Friday, September 30, 2005

Was Rita a Homewrecking Tease?

Although it didn't actually happen, people love to talk about how the giant Northeast Blackout of 1965 led to a dramatic increase in the birth rate in New York City. Similarly, despite more than a few anecdotal accounts of post-9/11 "terror sex," there wasn't an upsurge in births then, either.

As long as we're examining the real-life validity of pseudo-logical post-disaster outcomes (perfect fodder for bite-size news releases from the media relations departments of our nation's universities!), someone should examine what happens to Houston's divorce rate in the wake of last week's mass evacuation, which cooped up millions of couples in non-air conditioned cars stuck in gridlocked traffic for hours on end with no gas.

Though some emergencies bring people closer, this one seems like a custom-made brooder house for marriage-ending arguments. You could easily run through a lifetime of domestic disputes in one full day of paralyzed, sweltering traffic. If we do see a rash of evacuation-related bust-ups, perhaps we can station relationship counselors alongside those tanker trucks next time we have ourselves a Texodus.

By the way, I borrowed the term "Texodus" from the Houston Chronicle's Stormwatchers blog. It's a fine nickname for the evacuation spawned by Hurricane Rita and I for one hope it sticks.


BB said...

Yeah, good point. I did finally reach my folks during their return, and the tone in my stepmother's voice did make me wonder exactly what sort of hell had occurred in the car as she was cooped up with Pop. I STILL haven't called them...

Greg said...

From a bad made-for-TV drama starring former sitcom stars to a digitally shot real-time relationship collapse for the arthouse crowd, surely there is the stuff of a few screenplays in that traffic.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't count on it. Even if so inclined, it was just too hot to argue. By the way for those of us that spent an entire day trying to get out of Houston without success, its very hard to relate to "Texodus".

J. Swanson