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Well done, The Simpsons.
After Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz was seen Wednesday boarding a flight to Cancún, Mexico, while many of his constituents were stuck at home, dealing with widespread water and power outages, fans of the show were reminded of an episode that aired way back on May 6, 1993. In "Marge in Chains," the character of Mayor Quimby says that he's canceling his planned trip to the Bahamas to deal with a pandemic that's ripping through Springfield. He tells everyone to stay home. The problem is that he's actually giving this speech from a beach, wearing a jacket and tie on top of swim trunks. He tries to pretend that he's at work in his office, but a man playing a steel drum nearby threatens to give him away.
Cruz, who happens to be a fan of the long-running animated hit, gave a statement Thursday:
"This has been an infuriating week for Texans," he said. "The greatest state in the greatest country in the world has been without power. We have food lines, gas lines, and people sleeping at the neighbors' houses. Our homes are freezing and our lights are out. Like millions of Texans, our family lost heat and power too.
"With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends," Cruz continued. "Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon. My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas. We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm. My team and I will continue using all our resources to keep Texans informed and safe."
After returning to his home in Houston, Cruz said that he regretted his actions.
“It was obviously a mistake and in hindsight I wouldn’t have done it,” he told reporters, per NBC. “I understand why people are upset.” Cruz wanted to make his daughters happy, but “leaving when so many Texans were hurting didn’t feel right and so I changed my return flight and flew back on the first available flight. I began really second-guessing that decision and saying look, I know why we’re doing this, but I’ve also got responsibilities, and it had been my intention to work remotely, to be on the phone, be on [the] internet, to be on Zoom, to be engaged. But I needed to be here, and that’s why I came back.”
And he was well aware of the backlash.
“As it became a bigger and bigger firestorm, it became all the more compelling that I come back,” he said. “I didn’t want all the screaming and yelling about this trip to distract even one moment from the real issues Texans care about, which is keeping all of our families safe.”
He said he was prevented from flying home even earlier because he had to take a required COVID-19 test.
The internet was not having it.
This is far from the first time The Simpsons has been cited for accurately predicting the future. (Although some of the things it's been credited with foreseeing, such as the way Donald Trump announced his presidential candidacy, are false.) There was that time in 2012 that they showed Lisa performing at the Super Bowl that was essentially a preview of Lady Gaga's act at the big game in 2017. That same year, an episode foreshadowed what would happen two years later on an episode of Game of Thrones.
Just last month, a storyline from The Simpsons played out in real life, as Vice President Kamala Harris wore a purple suit and pearls to take the oath of office. Lisa wore a nearly identical ensemble when she became president in a 2000 show.
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