The Hoosierist: Exotic Animals On Flights

Airborne therapy animals, the TV reporter dress code, and Georgia Street traffic. Ask The Hoosierist.

Q: What service animals does our Airport allow? Could someone board with a “therapy peacock”?
A: Actually, it’s up to the airlines to determine what kind of livestock gets to sit (or roost, or whatever) in their cabins. In theory, that means someone could get an aardvark/emu/python all the way to the check-in counter before airline personnel stopped them. But stop them they would, if that beast seemed the least bit dicey. Back in the good old days, emotional-support animals were fun-sized dogs and cats that jittery folks used as security blankets. But quicker than you can say “ruining it for everyone,” some people abused the service by attempting to board with snakes and possums. Most airlines responded by banning exotics from the cabin. The bottom line? If you’ve got a legit service creature and the papers to prove it, welcome aboard. But if all you want is for your emotional-support donkey to see the Grand Canyon, forget it.

Q: What’s the dress code at local TV stations for reporters? Back in the day, everyone wore suits.
A: Yes, The Hoosierist remembers a time when TV reporters all looked like Edward R. Murrow cosplayers. Back then, no man left the station garbed in anything but a crisp suit that reeked of cigarette smoke. And it wasn’t any better for the women. These days, that dress code has relaxed—and not a moment too soon, according to Anne Ryder, former WTHR anchor and now senior lecturer at Indiana University. “I remember covering the Denny’s hostage crisis, hour upon hour, in a dress and heels,” she says. “It got old and looked silly.” Today’s on-air talent gets to wear stuff that’s more weather- and century-appropriate. But there are still a few lines that none dare cross. “Essentially, you don’t want the reporter’s clothes or hair to be distracting,” Ryder says. Which means we won’t see Rich Van Wyk in a Hawaiian shirt anytime soon.

Q: I like partying on Georgia Street, but the traffic there is a buzzkill. Can’t it be rerouted during events?
A: Not unless it’s a truly enormous gathering. Otherwise, count on Illinois and Meridian streets, both of which bisect the Georgia Street party zone, to stay open. “The only time we closed them was for the Super Bowl,” says Courtney Howell, events director for Downtown Indy, Inc., which manages Georgia Street. Instead, during festivals, the cops keep watch at busy crosswalks to manage car/pedestrian interaction. Even Georgia Street itself sometimes can’t be entirely closed to traffic, because it cuts off access to area parking garages. That’s why you’ll occasionally see a disgruntled condominium dweller inching through the teeming masses toward his parking spot.


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