When I was a kid in school it was the thing to do at exam time to bring a lucky mascot with you. Provided it was something small, our teachers turned a blind eye to the fact that we all seemed to have a small toy sitting on the desk.
Nowadays students, and almost anyone who is stressed, can go along to special centres where they get to pet a small animal, or sometimes quite a large but friendly one.
And as a spin-off from that I assume, in the united states some people on internal flights take along an “emotional support animal”. Now, on Tuesday a woman was escorted off a plane going from Orlando to Cleveland because her “emotional support animal” was not acceptable. It was a squirrel and the airline concerned said that they don’t allow rodents on their planes, not even cute and appealing-looking rodents such as squirrels.
They are cute and appealing but I would not have thought that they were very calm creatures to have as an “emotional support animal”. Each to their own.
I found the language used in the report of this incident to be very interesting. The lady in question was not asked to leave the plane. She was asked to “deplane”. When she refused to deplane the police were called. All the other passengers were deplaned and then the police escorted her off the plane, or rather, they forcibly deplaned her! !!
“This incident comes after multiple airlines have tightened restrictions on emotional support animals during flights. Delta Air Lines announced in January that customers must provide 48 hours advance notice and submit three forms to bring an animal on board. United Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have all adopted their own policies on support animals in the last year, citing a sharp increase in the number of "comfort" pets on flights. In the past, flyers could present documentation at the airport.”
There is no chance of anybody sneaking a mascot and especially an “emotional comfort animal” into the chess event here, the European Club Team Championship, I think it is. There are strict rules about what players can or cannot take into the playing area. No phones, no watches, no fitbits, no pencil cases (they provide pens, so it’s too bad if you have a lucky pen!), but you have to wear an official wristband. The dress code is pretty tight as well - no wandering in wearing short shorts and flipflops! So it goes!
This morning, though, I saw somebody on a bench petting a kitten. Maybe he was a chess player getting his emotional support in early!
Walking about while the chess players are busy, I keep finding plastic bottles abandoned on or near the beach. I pick them up and find a bin to put them in, hoping against hope that they will be recycled. After watching a documentary about Greece and its problems with waste, however, I don’t hold out much hope, but I refuse to give in.
And I read the other day about a plastic bottle, probably a washing-up liquid bottle by the looks of it, that was washed up on a beach in Somerset. The bottle advertises itself as having 4d off the recommended price. 4d is 4 OLD pence, so that bottle predates the introduction of decimal currency in 1971. That means the bottle is at least 47 years old and it still looks good, and usable.
Which just shows how plastic lasts!
If we don’t cut off our plastic wristbands after the chess event is over, will they last forever?