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Attention, frequent fryers: Emotional support chickens take wing at PHL

In a cheeky promotion, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in Terminal C at Philadelphia International is selling chicken tenders in boxes labeled "emotional support chicken."

One of the special packages of Popeyes Emotional Support chicken.
One of the special packages of Popeyes Emotional Support chicken.Read moreCOURTESY OF POPEYE'S

Emotional-support animals are no surprise in restaurants, but customers and staff at the Cheesecake Factory in King of Prussia enjoyed a good chuckle Saturday night when a party of six walked in with a monkey.

My sources, who somehow neglected to photograph the spectacle, said it was a monkey trained to alert the owner to seizures. The service simian sat calmly next to the owner in a round booth, rocking a floral-print outfit and by all accounts skipping the banana cream cheesecake.

Dogs, cats, pigs, and, yes, even monkeys are commonly designated as emotional-support animals, which by law can accompany owners in almost every public space, including those ordinarily closed to nonhumans such as airplanes.

As the service-animal category has been extended to include such critters as peacocks, squirrels, and tarantulas, controversy has spread.

How about chickens? Popeyes has cheekily rolled out a promotion at its stand at Philadelphia International Airport’s Terminal C to allay the stress of holiday travel. Starting today, boxes of its three-piece tenders combo are labeled “Emotional Support Chicken.”

The idea: Though you may become anxious knowing that you’ll be cooped up for hours at 37,000 feet, you can carry chicken onto your flight without fear of running afowl of airline regulations (which, of course, do not bar hot food).

Talk about poultry in motion.

PHL was chosen because of its standing in a 2017 J.D. Power survey of North American airports. A rep said the promo would run through the holidays, or as supplies last.

Alas, Popeyes does not offer grilled chicken in case you also have a fear of frying.