instead of leaning in for a hug, the dog kept turning away from Pink Lady and moving to the end of the leash. If PTSD had a mascot, this dog was it.
I tried to make eye contact, but the dog just had a 1000-yard stare…
Pink Lady needs to get that dog a kitten or something… but that’s probably not going to work either. I’m pretty sure there’s no one or nothing that can comfort that poor animal.