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Page 3: Why Your City Sucks: Norman

12:52 PM EST on January 21, 2010

(Oklahoma is a wonderful, incredible state filled with charming small towns and awesome big cities. I love this state in every way possible. But even still, there are some features of specific places that are the opposite of awesome. Hopefully, this is where we can detail some of those issues.)

I absolutely adore Norman. Like I love it. I know I said pretty much the exact same thing about Mustang, but that's mainly because that's my hometown. I've lived in Norman for the last five years and if it were possible, I think I'd stay forever. If someone were moving to Oklahoma and they asked me, "Where should I live?" I'd say Norman before they even finished their sentence. Why you ask? Norman has probably the best restaraunt in the state in Tarahumara. Its got its own mall, its got a ton of other wonderful places to eat (Van's, Iron Starr, all of Ed Noble Parkway, Cafe Plaid, O'Connell's), its got a Super Target, its got Campus Corner and its got a dollar movie theater. (Hey, for a college kid on a date, I'm totally willing to see The Proposal four months late for a dollar.) It's only a short drive from downtown OKC and pretty much as far as it can be from Edmond (I kid, I kid... kind of).

However, just like any town, Norman ain't perfect. It's darn close to it, but not quite there. And for you Cowboys giggling amongst each other, Norman doesn't suck because that's where OU is (harf harf harf). It's the best town in the state, but again, let me highlight a few sucky things, because you know, that's the whole point of this.

It's misting? Start building an ark. Norman floods. It just does. When it rains, the streets fill up like somebody busted a fire hydrant nearby. If you have any dreams of driving down Berry after a little rain shower, I recommend you put on some trunks and just swim down it instead. Ironically, one of the streets that never seems to fill up is actually Flood (SEE THE IRONY THERE?), but there are multiple roads that you need a canoe to get down if someone were to spit on it.

Choo-choo. I know other towns still have trains going through them, but surely nobody has one as consistent as Norman. A train cuts through at least once every half hour. Yes, it's obnoxious with the loud noises and all. But what sucks about trains is that if you get stuck waiting on one, you're therefore forced to count the cars - even if you don't want to - which will result in giving you a pounding headache from trying to follow the cars as the zip by. (Also, I've actually heard that 90 percent of the time, the train through Norman is carrying toxic waste and if it were to derail, Norman would have to be evacuated IMMEDIATELY. Think about THAT next time you hear the whistle in the distance as you go to sleep.)

You can never plan for a train stop. They just happen. Everyone has that split second thought of, "I can beat this," but then the dumb little gate comes down and you're stuck. You pray it's not some 200-car anaconda, but those only happen when you're in a REALLY big rush and you have absolutely no time to spare. Like me, every freaking day. F trains.

Lindsey Street traffic. This is probably the biggest tick on Norman. Currently, I live a little east of campus. If I want to get to I-35, I need to plan like 30 minutes ahead because there's no telling how long it might take me. Between the aforementioned train, the 19 stoplights around campus and then the horrific one lane funnel street all the way to Berry, you feel like you're in a prison soup line. It's never moving and there's no way out. It's like Elaine in "The Subway". Move. MOOOOOVE. MOOOOOOOOOOVE. STEP ON THE GAS. WHAT'S THAT ON MY LEG?

And speaking of traffic, just getting to Norman can be a chore. You have to take I-35 there and we all know what a cluster I-35 is. It's always under construction with no actual construction workers to be seen. So between Lindsey and I-35, Norman can become this vortex of sucky traffic. As long as you don't take either one around 9 a.m. or 5 p.m., you'll survive. But God help you if you hit rush hour.

Related: The stoplight at Main and Flood can get butt cancer. It has to be the worst stoplight in the state. Whoever put it up was trying something different I'm sure. Your typical light lets the turn lanes go first, then they go to just green and you yield if you want to turn as the straight lanes go green. It's very simple. But this stupid light lets the people going straight go first, then it goes red and the turn lanes get an arrow. So you never get the green yield if you're turning. And OF COURSE I'm always going straight when the turn lane goes green (or vice versa), so I have to wait until EVERYBODY goes and it comes back to me. This light just sucks. Tear it down and put up a normal light. I'd rather have a stop sign here than this bullcrap.

But seriously though, Norman is awesome.

Have something to say about your hometown or just a town you've passed through at some point in your life? Send your thoughts to

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