EDMONTON, Alberta – The pandemic has been difficult on many people, internationally, for a myriad of reasons. Whether it be job losses, global economic downturns, supply chain issues, you name it, COVID-19 has spared very few from socioeconomic pain. There is one facet of the pandemic that has not made headlines as much as others, and that is how the divorce rate has soared since late 2020, 9 or 10 months after lockdowns began. Nowhere is this more prominent in Canada than in Alberta.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Western Canadian Marriage Statistics, the divorce rate in Alberta jumped from 23% to a staggering 74%, over the 24 months spanning November 2020 to November 2022. The fallout from these divorces means that a new singles market is burgeoning in Alberta, especially in rural areas where many of these divorces have taken, and continue to take, place. But based on a recent survey of the recently divorced, 87 per cent of them would like to remarry or at least get back into the dating scene before long.
To take advantage of this situation, A Leduc, Alberta startup company has created a live, auction-based singles system where those looking to meet somebody new will be auctioned off, live, at locations across Alberta to the highest bidder. Jenny Tayla, co-founder of Oil Patch Hookup Hotshot, spoke to 2P News Yu Mii this morning.
“The genesis for this idea came from a cattle auction I had attended last summer, when a 850lb Hereford stepped on the stage that reminded me of my ex-hubby. I thought, ‘Hang on a hot minute here! Imagine if instead of that big-ass bull on stage, there was a recently divorced gentleman who was hotter than plasma? I’d be all over him like Oprah on a baked ham!’ And like they say, the rest is history.” – Jenny Tayla, co-founder
The idea is that prospective bidders will have a chance to preview those who are scheduled to be auctioned, to interview them, touch them, smell their hair, check muscle density, provide IQ tests, at lest 3 days before bidding commences. “We want to make sure that people know what they are getting into, while minimizing surprises. Background checks will be mandatory for all engineers on the bidding block, because we all know very well that… well, I really don’t know how to put it politely… but rest assured that only quality engineers with well-refined soft skills – the very few that exist – will be up for auction,” continued Jenny Tayla.
But not everybody is on board with the dating-by-auction idea. Dating experts believe that what Jenny and other company co-founder, Dick Halfapush, created will not fly and can be offensive to many, as the concept tends to objectify people, not respect them.
Wokey Frostisnatch, with the Alberta Association of Singles is on a mission to appeal to the Leduc business license board to have this business shut down before its first auction. Frostisnatch told 2P News, “People and cattle are two different things. It’s one thing to auction pigs and goats, but to auction off Billy Righand or Ingrid Engineer to the highest bidder is disrespectful and I’m sure it is somehow bad for the environment as it likely contributes to climate change – if you think about it, there must be some sort of connection there, it’s all terrible. If I have my say, this idea will be dead in the water before Tayla and Halfapush.”
For what it’s worth, we here at 2P News love the idea and we look forward to seeing how things pan out. Stay tuned for later this week when Oil Patch Hookup Hotshot releases the names, images, and profiles for the first set of singles who will go on auction early next week, with pre-viewing starting this weekend.