The city of Houston is experiencing widespread irritation at being America’s longtime sounding board. “We have our own problems, you know,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “We say y’all completely seriously. Same thing with wearing cowboy boots.”
Researchers have yet to determine why Americans have deemed Houston, a city that shuts down at even the slightest dusting of snow, capable of dealing with any real-world issues. “All we ever hear is Houston, Houston, we have a problem, but you know what? It’s so hot here, I have to bring an extra shirt to work to account for sweat stains. Does it sound like this is a place where problems are solved?” Parker asked. “But that’s beside the point–we essentially just don’t care about your issues.”
“The first time we were called upon, it seemed pretty important. A space mission gone wrong or something like that. But now we’re getting paged at 4am because the wi-fi failed or because the tilapia someone ate for dinner isn’t sitting well.”
“Sometimes, it just feels like Houston’s own problems never end,” continued Parker. “We had a good thing going for a while, what with being the birthplace of Patrick Swayze and all, but look what happened to him. And then in 2005, we had to cancel some sporting events in the Astrodome so that Louisiana’s squalid, homeless Hurricane Katrina victims could sleep there. Man, did they smell bad. It was a hard time to be a Houstonian.”
There is serious dissatisfaction on the residential level as well. Lifelong resident Adrian Bell said, “I was born and raised in Houston, and let me tell you, we have a lot to deal with on our own. I have this really irritated ingrown hair, and I just can’t tweeze it out.” Said resident Leona Vargas, “Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes our issues. My husband and I haven’t had sex in seventeen months, but apparently that doesn’t even matter because lo and behold, someone in Minnesota just burned his scrambled eggs.”
City officials and residents alike are frustrated that the nation largely lets Houston’s problems go unrecognized. James Andrews, Dean of Psychology at the University of Houston, expressed concern that an all-give and no-take relationship between Houston and the rest of the country could ultimately result in feelings of loneliness or hopelessness for Texas’s largest city. He suggested that on occasion, Americans should hold Houston’s hand and ask it how it is doing.
Originally published Nov 2013