An Open Plea to the Missouri State Tourism Bureau

Raise your hand if you’ve been to Missouri – driving, vacationing, visiting, whatever…. Missouri, in my opinion, is by far the most boring state I have ever been to. I would have thought it to be Delaware, but no. At least with Delaware by the time you think, “man, this is one boring state” you have already driven through it, so at least it’s quick and painless. By the time I am finished driving through good ‘ol Mizzou I usually am rocking back and forth in driver’s seat with trying to convince myself not to stick a rusty fork into my eyeball.

Coming from Chicago, or Indianapolis, or any other place that is actually interesting you enter the state through St. Louis which at first you think isn’t so bad. It has some character to it. I mean there is the Mississippi River, the baseball stadium and of course the Arch. You know what they need to do with that arch? Hang a big sign that says, “Welcome to Missouri – Prepare for a Long, Boring Death!” Or at least something that warns drivers to drive around the state altogether. The Federal Government needs to commission a highway project the constructs a bypass around the whole state of Missouri. Just run it north through Iowa, south through Arkansas and then join up again on the other side. Those two states at least hove some interest to them – Iowa has the bridges in Madison County and Arkansas has Bill Clinton as well as the largest population of toothless people in one concentrated area anywhere on earth (including London). And Missouri? They did have the Pony Express at one time which was what? Guys riding horses at full speed to get the hell out of the state as fast as they could. The horses wore blinders because dark patches of leather 3 inches from their eyes were more interesting than the countryside. At some point the riders couldn’t take it anymore and eventually revolted, resulting in today’s modern postal system… pretty sure anyway.

President Truman was from Missouri and of course he was about as charismatic as… well the state of Missouri. Truman was known for being a tough cookie. He ordered the bombs dropped on Japan killing thousands. I think he did so just to see what the effects would yield because in the back of his mind he seriously was considering dropping a third on Missouri so he wouldn’t have to move back there after his term expired. I read somewhere that during the 50’s the government secretly tested the effects of nuclear radiation on various populations without their knowing it. Missouri was at the top of the list… that’s the word on the street anyway.

My last drive through the state was at least somewhat bearable – it was at night which would be the equivalent of running at 80 mph down a dark hallway with your eyes closed… and hoping you don’t have to stop for gas or Cheetos, or a key chain! I’m so glad to drive through at night though. I couldn’t deal with the thought of 273 miles of fields advertising Jesse James’ Hideout, Adult Bookstores or fireworks. You just keep driving and driving past field after field with billboard after billboard…. Jesse James Hide Out – this exit! Adult Mega-Plex exit now! Crazy Ed’s Fireworks! 2 miles…. Jesse James Caves! Adult Mega-Mega-Plex! Crazy Bob’s Fireworks! ...James Hideout! Mega-Mega-Mega Plex! Crazy Larry’s Fireworks… Hideouts, Fireworks and Porn! Oh My! Finally someone got smart and figured they would maximize on Missouri’s most famed attractions by combining all three…”Come see the actual caves where Jesse James hid is porn and lit off illegal fireworks!” I think the name was something like Crazy Rahjji’s Mega-Mega-Mega Porn Emporium and Fireworks Hideout! Figures leave it to someone from out of state to be so creative.

The other notable establishment – no kidding – was “The Jackass Trading Post.” Now I’m well aware it was meant to be convenience store of some sort but I couldn’t help but dream up the image of it being a real jackass trading post. Something along the lines of this holding pen out front with all these guys with scruffy beards and overlapping guts standing around while wear stained “wife-beater” shirts and drinking beer. Then you watch this old Chevy truck roll up and this tired looking woman gets out and goes around to passenger side where she coaxes this overweight middle-aged guy out. She then leads him up to the porch where she ties him off and goes inside. After about twenty minutes later you see her come back outside and starts loading up all these supplies for the winter. Meanwhile her husband looks over at her from where he’s hitched up at and starts braying, “Hey-Haw, Hey-Haw, Hey Honey, Where ya going?” as she drives off into the sunset. Meanwhile this lanky cowboy-looking dude walks out from around back holding a fresh wife-beater and an unopened can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Don’t laugh – it’s Missouri we’re talking about here.

I’m curious as to whether the Missouri Department of Tourism knows how bad this is? Being a bit of a conspiracy buff I think it’s possible that the state’s tourism entire department has been outsourced to the Chinese. I can just see this chubby little guy in Beijing laughing evilly and rubbing his hands furiously as he reviews the plans to make America the most boring place on earth one state at a time… starting with Missouri. In 50 years the United States will be so boring the entire populace will up and move to Canada. The Chinese will then take over and rename it New China. I have a more probable theory, however, that the whole department is probably being run by this supercomputer that Truman ordered near the end of his presidency. It spits out alerts about the need for more Jesse James Hide Outs on Interstate 44 or a full report on the need for an Adult Mega-Mega-Mega-MEGA Plex! In any case I have a suggestion for a new tourism slogan “Missouri, The Only State That Makes You Want To Shove a Rusty Fork Into Your Eyeball!” Catchy huh?

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