This week I’m cowardly counting down 20 reasons (many of which happen to do with hipsters, street drugs and failure) to stay in Oklahoma. You can check out reasons 20-11 here. Now, on to the final 10…
10. You’re Obese.
Everywhere you look, people are getting in shape. They’re running for fitness, biking to get where they need to go and walking just to enjoy the neighborhood. Except in Oklahoma. Sure, you have a few of those jerks that are trying to make a difference and make the rest of us look bad, but there’s a reason why we’re like number 49 in the nation when it comes to moderate exercising, eating vegetables, sleeping without C-Paps, and water consumption. Move anywhere else and you’ll be the fattest person in the room, so breathe heavily and with belabored pride that you live in a state that cherishes its morbid obesity.
9. They filmed the movie Twister here!
Hey, remember when they filmed that movie Twister here, like, 20 years ago? That was pretty cool, right? Right?
8. Cheap Guns
I’m a real pessimist, so when I think of the state of Oklahoma’s economy right now, I feel like we’re just two clicks from becoming a Thunderdome-like scenario. Like, if next week, Mary Fallin appeared on TV dressed like Tina Turner while she made the Oklahoma State Board of Education spin the wheel to determine their fate, I wouldn’t be surprised. (Though, I’m admittedly holding out a little bit of hope that she is forced to declare that Master Blaster runs Bartertown before the people take over.)
Anyway, what’s the best thing to spend money on as a state right now? What do you, as an individual, spend what little money you have on when you’re broke? Necessities? Enough ramen and toilet paper to keep you good until you come into money again? Or do you buy yourself a completely unnecessary bottle of champagne?
Well, if you’re State Representative John Bennett, that’s what you do — at least metaphorically. According to KOCO.com:
Like most Oklahoma kids who grew up in poor households without cable in the 1990s, one of my childhood heroes is OETA Movie Club host BJ Wexler. With all apologies to Dino Lalli, he’s the coolest Oklahoma movie expert to ever sport a perm or afro.
Seriously, BJ Wexler was a huge influence in my upbringing. Every Friday and Saturday night, I’d stay up late with my parents and watch BJ host the OETA Movie Club, and as he munched on popcorn, read viewer mail, and asked trivia questions about Greta Garbo, patiently wait for his movie to put my parents to sleep so I could sneak out of house. As Al Eschbach says when recalling benders with Barry Switzer –“Memories. Good Ones.”
Anyway, I guess I’m not the only one who associates BJ Wexler with teenage escapades, because the man is now a certified local celebrity who gets his own sandwich at Slaughter’s Hall. I learned this via Facebook:
That’s awesome, huh? When I saw this event pop up on my Facebook feed, my first thought is “Wow. This Facebook algorithm knows me a little too well.” My second thought was “I wonder if the sandwich will come with popcorn?”
Well, I guess great minds think alike. Check out BJ’s sandwich:
You know those murky, stagnant pools of lukewarm water we call Oklahoma lakes? The Health Department has recently released a warning about swimming in them. Hard to believe, huh?
As the temperatures continue to climb across the state, health officials are warning Oklahomans about the dangers of swimming in natural bodies of water.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health says that natural bodies of water can be contaminated with germs from sewage spills, animal waste, water runoff and germs from swimmers.
Some of those factors can put you at risk for the norovirus and E. coli.
PAM is an extremely rare and usually deadly disease caused by an infection with Naegleria fowleri. Symptoms include high fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. Later, symptoms may progress to stiff neck, seizures, hallucinations and coma.
If I ever come down with a deadly disease or virus, I hope it’s one that includes hallucinations. When I go out, I want it to be trippy and fun.
Anyway, this is shocking news. I thought the mercury, chromium and fracking fluid in our water supply was supposed to kill all the bacteria, viruses and algae that call our lakes home. Fortunately for us, the Health Department has released some safety tips so you can still go to the lake and have a miserable time.
Check them out:
Watching the Oklahoma budget unravel over the course of 2016 has been a slow, depressing, and fascinating spectacle. When the fiscal year began, we were told that there would be severe cuts across the board, and as time goes on, the hole becomes deeper and deeper. It reminds me of watching the final Lord of the Rings movie: it drags out forever, and as soon as you think it’s just about to be wrapped up, some new twist arrives and you realize there’s still an hour left. I suppose in this analogy, Mary Fallin is Sauron, House Republicans are the Ringwraiths, and oh hell I don’t know, Scott Hines is Frodo? I fell asleep in the theater, so I’m not really sure how the whole thing ended.
Anyways, the most contentious budgets cuts have been to education. Oklahoma was already among the rock bottom in the nation when it came to funding public schools. When the state went broke and blamed it on plummeting energy prices, legislators looked wherever they could to save money (except to their own budget, which not-so-shockingly got a raise).
You might remember earlier in the year when the Board of Education agreed to $46.7 million in cuts to an already impoverished budget. It was like having to go from buying Maruchan to the lowly Top Ramen noodles, and replacing sriracha sauce for ketchup and Taco Bell hot sauce packets. More than 200 teachers were laid off, which was hopefully a relief to some of them that were praying for an excuse to move to another state and make a livable wage that would allow them to pay off their student loans before they retire.
Now, the Oklahoma City Public Schools District has announced more cuts for the upcoming school year:
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