Tag Archives: Oklahoma

“His” and “Her” Tornado Shelters

I hail from Oklahoma, which is Choctaw for “land God sends tornadoes upon in blustery wrath.” This happens every year around May or June, presumably to inflict maximum damage on recently graduated drunken college students. There are even tornado trails, which tend to hit the same places, over and over again.  Moore, Oklahoma, for instance, read more »

Dan Boren: Outgoing Congressman Lets Loose

  My exclusive with Congressman Dan Boren is by far the most fun interview I’ve ever conducted. Running rampant through the halls of Congress with an outgoing member? Pranking Dennis Kucinich? Awesome. The congressman, in a display of unrivaled glory, did five things he’s always wanted to do before leaving Congress. I hope to do read more »

Time Capsule Vacation

Wagoner, Oklahoma is not the Kennebunkport of the Red States, so before I make reference to “our cabin,” kindly divest yourself of any Cape Cod imagery. In fact the term “cabin” should be met with suspicion whenever an Oklahoman drops the term, as we are often referring to a shack sprouting from some anorexic creek, read more »

Do Lesbians Cause Tornadoes?

My state’s constitution seems to contain a provision requiring that once every two years we must pass a bill which dazzles the entire country in its glittering, bejeweled stupidity. Not all of them are bad. I rather like the absurd ones. For instance, it is illegal to go whale hunting in Oklahoma. That law is read more »

Housing Prices & Cost of Living Adjustment

Yesterday I returned to Washington. The cost of everything skyrocketed the moment our plane smacked tarmac, so later tonight I will resume skulking the streets of Georgetown clutching a scalpel and bottle of ether to try and eek out my Netflicks subscription through pilfered kidneys. My last article used beer as a microcosm for determining read more »

Beer Prices & Cost of Living Adjustment

As I have detected no correlation whatsoever between living in Washington DC and actually obtaining a job in Washington DC, I decided to extend my holiday visit in Oklahoma by a week. This afforded me the opportunity to spend quality time with friends and tornadoes, to hit on girls less immediately put-off by my “career” read more »

You’re Taking the Zucchinis Either Way

Neighbors were serious business during my formative years. Until I left for college I knew every family in our housing edition; in fact everybody even knew everyone else’s dog’s name. Overall we probably gossiped more about resident canine mischief than we did about the neighborhood alcoholics. That’s how well interconnected we were when I was read more »

Roadside Splendor

Route 66 wasn’t just the main artery between Chicago and Los Angeles fifty years ago, it was an American rite of passage in and of itself. American families would shuttle back and forth on the “mother road” across half the country, stopping periodically in places like Placenta, New Mexico or Methshack, Arizona to eat at read more »

The Greatest Zoo on Earth

Until recently if you asked me, “Mr. Heaton” (you do not have permission to call me by my Christian name) “What is the best zoo on the entire planet?” I would have responded with, “Why, Little River Zoo in Norman, Oklahoma.” Because Little River Zoo was populated entirely by animals rejected by better zoos. I read more »

Wieners of Fire

If you have never before had the sensation of wandering into a Farside cartoon, all you need to do is visit the annual Dachshund Dash in Oklahoma City. Dog owners from across the region meet to race their wiener dogs, with the proceeds going to the Humane Society. In effect, it is a convention center read more »

The McAlester Prison Rodeo

The McAlester Prison Rodeo is the closet approximation to gladiator games anywhere in the United States. I’m glad I attended, for no other reason than it’s bound to get shut down within ten years. It’s astounding that an entire rodeo arena has been erected solely for two days a year. The dirt field is the read more »

The Mangum Rattlesnake Derby

The Mangum Rattlesnake Derby is like a street carnival, complete with tattooed lowlifes and overpriced greasy food. It just has more rattlesnakes. We walked past the Snakebite Café, then skirted a large box full of rattlesnakes. A young boy was paid to periodically beat the cage with a stick, prompting them to keep up their read more »

The Battle of Round Mountain

The town of Yale is a few minutes east of Stillwater, and the home of the Battle of Round Mountain Civil War Reenactment. After parking we hustled down a hill to join the throngs of other Civil War enthusiasts surrounding the field and prepared to watch Confederates and Yankees shoot at one another. Actors bring read more »

Amish Dinner

Did you know there are Amish communities in Oklahoma? I did not, at least until a couple of weeks ago when Evan informed me. Not only that, the Amish communities are between Mazie and Choteau, nary five minutes away from my family’s cabin on Lake Ft. Gibson. Before we left on our Weekend of Awesomeness read more »

Robber’s Cave State Park

The Tahoe wouldn’t start. Ben turned the keys several times just to make sure, effecting only the sound of robots giving each other the Heimlich maneuver. I immediately blamed raccoons. I am locked in a lifelong struggle against these insidious rodents. Raccoons thwarted multiple Boy Scout meals by knocking over our coolers and dry packers, read more »

Veteran’s Colony

Halfway back to Wilburton we passed by the single road to Veterans Colony, Oklahoma. I asked Evan to turn the car around so we could check it out, on account of its interesting sign. It stated the name of the place, then, beneath it, “Established by the United Veterans of the Spanish War.” We pulled read more »

Lamb Testicles are Good For You

Lamb testicles are not at all like what I had predicted. I was pretty much expecting meat balls that taste like gyros. The term “shaved” I had taken as a reference to the de-pubing process lamb testes undergo to make them edible, but apparently it means “cut into thin slices.” Small and thin, I received read more »

The Heavener Runestone

Civilization comes sputtering to a halt in Heavener. It is a preview of post-apocalyptic Oklahoma, where society has more or less given up. In the hour we spent between entering Heavener and at last finding its virtually unmarked and singular source of fame, we counted no less than fifteen stray dogs combing the streets. Its read more »

Tishomingo Bullets

Cousin’s Foods is the only non-chain drive-through I have ever seen. Evan wanted to eat at a Sonic or a pizza place, but I insisted that if we wanted to explore Oklahoma we wouldn’t get to know it through impersonal chain operations. I noticed a spider web pattern in the glass near the drive-through window, read more »

Wildlife Trespassing

Evan and Amy encouraged me to keep driving, but I decided to park the car once the brush was two or three times taller than myself. This was fortunate, as, had I continued driving, I would have squarely landed the vehicle in a creek. We exited the Contour and looked out over a vast field read more »