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The 9th Annual Bad Penny Awards

2017: A special kind of awful



Where do we begin in recapping this most horrible of years?

How about the Super 8 in Moore, Okla., where Ralph Shortey, an Oklahoma representative and Christian conservative wearing an Ephesians 5:22 (“Wives, submit yourself to your husbands”) t-shirt, is holding a bag of pot and some condoms and hiding a 17-year-old boy in the bathroom? Perhaps at the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office, where a former Tulsa police officer who shot and killed an unarmed African-American has started her new gig (with back pay)? Perhaps at a Markwayne Mullin rally, just to see if we can get him so pissed he’ll start rambling incoherently about how much money he makes? Ah, hell, let’s just put Honey Lamb in the car, drive down to the State Capitol, and see how many male legislators will grab her ass? It’s now only nine bucks round-trip on the Turner Turnpike.

Back in 1992, marking the 40th anniversary of her accession to the British throne, after Princess Diana and Prince Charles separated and Sarah, the Duchess of York, was photographed topless and having her toes sucked, Queen Elizabeth called the entire year Annus horribilis.

Ah, 25 years ago. Back then, Oklahoma was passing budgets, our legislators weren’t ruled by ALEC, and Donald Trump was still on wife #1 and had just started bankrupting casinos.

Those were the days, huh?

And we’re off.

Overheard: “Oklahoma is not a state. It’s a condition.”

The Batshittery of John Bennett, 2017 Edition
Building on a truly bizarre 2016, when he called for Hillary Clinton to be shot and referred to Islam as “a cancer in our nation that needs to be cut out,” Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw) didn’t disappoint this year. He described state workers as terrorists, asked a group of visiting Muslim students at the Capitol if they beat their wives, and ate a live chicken on the House floor.

(I may have made up that last part.)

NFL players under a concussion protocol aren’t this loopy.
Kirk Humphreys, former OKC mayor, presently co-host of KFOR’s weekly talk show “Flashpoint,” and an OU Board of Regents member, said, “If [homosexuality] is OK, then it’s OK for everybody, and, quite frankly, it’s OK for men to sleep with little boys if it’s OK.”

(P.S. He later apologized for his “lack of clarity” and for those he may have “hurt.” You compare them to pedophiles, and some people just take it the wrong way.)

Just saying, with the dead body sprawled out by the sink, it’s not like it was in order.
A dead woman was found in a restroom in a Sand Springs Walmart on a Monday in June. According to police, her body might have been there all weekend, because someone from the store had put an “Out of Order” sign on the door.

“Armand, collard greens and chitlins for the white folk! Spare no expense.”
According to a federal lawsuit accusing her of racial discrimination, Madeleine Pickens, ex-wife of T. Boone, told her African-American chef Armand Appling at the Southern California country club she owns—yes, owns—she wanted “black people food”—not “white people food”—to be prepared at her rural Nevada dude ranch and wild horse sanctuary.

“Not only that, but my wife’s like totally hotter than yours.”
In Tishomingo, the city council voted to add “In God We Trust” stickers to all city vehicles, a move defended by former city manager Woody Jumper. “My God is the God of Abraham,” he said. “Yours may be some other god, and so it’s kind of generic.”

Location, Location, Location
At Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School in OKC, a graduating senior chose to quote a dubious passage from Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”—“If you want to shine like the sun, first you have to burn like it”—in the student yearbook. Unfortunately, it was directly below that of another student who quoted—wait for it—Anne Frank. Best part of the story: The school bought stickers so students could place them over the offending quote. I’m sure everyone knows this, but that would be Hitler’s.

There’s a better chance that …
Rep. Mike Ritze (R-Broken Arrow) will hand out free condoms and prison porn in the parking lot of Planned Parenthood than there is of Amazon building its new headquarters in Tulsa.

“I’ve got a gun!”
“Oh, yeah, I’ve got lesbians around my waist.”

An Oklahoma man who had adult magazines taped to his body for protection claimed he was in “survival mode” after he was arrested for allegedly attempting to stab his former neighbor.

“Doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight to Senator Inhofe,” said no one ever.

