OpinionColumnistsMike Vogel By Mike Vogel @mikewrite7 Normalizing piggish behavior doesn’t fly Travelers inside a plane. Photo Credit: iStock Updated May 23, 2018 5:32 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Honesty is the best policy? Seriously? That’s so 20th century! I’m too cheap to pay for my dog to fly, so I get a fake “emotional support animal” certificate online. I’m too lazy to walk through a parking lot, so I grab a handicap spot and put up the disabled placard I inherited from my uncle. Hey, if I didn’t do it, someone else would, right? I couldn’t believe it when American Airlines recently announced you can no longer fly with your emotional support hedgehog, ferret, peacock or rodent. Who does American Airlines think it is? When I fly with my Jack Russell support terrier Rex, the airline now says I need a verification letter from a medical care professional? Hey, no problem, my doctor will write anything I tell him. And if some loser on my flight complains, I’ll scream “dog hater!” Speaking of which, stop looking at me suspiciously when a wheelchair whisks me and Rex to the front of the boarding line. Sure, I look healthy, but you don’t know what I’m suffering from, now do you? So mind your own business! And don’t you dare call me cynical. Everybody cheats! At least everyone I know. You say our country is going down the toilet? Don’t blame me, blame our conniver in chief for setting a bad example. Sure, this started long before he took office, but now he offers a handy excuse, so just get off my back, OK? You say I’m slick and unethical? I say you’re a sucker. So go on and pay that $125 fee for your pet to fly. And have fun walking a mile through the parking lot, when there’s an empty disabled spot just five steps away from Target. Yes, I read former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s recent warning about our nation’s growing lack of ethics and integrity. “When we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth even on what might seem most trivial matters, we go wobbly on America . . . then American democracy as we know it is entering its twilight years,” Tillerson told graduates at the Virginia Military Institute in his first major speech since leaving Washington in March. Do you have any idea what he’s talking about? I sure don’t. But hey, that reminds me — Rex and I have a plane to catch! Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net. By Mike Vogel @mikewrite7 Mike Vogel grew up in Brooklyn and is a lifetime New Yorker. In addition to amNY, his opinion pieces have run in Newsday, The NY Daily News, The NY Post and Metro NY. He is also a produced playwright. His latest play (Second Chance) was produced by Seven Angels Theatre in Connecticut in spring, 2018. In addition, Mike is a songwriter/club performer, and enjoys sports, swimming, Scrabble and other things that begin with the letter "s." Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.