Normally, my travels take me across Oklahoma but occasionally I venture past state lines and into the abyss. When I make these journeys I try to keep an eye out for any signs of Okie influence on these strange new locales. Such a thing occurred recently when I found myself in the retiree tourist mecca known as Branson, MO.
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Tiger King cereal...what took them so long? Regardless, it looks like it was time to cash in on the Netflix adventures of Oklahoma's wackiest zoo owner/gubernatorial candidate. At a thirteen dollar price point, these are meant as more of a collectible than as a part of a balanced breakfast but it's not going to stop me from eating them.
These are brought to you by the folks at FYE, which seems to be a company that snatches up licenses and cranks out various collectibles and food tie-ins. They have some Tiger King sauces and whatnot that I plan to track down at some point too. But today I'm focused on the most important meal of the day. And the most important part of breakfast is reading the back of the cereal box.
Like the best cereal boxes, there are plenty of games and puzzles to keep you occupied while crunching on your morning entree. Highlights from the Word Search include "Narcissism," "Cult," and "Oklahoma." Joe Exotic's nemesis Carole Baskin gets a shout out in the maze, elevating her to the same status as Cap'n Crunch's enemies, the "Soggies." Lastly, there's a short Mad Libs you can waste your time on if you're a really slow eater.
But how does it taste? Eh. It's essentially Frosted Flakes but maybe not quite as...good? I suppose that's a subliminal way to keep the tiger motif going. Of course, as a collectible, this is more likely to be on a shelf for several years (and then thrown away) rather than being consumed while watching (or streaming, I guess) Saturday morning reality shows.
That being said, is this just the beginning? Are we on the verge of an avalanche of Tiger King foodstuffs? I can already envision a line of mulletted, mustachioed jams and jellies.
Thursday, July 8, 2021
The town of Enid, Oklahoma is proud of their public art. Street after street, block after blocked is dotted with statues, sculptures and highly detailed murals celebrating the town and the people in it. But there's one mural in particular that reaches past local culture and into the collective madness that was the 80s. Behold the grandeur:
This eye-catching beauty was created by Enid artist Tox Murillo in 2020 and is packed with details about the often misunderstood decade. So just for fun, I thought I'd point out a few of my favorite touches in this magnum opus.
Friday, June 4, 2021
There are several contenders for "Great Oklahoma Films" but nothing holds a more special place in my wind swept, debris-strewn heart more than the 1996 F-5 of a film, Twister! It was filmed primarily in Oklahoma with a few scenes showcasing the town of Wakita. And that's where the Twister Movie Museum has been ever since.
Since this year is the 25th anniversary of the film, I thought it was time to go back for a visit for the first time in several years. And since I was there, why not pick another Top 5 List?
5. Twister Pinball Machine
This eye-catching piece is near the entrance and sets the tone for visitors. I would have it much higher on the list but it's not functional. Which is a shame, because you just know it had plenty of movie sound effects like wind, shouting and maybe that evil weatherman getting his face smashed in and whatnot. For now, we'll just have to imagine.
4. Twister the Ride Smashed Penny
Anybody that knows me knows that I love to smash a penny or two. While the museum doesn't have its own penny smashing machine, it does have this smashed beauty from Universal Studios' Twister ride. They shut the ride down in 2015 but it's nice to have a tiny little memento from it on display.
3. Twister Trading Cards
The main reason I included these is because I'm constantly looking for them on eBay and can never find them. They're a throwback to the days when just about everything got their own collectible trading card set regardless of their level of success or popularity. I'd still like to pick some up if I ever see them in the wild, if only to finally get ahold of that Philip Seymour Hoffman rookie card.
2. Twister Storyboards
The makers of the film donated several items to the museum from the production including several storyboards. It's a nice way to see what they envisioned for a few scenes and shows some of the talent involved in movie making before they ever start rolling cameras.
