The Duncan Banner


October 7, 2012

Here’s a salute to the penultimate American treat

Life as I know it

DUNCAN — Somebody decided it was time for fall to arrive, so I pulled out a jacket for the first time and guess what: In a pocket, I discovered a bunch of the sticky notes that serve as my memory:

Can’t let 2012 slip away without acknowledging the 100th birthday of one of the sweetest American inventions in history. I’m on the record as being a homemade chocolate chip cookie freak, but a century ago a chocolate sandwich cookie was created that’s been a staple in my diet since childhood.

In 1912 in Manhattan, New York, the National Biscuit Co. made the first Oreo, and cookie monsters all over the planet are now snorking down about 25 billion of the habit-forming lil’ beggars a year.

There are two really cool things about Oreos:

1. They are addictive, but subtly so. Really. Think about how many times you’ve sat down with a package of Oreos and a glass of milk to watch a TV show or read the paper or play a video game. It’s almost a mystical moment when you look down and suddenly realize: Oh, I just ate a whole row!

2. Oreo eating is ritualistic and individualistic; there are a dozen methods of devouring the combo of chocolate wafer and white goop inside.

You can twist off the top and lick the icing away, then eat the wafers. You can twist off the top and lick the filling away and then toss the wafers; you can twist off the top and eat it, then scrape off the filling and eat the bottom wafer.

Of course, dunking an Oreo into whatever liquid is at hand is extremely popular. And then there’s the Kaley method. To wit: Put the whole cookie in your mouth, take a slurp of milk and let most of the Oreo dissolve slowly, before washing down the rest with another hit of milk.

Nothing beats homemade chocolate chip cookies, but Oreos are the penultimate treat. So, happy birthday, dear Oreos; happy birthday to you.

- Disappointed with the leadership in both major parties, I didn’t stay glued to the first Obama-Romney debate. However, I saw and heard enough to make this critique: Mitt Romney was passionate and aggressive but offered little substantive solutions; Barack Obama at times seemed bored and overly cautious.

- “I simply can’t resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, outside of the girl you love, of course.” Cat lover Mark Twain said it.

- Couple weeks ago, this space was dedicated to an update on former Banner sports editor Tommie Ellis, who’s in the late stage of terminal lung cancer. It was suggested friends and admirers take a moment to send a written communication or email to give Tommie a smile or refresh a memory.

Tommie’s oldest son Richard dropped an email this week saying his dad has received over 100 such messages.

- If you’re considering following the writing muse, think twice about becoming a poet. According to a study in the Journal of Death Studies, poets die younger than others who take pen (or keyboard) in hand. Comparing 1,975 writers from various centuries, the study found the average age of death for poets is 62 years, while playwrites average 63 years, novelists 66 years and nonfiction writers 68.

Poets, it seems, are tortured souls prone to self-destruction.

- “The thing that impresses me the most about America is the way parents obey their children.” A royal observation by the late King Edward VIII.

- Is William Jefferson Clinton the only living American politician who can put things in historic context and explain a complex issue in a way Average Joes and Joettes like you and me can understand, without being pedantic?

- Your age is showing if you remember when the worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.

- Although I’m a Cardinals fan, this Major League Baseball scheme to have a “play-in game” for the playoffs is just a ridiculous idea. Of course, we’re talking about pro baseball, where “ridiculous” has become a constant. It often seems the first sport I loved is being run by the people who have turned the NHL into a joke.

- Enrich your vocabulary by working the word “pervicacious” into a conversation, because it seems to be an adjective that reflects these political times. Means: Refusing to change one’s ideas, behavior, etc.; stubborn; obstinate.

- If you aren’t a hypochondriac but you think you are, does that make you a hypochondriac?

580-255-5354, Ext. 172

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  • Governor, state Legislature have misplaced priorities

    If the Oklahoma State Legislators and our Governor spent less time interfering in women’s rights to manage their bodies, creating ways to lay more taxes and fees on the middle class in order to generate more tax breaks which benefit only the wealthy while also conceiving methods with which to fill Oklahoma’s for-profit prisons, they would be doing all of us a favor. Instead, why not work to enhance funding for our schools and wage increases for all school employees? While reforming the state’s educational budget, why don’t they approve wage increases for our Oklahoma State Troopers and enlarge their Academy to insure qualified individuals are ready to fill the upcoming vacancies as many of the older force retire?

