With day-long discussions between Republican and Democratic legislative leaders still not yielding a revenue agreement, Rep. Bobby Cleveland (R-Slaughterville) turned to his trusty fart machine for levity.
The veteran lawmaker, best known for railing against the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, reprised what appears to be a favorite activity for him: carrying around an electronic device that can convince oblivious bystanders that he’s farting in the Capitol hallways.
“I walk down the hall where all the pages sit right up here. They sit all the way down,” Cleveland told a group of reporters around 8 p.m. Friday evening while waiting for direction from House leadership. “So the other day I walk down through there and hit this thing and they go, ‘Did you hear that old man? He’s farting right here in the Capitol!'”
Cleveland cracked up at his own prank, one he was pulling earlier in the evening as other rank-and-file House members meandered through the hallways looking at photos of past Legislatures or dreaming of trips to Hawaii.
In the above video, Cleveland explains how his shenanigans frustrate his wife:
You know, my wife told me that whenever I got elected, the first day when I was walking out of the house, she said, “Sit down, I want to talk to you.”
“When you go to that Capitol, those people up there are very serious. They don’t joke around. They are sophisticated. You can’t play any jokes. You can’t tell any jokes. Just go up there, be serious and keep your mouth shut.”
Cleveland is not known for keeping his mouth shut, much to the chagrin of the agencies, bureaucrats and fellow lawmakers he tears into on a fairly regular basis.
Thursday, he walked into the end of a House Minority Leader Scott Inman press conference to criticize Inman’s fluctuating and exageration-prone estimations of how many millions of dollars various versions of a gross production tax would raise.
Shortly after Cleveland explained his fart machine, however, the House gaveled out for the evening, although revenue negotiations were ongoing.
Lawmakers will be in session Saturday and possibly Sunday in an attempt to strike an agreement before the May 21 deadline for hearing new revenue bills.