The Comoian: A Response to the Best of Columbia


Columbia's best parking space for 2012!

Inside Columbia‘s annual list of crap people like in this town is nearly ready for press. The voting closes tomorrow at noon, but it may be too late to fix all the problems within the results. Some are due to Inside Columbia‘s vanilla brand of community coverage and some is due to CoMo’s abundance of vanilla people. Whatever the case, the best of Columbia is wrought with problems. Here are ten:

1. All the favorite news personalities are hot women.
To call them “journalists” would be a disservice to the J-School. It seems that the majority of Best of… voters are horny men as the women in each category are dominating the voting. For favorite newscaster, the boys (not a euphemism for boobs) only account for 13.5% of the vote with the smokin’ Sarah Hill in the lead. (I generally identify as heterosexual, but I can’t deny the gravitational pull of Sarah Hill’s smile! Those teeth!) The weathermen only fair slightly better, still trailing the fairer weatherladies. Plus, that hot piece of [redacted] Christina Gervino is running away with the sportscaster prize. It’s a good thing there is only one woman writing for all the newspapers in Columbia, or they would be dominating all the news categories. (You know, it’s sexist how news delivered visually favors attractive women as opposed to news delivered in newspapers favors hard newsmen. No euphemism intended.)

2. The competition for best band seems to be rewarding bands with [redacted] websites.
I don’t know what these bands sound like, but their websites look like [redacted]. Seriously. Don’t they know that image is everything in music? No one actually listens to your music anymore. They want to see that you have a cool website that projects an image of mystery, sexual ambiguity, and the ability to hire a great web design firm. We don’t want MySpace, Comic Sans, or “you must have been on crack when you approved this color palette“. The only band with a tolerable (read: boring) website is the one in fourth place. I suggest banning all four bands from next year’s list until they get someone else (read: anyone else) to redesign their sites.

3. Why the [redacted] are there categories for favorite barber, hairstylist, chiropractor, plumber, garbage man, and general contractor?
Really? Are these folks lining someone’s pockets with their tip money? I didn’t see “Super Cuts” as one of the choices for best hairstylist or “vibrating chairs at the mall” or “Foxy Sauna” for best chiropractor. These choices only privilege a select few of Columbia’s elite. So, I reject them on principle! (Notice that I would have voted for Foxy Sauna under “best chiropractor” and not “best massage”. Trust me. If you ever go, you’ll understand.)

4. What is really meant by Columbia’s “best restroom”?
This award should be renamed “Larry Craig‘s favorite restroom in Columbia”. That’s the only reason I can come up with such a ridiculous category. Dudes need a code for where to get some hot action and it seems like the mall is the spot where one should keep their feet firmly in his own stall unless…

5. The Best Public Artwork prize will go to the worst public art in all of Columbia.
Just look at the choices: the keyhole in front of city hall, painted utility boxes downtown, and those gnarly, twisted horses of the Apocalypse out by Landmark Bank. There has to be better public art in this town than that. I’m sure there’s better art in Eastside Tavern’s men’s room than those monstrosities. What about that thing I wrote about your mom on that overpass? That was art, my friends. Of course, we all know what was the real winner this year for public art. Mizzou fans just aren’t able to admit it.

6. Thank god Mike Odette is winning best chef or we’d have to give it to a teacher at the career center.
That’s right, running right behind a James Beard Award semifinalist, we have a guy in Brook Harlan who was a former Food Network Star contestant and doesn’t currently cook for anyone outside of Inside Columbia or his students as the second-best chef in all of Columbia. How can this be? Don’t get me wrong. I want to [redacted] the super-sexy Mr. Harlan in the [redacted] just as much as any warm-blooded American woman and his students make a good omelet, but shouldn’t the best chef in Columbia actually be someone making food for Columbia restaurant patrons? All Brook’s candidacy does is push IC‘s own profile.

7. I am so tired of seeing decidedly non-CoMo businesses getting attention from a list that should be CoMo-only.
Why are McDonald’s, Hy-Vee, Five Guys, Cold Stone Creamery, El Maguey, Pickleman’s, Jimmy John’s, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, Panera, and several others I’m forgetting even on a list for best in Columbia, Missouri? Might as well include Mother Theresa for best do-gooder, Starbucks for best coffee (which I would have totally chosen), and Wal-Mart for best plastic crap made in China. These categories should feature nothing but the best Columbia has to offer, not corporate, homogenized, mass-marketed junk you can get anywhere!

