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Volume 71, Issue 11, Tuesday, September 6, 2005


Storm unearths best, worst of mankind

Brittany Behrens
Guest columnist

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, I am terrified. My heart is wrenching for the survivors and the dead, don't mistake me. But above all, I am terrified. 

This disaster has not only killed thousands of people, left millions homeless and destroyed countless lives. It has also brought out the barbaric nature of humanity: women being raped in riots, people 

looting Wal-Mart and refugees getting in knife fights over cots. Nevertheless, after all these poor people have been through, I honestly cannot begrudge them for going a little crazy. And the worst part is, this very well could have happened to us.

I needed to go to Walgreens to buy a pack of cigarettes this weekend. I was also picking up some incidentals for my emergency disaster kit. I spotted a young couple piling cases of water into a cart. I asked them if they were donating and they said they were headed straight to the Astrodome to drop off supplies. At hearing this, a deep, altruistic need somewhere inside of me jerked awake. Together, the three of us went through the store buying diapers, water, baby formula, baby wipes, medicine and blankets ? anything we could get our hands on. I told them I also had a bag of food at home to donate, along with a few garbage bags full of clothes. They offered to follow me home so I could give them my stuff. Without hesitation I said OK.

When we got to my house, they came inside with me. My boyfriend was horrified to find that I had gone to the store to get cigarettes only to bring two perfect strangers home with me. But I didn't care. I gave them the clothes and food I had put together. They left quickly, eager to get to the Dome. But before they left, the girl said to me, "I'm going to want to keep in touch with you. I'll leave a note on your door or something." Then she hopped in her car and left.

For every looter, rapist and knife-wielding maniac that this storm has produced, there is a good person. There just has to be. 

I'm not saying it's me. I might have been too lazy to get my butt to the Dome the next day, but these two people spent a nice chunk of change on supplies and then came to my house to pick up more ? without hesitation ? at 1 a.m.

For some, this storm has brought out the worst. But for others, like this couple, it has brought out the absolute best. I'm not quite sure what to think about this episode. I do, 

however, have a feeling that my cynicism quotient just took a big hit.

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