    April 9, 2014

  • Self government key to keeping politicians in check

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that federal campaign laws that limit the total amount of money donors can give to political parties, committees and candidates for federal office (U.S. House, Senate, and President) was unconstitutional. The ruling will not increase the current $2,600 limit on how much a donor can give to a federal candidate in each primary and general election or the $32,400 limit that can go to a national party committee. Those limits are still in place.  The ruling will instead remove the limit on how many candidates/committees to which a donor can contribute.

    April 9, 2014

  • Legislative goals crucial to priorities in education

    I am a member of several professional organizations where I attend regular meetings, network with colleagues, and stay abreast and informed on education best practices.  The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, better known as CCOSA, is a nonprofit organization that establishes close and continuous communication and cooperation between educators, taxpayers, and legislators to improve the effectiveness of professional school administrators and to communicate the needs of schools. Attendance this time of year is especially critical because legislators are in session.

    March 28, 2014

  • An impressive ranking that could be better

    That Duncan was named one of the best 15 communities in Oklahoma by Movoto, a national Real Estate company, is news worth celebrating.
    Of 43 places with population of 10,000 or more, as determined by the U.S. Census data, Duncan finished 15th. Norman was first, Edmond second, Yukon and Moore tied for third and Bethany was fifth.

    March 9, 2014

  • Kids shouldn’t have to pay for having punster parents

    Friends and neighbors, I’ve been cloistered in my Thought Chamber for the past few days, contemplating many high-brow philosophies and haughty hypothesis that we who think on a different level use to exercise our finely-tuned minds and remain intellectually superior to the Great Unwashed.
    As you see, the time alone has been intellectually beneficial. I just composed an opening sentence (what we in the journalism dodge call a “lead”) that’s 46 words long.

    March 9, 2014

  • The blissful serenity of No-TV Land

    Life without TV is possible. Maybe you should try it. I did. It’s a do-able thing, I tell you. I’m still here, no worse the wear, no oozing wounds, no serious loss of brainwave activity except for the slow, inexorable downhill decline that already started when TV viewing was a daily occurrence.

    Granted, two months without the tube is quite likely not a scientifically acceptable sample from which is to hold forth. But it’s the best I can do, so deal with it.

    March 9, 2014

  • Cooper’s message is to remain active

    Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the Dallas physician who coined the phrase “aerobics” more than four decades ago, who has become a world leader in physical fitness and who has saved, literally, thousands of lives by promoting the value of an active lifestyle, shared his philosophy of life here last week.

    March 9, 2014

  • Time to take the “B” out of the “Three R’s”

    Our young folks are hitting the stretch drive toward the end of another school year, during which they’ve been taught “Three R’s”, which are not really “r’s” at all.
    In case you missed it, reading is the only one of the “Three R’s” that actually begins with the letter “r.” Writing starts with a “w” and arithmetic begins with the letter “a.” There are two reasons we drop the “w” from “writing” and the “a” from “arithmetic”: 1. For poetic flow in the age-old saying; and, 2. many people have a secret yen to talk like the Beverly Hillbillies.

    February 23, 2014

  • Thank you for lettin’ me be myself again

    Friends and neighbors, hope I don’t sound like the biggest egomaniac since Donald Trump, but you know, I am the most interesting person I’ve ever known.
    Forgive me if — on first blush — that sounds like the most totally self-aggrandizing statement you’ve ever heard. And if you’ve headed to the restroom to express an editorial opinion about the statement above, I’ll stop for a couple minutes.

    February 15, 2014

  • Buzz misfired in Vanity Fair body slam of Duncan

    As the new kid in town, I’m reluctant to leap atop the ramparts to defend the honor of Duncan, Okla., my new adopted hometown.
    But to heck with that. When an out-of-towner comes into your house and soils your rug, it’s on.
    I speak, of course, about the article in Vanity Fair magazine about Duncan and the  killing last year of Chris Lane, the Australian who was gunned down in August.

    January 24, 2014


Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
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