Barry Friedman at Large
Fourth annual At Large Bad Penny Awards
“A bad penny always returns.” — Grandma Sylvia
Just once. We’d like to have a year in Oklahoma where there are fewer guns and more access to medical care; one 12-month
period where district and federal courts don’t have to smack constitutionally dull legislators around like errant 5-year-olds; one full calendar year where the state isn’t at the bottom of every good national category (i.e., 48th in overall health) and at the top of every bad one (i.e., a 226 percent rise in state residents with diabetes in 15 years).
By comparison, Tulsa is the one inkblot on the state Rorschach test that won’t give you a migraine; still, if another local car dealership
trumpets its close relationship with the Almighty, we’re going to start exfoliating with a Japanese brush hook.
P.S. — Enough already with the marathons.
And now, for your dining and dancing pleasure, here are your …
2012 Bad Penny Awards
And there aren’t that many surreys, either.
Gov. Mary Fallin … for insisting Oklahoma was built and settled by pioneers seeking better lives. Oh, sure, she glossed over the Native Americans who were already here and subsequently displaced and/or killed, not to mention that “better lives” stuff would have been impossible without the federal government and the Morrill, Homestead and railroad acts, but why quibble? It’s a great musical.
We should have been nicer to you.
The At Large political staff (yes, we’re giving ourselves one) … for our treatment of former First District Congressman John Sullivan. We’re still not buying his memoirs, mind you, but compared to new First District Congressman Jim Bridenstine, Sullivan is Cicero doing shots at Arnie’s.
And then, meeting Beelzebub, the senator said, “It’s cooler here than I thought.”
Returning champion Sen. Jim Inhofe … for his rare triple play in the areas of science, landing Cessnas and political prognostication. (“I’m convinced we’re going to win the presidency by a substantial margin and … the Republicans will take over the United States Senate.”)
The Chris Isaak “Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing” Award
Ex-University of Tulsa President Geoffrey Orsak, or as he’s known around campus after his less-than-glorious 74-day reign, “The Visitor.”
The Great Plains Memorial Award
Is that a Glock on your belt, or are you just a paranoid freak who likes scaring kids at Chuck E. Cheese’s?
Passage of SB 1733, the open carry bill.
“Thou shalt smite him for misspelling.” — Deuteronomy 7:2
For all the snide remarks about the errors on the Ten Commandments monument in front of the state Capitol (Sabbeth and maidseruant), the stonemason did spell inequity and shewing correctly, for which he got no credit.
P.S. — The monument has since been fixed, so can we now put it on Craigslist?
What’s next, mandatory bar mitzvah lessons?
Oklahoma District Judge Mike Norman, for offering convicted felons reduced sentences if they attend church.
Drum roll please …
The Bad Penny Grand Prize:
Welcome to Oklahomastan
Those Oklahomans who signed petitions requesting the state secede from the union. The Founding Fathers aren’t just spinning in their graves, they’re moshing.
• Vic Vreeland, friend of the column, who recently resigned as Jenks mayor. His humor, wisdom and inability to string two sentences together without cursing will be sorely missed.
• Tulsa Hostess and Wonder Bread Bakery. It’s too tough to talk about.
• Phil Stone. How you “do” radio.
• Otis Clark, the oldest survivor of Tulsa’s 1921 Race Riot, at 109. Rest in peace, sir. You deserve it.
• An undercover investigation will reveal 28 percent of blue carts are being filled with non-recyclable items. A half-eaten Sonoma Veggie Wrap from Camille’s and a cracked iPhone will be splayed out at the press conference.
• State House Republicans will approve a measure that states, “Life begins when the Chardonnay is gone and the blouse is off.”
• TU Coach Bill Blankenship will accept a new job at a school that will particularly chafe fans 18 hours after denying he was contacted, 72 hours before he’s burned in effigy and 256 hours before Steve Kragthorpe is re-hired.
• The state will be referenced 37 times on “The Daily Show” in 2013, causing 47,984 Oklahomans to simultaneously smack their own heads with open palms.
• Attorney General Scott Pruitt will once again spend millions of dollars on lawsuits he won’t win and then spend millions more re-filing them.
• “Free Patricia Spottedcrow” and Vision2 “Keep Tulsa Going” T-shirts will be 75 percent off.
• Sen. Tom Coburn, protesting government gridlock, will refuse to go to work one week in May.
• Those trying to access the City of Tulsa website will inexplicably be redirected to a Lithuanian online pharmacy.
• Mullin Plumbing will have a huge year.
• TU will hire a new headhunter who specializes in spotting addictive personalities before they’re hired.
• The Tulsa Shock … eh, never mind.
• Dewey Bartlett will win a second term. (Bonus prediction: your new mayor in 2017 — Blake Ewing.)
• Weather: On July 9, after it reaches 123 degrees, it will rain frogs in Ponca City.
• Garth Brooks will appear at the BOK Center.
• Jesus will appear at the BOK. (We’re kidding about Brooks.)