HOOKER, Okla. (KFOR) — It’s a flat place, as is most of the panhandle.

Not much to see in this town of 1,500 until you stop at the Chamber of Commerce to start looking at the souvenir and T-shirt selection in the gift shop.

“We’ve had this one a long time,” says Velma Smothermon holding a T-shirt that reads ‘Hooker, OK. Come on up and see us sometime’.

You don’t have to know a lot of American slang to know the word ‘hooker’ has become a synonym for ‘prostitute’.

It’s been 30 years now since Velma Smothermon and Robin Loughbridge decided to have fun with the name and print up a few shirts.

“You probably get lots of giggles in here don’t you,” queries a chamber visitor.

“Yes we do,” Velma replies.

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It didn’t take long for tourists to start stopping on their way through town, and then traveling out of their way to buy one or several.

Velma insists, “It’s an experience.”

T-shirts weren’t enough either.

The chamber shop started making coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets, and shot glasses too.

Robin claims, “We’re the only ones (in the world) that have t-shirts with Hooker, OK on them.”

They didn’t let Covid protocols stop them.

A shirt with a ‘Practice Safe Six’ message on it proves that social distancing was never so much fun.

“You have to have a good sense of humor,” cautions Smothermon.

This little spot on the highway has records of people from all over the world who stopped in.

We encountered a mom and daughter from Indiana who left with an armload of shirts.

Velma and Robin are glad they and the rest of the town decided to poke fun at their hometown name.

Smothermon giggles, “If you can put up with the world today you deserve it.”

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Hooker’s official ‘red light district’ is still just one building.

The massage parlor next door and the Love’s store down the street are simply a happy coincidence.

The local little league team named the ‘Horny Toads’ sells their team shirts at the store which is a Chamber of Commerce like no other, here for the best kind of good time.

Velma and Robin never kept track of their sales numbers over the past 30 years though they get new shipments every other week.

For more information on the Hooker Chamber including their shirt selection visit their website.

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