Anybody who's driven through Oklahoma knows there are plenty of placenames to invigorate one's fourth-grade wit. Beaver, Greasy and Happyland, for example. On a particularly long and weary drive, names like Slapout, Bowlegs and Felt can even elicit a few giggles.
Yet, there's only one location that's had the courage to join us in our sophomoric amusement, to stand up and take pride in the indismissible double entendre that is their postal designation. They are the Sooner State's very own Hookers, and they're proud of it!
Way out in the territory of cutthroat tourism that is No Man's Land, where every town does its absolute best to pull motorists off the highway and convince them to spend their holiday cash, Hooker, Oklahoma, has adopted what has to be one of the state's cleverest and certainly least expensive tourism ventures ever conceived. When you've got a name like they do, there's no need to build the World's Largest Cornhusk or the nation's first pillowcase museum. All you need is a stack of T-shirts and a nine-year-old boy willing to come up with a few catchy slogans.
The Hooker Chamber of Commerce itself is mostly a gift shop, where the shelves are always well stocked with shirts, mugs and magnets sporting any of a dozen irreverent catchphrases:
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL HOOKERS
ALL MY FRIENDS ARE HOOKERS
ONCE A HOOKER, ALWAYS A HOOKER
HOOKER, OK: A LOCATION, NOT A VOCATION
In 1967, Hooker organized a baseball team — the Horny Toads, naturally — and citizen Jack Goosen built them a field on which to play. A T-shirt memorializes his efforts, as well:
JACK GOOSEN FIELD: HE BUILT IT AND WE CAME
Admittedly, the rest of Hooker could put a bit more effort into taking part in the joke. After all, there are plenty of opportunities for droll business names. There is a Hooker Health Club and the Hooker EMS (their motto: "Here to Serve"), but surprisingly there's no Hooker Hotel, no Hooker Church and no Hooker Storage. I mean, it seems like a wasted opportunity not to at least open a Hooker Wash or a Hooker Drugs.