McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK


October 17, 2011

Letter to the editor: Pay toilet in McAlester?

McALESTER — Editor: My wife and I hadn’t visited a Mexican border town in about 10 years so we stopped in Nuevo Laredo on our vacation travels. This visit’s amusing item was an aerosol can of blessings. A typical spray can with the label of a Christ-like figure containing “Blessings.” How convenient. I wished I had bought a few cans to spray blessings on my family, friends, pets, home and car.

Less entertaining was the pay toilet in a Mexican shopping center. The facility was not posted or priced but I was informed of my 35 cent purchase upon leaving the restroom. I chalked it up as a typical Mexican scam for tourists.

For the past 30 years, we’ve usually made at least two round trips through Oklahoma each year and appreciate the highways even if the poor people of Oklahoma have to charge for them. This trip we came up from Paris, Texas, and planned on spending the night in Muskogee, a wonderful little city. I cheerfully paid the toll at Hugo and headed for McAlester. I didn’t understand why we would have to pay another $1.75 for such a short trip to begin with and we were exiting within yards of the toll booth. My toll booth attendant became animated and arrogant that I would dare ask such a question. He informed me that the $1.75 was for the last 25 miles I drove.

Do you see the great similarity to the Nuevo Laredo pay toilet scam? Less than cheerfully, I paid the $1.75.

Feeling duped, my vacation plans did change. Typically, our overnight stays cost about $200 for gas, food, lodging and shopping. It was no problem to leave Oklahoma without spending another dime excluding toll fees. The state coffers and the local economy would have been far ahead had I spent the $200 in Muskogee as planned.

Does it make any sense to alienate travelers with pockets full of cash and credit cards for a measly $1.75? If only 10,000 visitors at that exit realize and respond to this literal highway robbery as I did, that’s a $2,000,000 error in judgment for Oklahoma.

I see two solutions to this problem. The most sensible, simple solution is to not charge travelers to exit at McAlester but that makes sense and is too easy, right? Solution number two involves my next trip to Mexico. I will buy aerosol cans of “Brains” and “Conscious” to be delivered to the executive offices of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Square logo.jpg Letter to the editor

    March 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letter to the Editor:

    March 11, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor:

    In response to your article “Hospital authority discusses Emergency Department operations,” I read your article with anger and humor.

    March 10, 2014

  • Proposed resettlement of Syrians ‘act of deranged insanity’

    My question to the public is: are we going to stand by and let this happen?

    June 13, 2013

  • governmeny.tiff Letter to the Editor:

    There are plans to cut expenses of government, yet cuts aren’t always justified and if they affect people directly, there is a lot of unhappiness. Plans to close the Social Security office in Hugo is a recent example.

    April 4, 2013 1 Photo

  • Letter to the Editor:

    The President is in Israel saying “we’re a democracy.” I like to think I’m pretty “up” on current events but I guess I missed this major change in our government.

    March 25, 2013

  • Editor: Who's in charge of you?

    You don’t need that!  We have been hearing a lot of that lately, mostly by the left, but also by the right. They are mostly talking about  semi-automatic rifles and large-capacity magazines this time. Of course, we don’t need them

    February 20, 2013

  • Letter to the Editor

    Letter to the editor
    To: Anyone interested in;
    A — Creating more jobs for Oklahomans
    B — Lowering the cost of all goods and services in Oklahoma.

    January 5, 2013

  • Jack Mouser's Letter to the Editor

    December 17, 2012

  • Letter to Editor: School is wrong

    The front page of the McAlester News-Capital dated May 10th: “Puterbaugh student allegedly ‘jumped’ in school locker room.”

    June 4, 2012

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
NDN Video
Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.