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Sports, survival and weird news stories define 2011

Oklahoman columnist Carrie Coppernoll writes that 2011 was a year of heartache, survival and weirdness.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Published: December 28, 2011

The pharmacy shooting saga came to a close. Pharmacist Jerome Ersland was convicted of murder for shooting would-be robber Antwun Parker, 16, in 2009.

Parker's accomplices — Emanuel Mitchell and Anthony Morrison — also were convicted of murder. Mitchell retaliated in the courtroom by punching Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater in the face.

After the scuffle, Prater left the courthouse, and Mitchell still had to go to prison. I'll take a punch in the face over prison any day. (I'm not offering to let you punch me in the face, so cool it.)

Weirdness all around

Criminals were really weird this year.

There was the guy who was sent to prison for three years for conning a couple of women into caring for him as if he were a baby wearing diapers. Police arrested a couple of Taco Bell employees who were accused of being drunk at work.

This year was a tough one for cleanliness. An Oklahoma City man was arrested for mowing his lawn. An Oklahoma City woman was cited for excessive noise after neighbors complained she was vacuuming too late at night. I'm going to cite these cases whenever I don't feel like tidying up. “Better not clean. Don't want to go to jail.”

Criminals aside, regular people were kind of weird, too. A woman spent most of one of her Saturday afternoons naked as she volunteered at a charity golf tournament. What better way to serve the community than to go nude?

I don't want to tell other people how to live their lives, but I did plenty of volunteering this year. All of it involved me wearing clothing.

I expect my volunteer gigs in 2012 will also involve clothing. Fingers crossed. Nothing could be weirder than 2011.