By Wayne Chan, AsAmNews Humorist
Sometimes, writing a regular column is a struggle.
What am I interested in? What are YOU interested in? What is my editor interested in? As a writer, you want to make sure that the ideas or story you put together have an impact. In my case, the payoff is bringing a smile to someone’s face, even if only for a moment.
So, when I first came across a story of an exodus of people from Hong Kong deciding to move somewhere else and having to pay tens of thousands of dollars to bring their dogs and cats with them, I immediately thought, “This is a column that practically writes itself.”
The reason for thousands of local and expatriate residents leaving Hong Kong isn’t particularly funny – struggling with strict Covid restrictions as well as political turmoil after anti-government protests in 2019. But when I read that due to the high demand of space for pets on commercial airlines people have started resorting to flying their pets out on private jets, the ideas just started flowing.
For example, some sample rules for flying dogs on private jets:
• All dogs flying out on a private jet must be named either “Buffy” or “Jody”. If you, the dog, are not already named either of those, you must be renamed. For your consideration, “Priscilla” or “Darby” are also acceptable alternatives.
• As our jets are typically used for human passengers, for this flight we’ve altered the menu options. Instead of an appetizer of shrimp cocktail and champagne, we will be serving the industry’s finest bacon-flavored chew toys and peanut butter rawhide sticks.
• As a reminder, if you aren’t able to finish your treats, do NOT use the enclosed paper bag stowed in the pocket in front of you. It may look like a doggy bag, but it’s used for an entirely different purpose altogether.
• During takeoff, please keep your seats in their upright position. On this flight specifically, please also refrain from sniffing your fellow passengers or chasing your own tail in the middle of the aisle.
• Finally, since most of you won’t understand these instructions anyways, we may need to reinforce some of these instructions by repeating the words “Down boy!” or “Who’s my girl!” as needed.
Anyways, you can see where I was going with this.
I mean, on the face of it, the story is pretty rich (both literally and figuratively). People are paying sometimes up to $18,000 to ship their dogs to their new homes. It’s ridiculous, right?
But, in the middle of writing this, Molly, our golden retriever, comes up to my desk and promptly drops her favorite chew toy at my feet, looks up at me with her huge puppy eyes, and seems to be pleading, “Please play with me.”
It doesn’t matter that I already played with her. It doesn’t matter that I bought her that chew toy. She dropped it as a gift right at my feet. I’m now converted.
I should have known it from the beginning. Our pets are part of the family. Speaking for myself, if I had to leave town abruptly, Molly is coming, no matter what.
Come to think of it, the last time we flew with her, while I was trying to get somewhat comfortable in my middle seat, Molly had quietly snuck her way down the aisle down to the first class section. The first class passengers loved her and kept her there the whole flight.
That’s OK. I managed to get an extra packet of peanuts.
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