I Shot A Man In Worcester Just To Watch Him Die

Despite the looks my co-workers gave me when I told them my Friday night plans last week, there are plenty of valid reasons to want to go out to a shooting range. I feel that I can’t really have a solid opinion about gun control without at least knowing how to work one, without appreciating the people who use them for sport and competition. Plus, it hardly seems fair to let the political right in the US be the only people who know how to work firearms. I don’t want to be the only liberal in the shelter when the zombie apocalypse happens, right?

Anyway, it seemed like a good idea. Megan and I determined that we should go out to a shooting range and spend an evening firing some weapons with a couple of her co-workers. Google suggested the misleadingly-named Boston Gun Range in Worcester (pardon me, I’d been spelling it with an H, as Worchester, which is a terrible slight) where Fridays are “Jack And Jill” nights, involving free gun time for the ladies.

Or rather, Fridays were Jack and Jill nights.

It turns out that they got shut down months and months ago after an alarming string of suicides. Of course, while fighting the police-ordered injunction, the Gun Range hasn’t updated its web page. Or its phone message.

We didn’t find any of this out until we got to Worcester on Friday night and found the range locked and shuttered, without even a “CLOSED” sign out front. So, then what? Obviously, the four of us drove around past the nudie bars and automotive spring repair shops on the outskirts of town until we hit Worcester Center. We briefly got lost in the Abandoned Warehouse district, and then stumbled upon the Gentrified Abandoned Warehouse district, featuring loft condos (natch), a discount meat store (“We Towed You So” emblazoned cheerfully across the parking lot), and a tapas bar called Bocado.

Inside, we found mediocre tapas, moderately priced wine, girls with low-cut dresses and boys with over-gelled hair and french-cuff shirts. It had the promise of a decent evening, despite the presence of mango salsa on the menu. Authenticity in food is certainly overrated, but mango salsa on tapas, especially in a place that prides itself on a Spain-only wine list, indicates an unfortunate confusion of Spain and Latin America.

Still, I was more or less satisfied with my meal until a band set up and started playing Buena Vista Social Club-ified covers of American pop standards. That pretty much topped it. I will say no more of the evening or of the fair city of Worcester, which I am sure has some lovely people in it somewhere.

11 thoughts on “I Shot A Man In Worcester Just To Watch Him Die”

  1. Ode to Worcester:

    Oh, Worcester. How I love your scary hodge-podge neighborhoods. I truly do love your Palladium, which may be New England’s best venue for live music. Or did, until it was overrun by freakish metalheads.

    Oh, Worcester, you’re the second largest city in New England, but why does Providence feel like it? Poor neglected Worcester. Even the Mass Pike avoids you.

    Here’s to you, Worcester. I’ll toast you from afar.


  2. If you read The Zombie Survival Guide you’d know that while a gun is a trusty secondary sidearm, the machete is the go to weapon of choice for those looking to survive.

    Gunshots attract the legion of the undead, and suppressors only have a limited number of uses before useless.



  3. David: Worcester lost the #2 spot to Providence in the 2000 census, and recent estimates show them to be about tied.


  4. It’s too bad that folks always seem to get the wrong impression of Worcester by what you folks write. It isn’t the fault of people who grew up in the area that you spend little time doing research on what exactly exists in Worcester. There are parts of Worcester that rival some of Boston’s toniest suburbs. Sure the downtown sucks…but so does Providence. Anyplace that puts fire on a river is in need of some major help.


  5. Yeah, the nearest public gun range where you can shoot without a license is in New Hampshire. Manchester, I think.

    Also, in response to Mike: Yes, I recognize that my post was terribly unfair to Worcester. I actually liked the downtown area, and there were some pretty neighborhoods we drove through as we got lost. Seems like a decent town that gets a bum rap.


  6. @Joel: You mean Wikipedia lied to me?

    @mike: I will admit that my comments, too, are unfair to Worcester—like Lowell, Worcester gets a bad rap that it mostly doesn’t deserve. My husband lived there for seven years, though, so I do know some of what I speak. As for Providence’s Waterfire, come on, that rocks! Though PVD’s not without its faults—my sister (who lives there) refers to it as Providoodoo.

    One great thing Worcester has that Boston is sorely lacking: wee-hours food delivery. How come you can’t get food in Boston at 3am?


  7. Senor Booke..
    Thank you for your many kind sayings to our peeples here in Bookeworm Towne.
    Only a few things confuse me a leetle.
    You say you cant really have a solid opinion about gun control without knowing how to “work” one..without appreciating the peeple who use them.
    In all your many letters you only talk about Megan
    and two other peeples in your car that don-t talk back to you..
    To be fair you did mention the lady with the low tops..boys here find those kind of things nice.
    And Eduardo..he-s the one with the shiny hair.
    He sometimes uses mango sauce on it.
    We are sorry you didnt get out of your car while you were here.
    Maybe your pants were too tight.
    We are sorry.
    Come back soon…but let us know you are coming
    ..the gun range will be open for you.
    Treyfore Monterrey


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