The Greatest Thing Written in the Tulsa World in 2017

 

The Worst Thing Written in the Tulsa World in 2017

In a story about marijuana smugglers and—wait for it—the Weed family, Branna Baily wrote, “Margery and Jeffrey Weed are the parents, and there’s also a Jason Weed, though we’re not sure where he fits in the family tree.”   In a breathless editorial, hilariously entitled “Fly your flag ... and do it right,” Wayne Greene did everything but come to your house to see if the bottom of Old Glory was scraping the porch. “The American flag,” he wrote, “is the symbol of the greatest nation on the Earth, and a unifying emblem for a diverse nation. Fly it often, proudly and properly.”

 

Journalists we’ll miss: Ziva Branstetter

Oklahoma’s Top 100 (Abridged)

17. Oklahoma Gubernatorial Candidate Joe Exotic

68. Laurence Curtis, an OKC man who built a moat around his house and filled it with horned lizards, an American alligator, and other reptiles.

Our favorite take on the history of REI in Tulsa: “It’s a badly bungled shitshow.”—former Mayor Terry Young

“That’s real money, babe, so, yeah, I have performance anxiety.”
Rep. Travis Dunlap  (R-Bartlesville) introduced a bill this past session that would make divorce much more difficult to get in Oklahoma. Included is a provision stating that if a woman proves in court her husband is impotent, she’ll automatically get 75 percent of everything he owns.

What could possibly go wrong?
According to Department of Homeland Security officials last month, new tests in 2018 will include the outdoor release of inert chemicals and biological stimulant materials. And, adding insult to injury, the tests will take place at the Chilocco Indian School campus.

Irony is dead.
A former Tulsa County sheriff, Rick Treadwell, was wounded in an accidental shooting at the Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show, which, on its website, states, “A crowded gun show is no place for a loaded gun.”

They love them some “black people food,” though.
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan told the Tulsa World, “I think history has proven that we’re going to have more crime problems from that community,” and then was shocked—shocked, I tells ya—that his comments were not received well.

Truer words there are not.
U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin: “I know I’m not perfect. I say stupid stuff all the time.”

Which is about all I want to say about my two failed marriages …
Until Governor Fallin signed a bill repealing both statutes, it had been illegal in Oklahoma to seduce a virgin by promising to marry her or by impugning her virtuousness.

Frank Rizzo, former Philadelphia mayor, was once asked about nepotism in his administration, and he replied, “Nepotism has nothing to do with it. I made my brother fire chief.”
Corbin Brewster, son of famed Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney Clark Brewster, was named chief public defender in proceedings Opus Dei would have found secretive.

Not to mention a guy with an iPhone snapping photos at the bottom of the escalator.
Karen Kipgen, who runs the page program for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, sent out a Capitol-wide email during an LGBT, Planned Parenthood, and HIV/AIDS advocacy day at the State Capitol: “As per the Speaker’s office, Pages are being allowed access to the ladies’ restroom across from 401, for today. Again, there are cross-dressers in the building.”


To be fair, Chloe has been kind of a bitch lately
In the Oklahoma Ethics Commission report, Jason Reese (R-District 83) placed an Ordinary and Necessary Campaign Expenditure of $10.05 for “HOTWIFE CHLOE NEEDS TO BE PUNISHED.”

And you thought Lindsey Graham sucked up to Trump
First District Republican congressional candidate/McDonald’s owner Kevin Hern sent out a fundraising letter extolling the president’s love of Big Macs.


2018 Predictions

  • QuikTrip will build a QuikTrip inside another QuikTrip.
  • On May, 3, 2018—this day only—every highway light in Tulsa County will work.
  • Construction at The Gathering Place will, you know, be moving along.
  • Former Senator Tom Coburn will urgently warn that the end of the republic is at hand unless we immediately follow his specific recommendations to thwart it and put him in charge of all things.
  • Governor Drew Edmondson
  • There will be a salmonella outbreak at the 2018 Tulsa State Fair.
  • TU basketball coach Frank Haith will be fired.
  • Donald Trump will visit Tulsa and call it Tusla.
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