We live in the midst of the wellness revolution! Tonight, you will probably wash your face with alkaline water and mud transported by hand from a remote region in Switzerland, after meditating in an urban tree house under the full moon to the sweet sounds of a cappella Lorde covers. Self care in 2018 is a full-time job.
So in the interest of aiding you in your spiritual journey towards new-age nirvana, the New Orleans/Louis Armstrong International Airport has introduced a holistic service far more nuanced than kombucha cocktails and therapy dogs: emotional support alligators.
As a PSA to anyone concerned about the fleet of alligators openly wandering the terminals, rest assured that this is, in fact, a sanctioned program. The Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans has partnered with the airport in order to bring a fleet of gators to the pre-security area at the airport, according to a report by USA Today. In much the same way stubbing your toe might relieve the pain of a headache, allowing yourself a degree of panic at the sight of a live alligator strolling through a crowd may, ultimately, diminish your flight anxiety. It's brilliant!
Please Don't Hang Up: Miami
Professional reptile-whisperers from the Audubon Institute will aid travellers in petting a gator or two, and even holding the baby critters. They'll be at the ready by baggage belt 6 on Fridays from 1:30 to 3:30pm throughout the remainder of the holiday season. Theoretically, confronting your gator phobia could also lessen the panic that accompanies seeing your family. 'Tis the season for talking (read: screaming) politics at the dinner table, which is not dissimilar to encountering a terrifying carnivorous reptile.
The NOLA airport caters to over 12 million passengers a year, though it's no secret among locals that the place is far from luxurious. As the hub has gotten more popular, however, the city is doing its best to liven up the place -- in fact, there's a $1 billion new terminal in the works at the moment. In the meanwhile, the cohort of rogue "emotional support" gators on the premises will certainly distract from anything else discomforting about the place.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.