Tall Tales with Representative Aaron Stiles
12:01 PM EDT on March 31, 2011
Back in my fraternity days, I was once aquainted with a pledge who told everyone his summer job was working as a lifeguard at White Water. One of his buddies eventually let it slip that he did work at White Water, but he worked in one of the concession stands. It was a little lie that had no bearing on anything, really.
Then, a few months later, after the guy had moved into the house, I was the treasurer and asked him once why he was late in paying his house dues (rent, for the anti-Greek readers). He told me that there had been a delay in receiving his scholarship check. The explanation was reasonable until he explained that it was a football scholarship.
Obviously, this was a blatant lie, one that might have been accepted (reinforced by explaining that the reason he never went to practice or played any games being that he wrecked his knee after signing his letter of intent) by someone who, unlike me, was not an avid follower of the football team's recruiting. Making it worse was that he could have simply left it at "scholarship" and I would have assumed it was an academic grant, his lie would have worked as he intended, and we both would have parted without me having a story to broadcast on this website.
Despite the similarities, this fraternity brother was not Norman Representative Aaron Stiles.
According to reports by the OUDaily.com and Norman Transcript, Stiles had a conflict on March 3rd at the University of Oklahoma's student union over...I'm really not sure. He claims that a group was holding an illegal protest outside the site of a speech being given in the Molly Chi Boren room.
Stiles' version of the story involves the students outside the room chanting "We love abortion!" and "We love killing babies!" He conveyed this story in a press release to reinforce his disdain at being harrassed by "pro abortion" protestors.
Meanwhile, the student who Stiles ordered to leave the union claim that they were simply attending a meeting held by a sociology professor. The professor, Susan Sharp, had reserved a room and according to her, the "shouts" about killing babies and being enamored with abortion were 1) not shouts and 2) not composed of anything resembling those phrases, and 3) a discussion among women about the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes."
It seems like one of them would have to be completely lying, and based on the research of the OU Daily, it appears to be the elected official. They reviewed surveillance footage from the Union and pictures taken by people involved in the ordeal and reported that there were no signs of protest. They also pointed out that Stiles' press release was littered with false information, such as a claim that the group did not have a scheduled event, that was easily verified by doing things like checking the Union's event notifications on Facebook.
So, the question is why would Representative Stiles make up such grandiose claims about what happened? It would certainly be reasonable to try to shoo away a group of women standing outside his own event that he felt were being too loud in repeating catch phrases like, "I'm older and I have better insurance!" He probably even assumed they were protesting considering the demographic of people who would be coming out of a meeting called "Why Women's History Matters" congregating near an event being held by pro lifers. However, simply explaining the misunderstanding would have been enough without making up a story based on what he probably thinks happens at pro choice rallies.
Also mentioned in that OUDaily article is that Stiles has a history of going, for lack of a better term, nuts.
Norman Police Department reports show citizens have called the police after interactions with Stiles three times since 2007. One report states that Norman residents called the police after Stiles allegedly gave a resident the middle finger and then threatened to shoot the resident and his daughter.
His response on being confronted with the police reports was, "I’ve never been charged or even investigated for any criminal activity.” That's kind of awesome in a George Kostanza-esque "it's not a lie if you believe it's true" kind of way. It also means that next time, rather than making his lie simpler, it will probably involve him listening to taunts of "Kill Whitey" at a basketball game.