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The 3 worst PR moments in Tulsa history

2:00 AM EST on December 13, 2011

As I struggle to find something, ANYTHING vaguely controversial/ridiculous/humiliating to write about in regards to good ole' Tulsey Town, I've concluded something well, extremely obvious: more action and adventure occurs in the plot of Elizabethtown than what goes down in Tulsa over the span of a full month.

In a town where a bar-brawl-turned-rumble gives me enough cocktail party anecdote fodder to last at least two weeks, well, I can't exactly complain. Sure, new and interesting people to add to one's social circle might be few and far between, but it takes me all of 20 minutes to get to the opposite end of Tulsa. My apartment building might be overrun with SUVs, but they almost never get broken into. There might be six bars total downtown, but I rarely get heckled by homeless people on my way home from them. As any resident of Edmond can concur, living in the 'burbs has its pros and cons.

After time, you'll find Tulsa's erratic weather, user-friendly street system, and abundant BBQ restaurants charming. I love Tulsa, and it's no secret--which is precisely why I'm bewildered at the low opinion that non-918 residents have pertaining to my stomping grounds. Nothing shatters my cold, cold heart like a little Tulsa trash talk from people who've spent less time here than Mr. Eko did on the island.

I was an economics major--empirical analyses are my forte. After some hard-hitting research, I've identified the three pivotal moments in Tulsa's young history than defines its somewhat unfavorable public perception today. Read on...after the jump:


3. the Tulsa Race Riots. Back in the dark days of Jim Crow laws, minorities in Tulsa made the best out of the oppressive state of their world. Hell, they made a community--complete with movie theaters, newspaper publications, nightclubs, grocery stores, law firms, hospitals, and banks. This thriving part of town was known as Black Wall Street, and was a hoppin' establishment until the sons of bitches from the KKK took a reckoning with that group of peaceful individuals.

This is hard to really comment on because, obviously, racism is a terrible thing. Well, unless you're half Chinese like me and entertain guests by repeating your mother's most noteworthy catchphrases ("Charrr-see, kiwl those MOS-quee-tos!!").

After decades of healing, Tulsa is finally a place where minorities can feel safe again. Well, unless you're a skinny white girl hanging out at the Walmart on north Memorial. In that case, it's wise to bring a switchblade or an empty bottle of beer, Two-Bit Matthews style.

2. Oral Roberts (might) get called home. You've heard the story by now...Oral Roberts (Oral, hehe, I'm a 12 year old) proclaimed on television that if he didn't raise eight million dollars and build a hospital, God would "call him home."

First of all, Pastor Roberts was a faith healer, so it doesn't seem too business-savvy to divert his clientele elsewhere. Second of all, it would be one thing if this tithe campaign was just within his flock (similar to the one currently taking place at Lifechurch.tv) but instead, it was a national, televised cause, humiliating Tulsans when a) the money wasn't raised in time, and b) Oral Roberts was still here and left to answer "Why?"

1. Chandler moves to T-Town. As if Tulsa didn't have enough horrible street cred as is, NBC had to swiftly kick us in the babymaker on the biggest television show of the 90's.

Moving from Greenwich Village to Tulsa, Oklahoma would be culture shock for anyone. When it makes a newlywed couple willing to live separately for 2/3rd of their week, it doesn't exactly make your hometown look swell. And when it drives a guy in his mid-thirties to quit his six-figure job and take up and unpaid internship, well, the Department of Tourism might as well fold.

This is precisely what happened to Chandler Bing on the TV show you can never escape, Friends. Merely being in our great state propelled Chandler to smoke again, masturbate during Shark Week programming, and constantly sing "Surrey with the Fringe on Top." Not exactly a shining moment for us.  I attribute the Riverwalk and the million-dollar Jenks Aquarium's failure to this gratuitous plotline.

xxxxx...o, @xCawoodstock

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