Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

December 19, 2007

Columbia, Missouri

I just took out the photo album of our trip across the country in 1989 when we moved to San Francisco, because I'm going to have the pictures reprinted and do a really nice album with more decorations and stuff. I'll blog some of the highlights from that trip at another time, but I just had to show you an amusing picture I shot in Columbia, Missouri.

That day, we got to Columbia kind of late because we'd spent the morning and early afternoon in St. Louis, touring Anheuser Busch & having lunch on a riverboat. We saw this store:Man alive did we bust up laughing. And the jokes were endless! The name of the store fits well into Warren Zevon's "Lawyers, Guns & Money" song, so ever since 1989, we now sing, "Send liquor, guns & ammo, the shit has hit the fan!"

Can you imagine a worse combo? Liquor, guns and ammo? Let's git 'em good-n-wasted an' start shootin' cans 'n shit. I'm sure this store will, no doubt, horrify my Euro readers.

We decided we were going to go back the next day and have Brian pose in front for a photograph, wearing a felt Amish-type hat of mine and holding in one hand, a fake rifle that my dad made for me out of plywood and copper pipe, and a beer in the other hand, and he would probably be pulling some kind of buck-toothed, exaggerated hillbilly face. Both the fake rifle and hat were easily accessible inside the U-Haul moving truck we were driving, so we figured this would be a cinch.

We got up super early to hit the road, and we went past the store. Keep in mind, it's like 6:45 a.m. We figured we could take the photo and be on our way in less than 5 minutes. Imagine our shock, as we rolled past, to see it open. It's 6:45 in the morning, and the place is freakin' open. People coming out with beer-n-bullets. Ain't no way we were going to pull into the lot and take that staged photo!! I really don't think Billy Bob and Cletus would have taken kindly to us city slickers makin' fun of them. Brian consented to roll past real slow while I hung out of the passenger window and shot the photo. If you look real close at the windows on the right side of the store, you can see the reflection of our U-Haul as we rolled past.

Ah yes. America's heartland. Ya gotta love it.


  1. Hey... America's Heartland isn't just about liquor, guns and ammo (says this proud Nebraskan!)

    But I have no love loss for Columbia, so make fun all you want.

  2. Anonymous11:48 PM

    I always wonder why Ed Troyer is quoted as saying, "Guns and alcohol just don't mix." I guess some people really DO need reminding!

  3. Hey, they mix just fine - if you don't mind drunken shoot-outs!

    I remember going into a Mammouth hypermarket in central France and finding they sold food and household goods as you would expect, but also furniture - and shotguns. (France is very rural, but this was 1973, things have probably changed now).

  4. while you were going through missouri, did you happen upon the vending machines that look like pop/soda machines, only on closer inspection, IT WAS A LIVE BAIT VENDING MACHINE!!! ewwwwwwwwwwwww!!
    that's my memory of missouri!!
    (oh, that and the tornado!)

  5. The little gold rush towns in the foothills (NorCal) have funky stores like that too.

  6. Anonymous2:39 PM

    eeeeeeeeeeeek.... scary
    very very scary

    lotsa luv ann xxxx

  7. Anonymous3:25 PM

    Is this the cheap alternative to a messy divorce? Just wondering why else they'd sell that combo!

  8. They sold that combo because it was a Bass Pro Shop franchise. That store has been closed for years now, ever since the Bass Pro company elected to build a company owned store in town...

    That sign now hangs in a local pizza parlor, a part of this town's "Illustrious" history....