Friday, February 20, 2015

Some Oklahoma History for Its GOP

An expatriate friend just received  the news that Republicans in the Oklahoma legislature have voted to toss out the Advanced Placement examinations in American history because they are too negative; they don’t teach enough American exceptionalism and good ol’ patriotic bovine excrement.

I sought to mitigate his outrage by reminding him that the textbook commission in Texas had demanded similar changes in the history teachings there.  Among them was a requirement that history texts publish lists of “outstanding Americans.”  Phyllis Schlafley was on the required list; Martin Luther King was excluded. 

Oklahoma’s legislation mandates certain required reading matter, including, for example, three Ronald Reagan speeches.


Reminds me of a Nathan’s hot-dog-eating contest.  Or that restaurant in Amarillo that offers a 76-ounce steak with “all the trimmings” that you can have for free — IF you can consume everything, including the “trimmings,” within an hour.

Oklahoma, according to the report my friend read abroad, ranks 47th among the states in educational attainment.  Also ranks high in obesity.

The reason for both rankings, I suggested, is that the brains Oklahomans are born with are replaced, over time, by pure lipids. They’re not born morons, like many Republicans, but they become fatheads.

In fact, through my own research, I have determined that the smartest person in Oklahoma is a hostess at a Mexican restaurant just outside Clinton, OK.

Driving west on Interstate 40 a while back, we overnighted in a motel in Clinton.  We asked the desk clerk to recommend a good place to eat dinner.  He gave us directions to the Mexican eatery and warned us we might have to wait for a table because it was extremely popular, but the wait would be more than justified by the quality of the meal.

We followed the directions, found the restaurant and saw a waiting line that stretched through the lobby and out into the parking lot.  Everyone in the queue seemed to be in good spirits, and we had nothing else to do, so we joined them.

As we waited, the world’s most opulent RV pulled up.  The parking lot was full so its driver parked illegally beside the curb.  This thing was about the length of the Queen Mary, bedecked with enough running lights to illuminate two blocks of Broadway, with Brahama bull’s horns mounted over the cab.

Out strode its operator, wearing a Stetson the size of Rhode Island, a western-cut suit obviously tailor made to try to flatter his rotund Me-ness, diamond rings on both hands, a Rolex and cowboy boots that must have cost at least three alligators their lives.

He stomped past the waiting peons outside, admitted himself to the lobby and addressed the hostess monitoring the wait line.  From a pocket he fetched a money clip inlaid with turquoise and pearls.  He withdrew a $50 bill which he flashed before her wide eyes and pressed into her hand. “Honey,” he said, “y’all set up a table for me and my seven friends, OK?  Skeedaddle now!”

Without a word, she stared him down, wadded up his $50 bill, tossed it onto the floor, and ushered the couple at the head of the line to a table that had just been vacated.

The people in line applauded.

The cowboy admiral walked back to his landship muttering curses.

Somebody needs to find that lady and elect her to the Oklahoma legislature.

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