Nothing beats a small town, roadside museum and there's nothing better than a small town with a cool gimmick. The Twister Movie Museum combines the best of both. And as an added bonus, here's another visitor I spotted who showed up for the 25th Anniversary:
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Years ago, in a magical time known as the 80s, there was a popular toy line of tiny pink monsters, wrestlers, robots and weirdos known as M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. They were small, collectible and, best of all, fun! I used to have a big bucketful of them and made them take part in legendary battles in the sandbox.
Since everything old is new again, the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures of the past seem to have been the inspiration for O.K.I.E.S. figures of today.
Made by Flying Rabbit Studios, these little guys are made in the image of some of the most famous real Oklahomans as well as a few larger than life Okie statues. Let's take a look at the line up of the "Stay Gold" edition:
Golden Driller - "Petroleum Protector"
You'll recognize this guy as the guardian of the Tulsa Expo Center. He's become a symbol of the state and the impact the oil and gas industry has had on it as well as a popular roadside icon that attracts visitors from all over the world.
Bass Reeves - "The Real Lone Ranger"
Born a slave, Bass Reeves became one of the most legendary lawmen of the wild west by bringing thousands of criminals to justice. His heroic efforts have been claimed to be the inspiration for the Lone Ranger.
Will Rogers - "OK's Favorite Son"
Actor, writer, and overall comedic performer Will Rogers is next. Rogers may be the most famous celebrity to come out of the Sooner State. Whenever you have some free time, drive across the state and count how many buildings, roads and institutions are named after him.
Wiley Post - "Pioneer of Aviation"
"Adventurer" is probably the best description of Wiley Post. He's best known for working in the wild blue yonder and is seen here wearing the pressure suit that he frequently wore on high altitude flights.
Buck Atom - "Space Cowboy 66"
Tulsa's own roadside rocket man rounds out the list. The former muffler man was installed along Route 66 a few years back and his distinctive design and accompanying gift shop has been a Mother Road "must-stop" ever since.
Not a bad lineup, huh? I'm 100% on board with these little guys and am holding out hope for a Saturday morning cartoon series, additional actions figure waves (I've heard rumblings about a Belle Starr figure) including play sets and vehicles and, of course, a breakfast cereal. Anything less is unacceptable. Make it happen, Universe!
Monday, August 10, 2020
Previously: "An Idiot Abroad" Comes to Oklahoma
In 2008 British actor and comedian Stephen Fry decided to hop in his London cab and drive across America, seeing all 50 states in the process. That was the premise of the BBC mini-series "Stephen Fry in America." When he reached the middle of the country (around the middle of the series) he took some time to explore Oklahoma City.
His first stop was at the Oklahoma City Salvation Army where he discussed the every-growing need for the charitable organization. Speaking with some of the staff, he learned how common it was becoming for their assistance to be sought by families in the area.
A tour of the Salvation Army facilities was given by "Heidi" who had another gig that led to Stephen's next stop. I'm not exactly sure which restaurant this is but the outside boldly proclaims "Shishkabob Restaurant."
Honestly I'm not positive if that's the name of the place or just part of the advertising. I Googled and couldn't find a place called "Shishkabob" and I guess I'm too culinary boring to have eaten there. But "Heidi the Salvation Army Lady" has been there and made a special appearance performing a belly dancing routine.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Take a look at the guy second from left. He's credited as "Tom Allard." Recognize him? Tom Allard is a very tall actor from either Ada or Big Cabin, depending on who you ask. There's not a lot of information on him online. Here's one of the few pics I was able to find of him:
Big guy, right? That's him with Kathleen Turner in the 1991 film "V.I. Warshawski." She's not exactly short herself so you can tell he's a tall drink of water. His height has led to being cast as tough guys, enforcers and just generally intimidating characters.
But it's also led to being cast as monsters, aliens and whatnot. He had a recurring role on a a "Land of the Lost" reboot in the 90s as a great big Dino-Man. He also played a tall alien in the 1991 film "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey."