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.