8. Sorry, but Flat Branch does not have the best beer list.
I’ll give you that their beer might be your favorite, Columbia. However, this grandma likes to get her drink on now and again. When I drink beer, I want variety, not ten of your English-style ales and a tap reserved for Bud Lite because people actually order Bud Lite at a brewery and this should tell you all you need to know about the beer at Flat Branch. Flat Branch’s beer is fine, but they don’t own the best beer list. For that, one would have to peruse the list at Sycamore, but obviously the folks at Inside Columbia or their readers  don’t know what a good beer list looks like. Any of the other choices would have been preferable to Flat Branch, again, a bar that serves pretty much its own beer with one tap reserved for the lamest of lame frat beers. (I have the same problem with the best wine list. Les Bourgeois? Really?)

9. Do we really need categories for best place for eye wear, dry-cleaning, or botox?
Yes, this is basically a repeat of #3, but it needs to be stressed that we don’t give a [redacted] about such trivialities. These categories are asinine and a bit patronizing. We are a highly-educated community. Quit wasting our time with such nonsense, which brings me to my final item…

10. Best in Columbia missed out on some really important categories this year.
Here are the categories that should have made the final cut for IC. Please leave suggestions for who should win each category in the comments once you’re done complaining about my foul mouth and anonymity.

  • Best Place to Get a [redacted]
  • Best Adult Superstore
  • Best Place to Get Food Poisoning
  • Best GILF (Me! Me!)
  • Best DIY-Vegan-Post-Punk-Dubstep-Honkytonk Trio
  • Best Sausage Gravy and Biscuit (and none of that vegetarian [redacted] – I want some meat!)
  • Best Walmart to Photograph for the People of Walmart
  • Best Public Restroom that’s not actually intended to be a public restroom
  • Best Columnist for You to Punch in the Face
  • Best Pickled Eggs
  • Best Barnes and Noble
  • Best Cure for VD (Seriously, I want to know.)
  • Best Gynecologist
  • Best Frozen Pizza Not Made by Shakespeare’s
  • Best Parking Space (We have tons of them.)
  • Best Place to Get One of those Tattoos on My Index Finger that Looks Like a Mustache
  • Best Local Website that Still Uses Geocities
  • Best Bar to Get Wasted At
  • Best Gay Bar (There are only two…that you know of.)
  • Best Art History Professor
  • Best Tie
  • Best Plain-Clothed Police Officer
  • Best Tazing
  • Best Millionaire, Thousandaire, and Hundredaire
  • Best Hipster
  • Best Lame Local Magazine That’s Really Just a Glorified Ad-Sheet
  • Best Columbia Craig’s List Ad
  • Best Naked Picture of John Hamm
  • Best Blog Post in Response to the Best of Columbia List
  • Best Ham
  • Best Shortwave Radio Program


  1. I rarely feel the need to tell a site that I’m unsubscribing from their RSS feed, but since this is a small, local site I think it’s my duty–nay, HONOR–to tell you.

    This article and all of them like it are why. Not because I disagree with what she says, because I don’t. The Inside Columbia “best of” list is a joke. Kind of like how the “best reporters” in Columbia all work for the Trib? Weird.

    Anyway, I agree with what she says, but I can’t take all the [redacted] redactments. I feel like I’m talking to my fifteen year old cousin who learned a few bad words and says “bleeping” all the time to let you know that they WANT to cuss, but just don’t have the [redacted] balls to do it.

    • In The Comoian’s defense, we insisted on removing offensive language after several complaints. Your comment is the first suggesting that redacting said words is cause enough for unsubscribing to the entire blog. Thanks for commenting.

      • I have to agree with Brick; it’s not the language or the content that bother me about the comoian- it’s the whiney, know-it-all tone of someone pretending to know a lot about this town while at the same time revealing their very ignorance. It taints the image of the blog and the other bloggers on this site who I actually enjoy (like you, Zac), regardless of a disclaimer.

        Some things:

        The fact that some people order Bud Light at Flat Branch reveals everything about this person’s taste in beer but absolutely nothing about Flat Branch’s beers.

        I agree about the best public artwork category- with so many artists in this town it’s upsetting that there aren’t any notable alternatives.

        …and everyone knows that the best bathroom/place to get redacted is the third floor bathroom in ellis library.

  2. I love it that Norm Ruebling’s site (Comic Sans) says…..

    Voted Columbia’s “Best” Band!

    …right up at the top! Why is the word “Best” in quote marks? Is it supposed to be ironic?

    Mo-X…. Columbia’s most “legitimate” business!

  3. haha! Funny. Why don’t you make a “real” (ironic, is it?!) poll for Columbia?

    Maybe take suggestions for categories, too.

    And what’s wrong with Comic Sans? It’s the new Hobo…

  4. I never thought I would say this but THE most important catagory for me is “Best Restroom.” As the mother of TWO toddlers in the potty-training phase, I have an intimate relationship with many of the public restrooms in town. And I can say without a doubt – all restrooms are NOT created equal.
    As for beer list – let’s face it – the best beer list is the one that has your favorite beer on it. If a beer list is three pages long and doesn’t include my favorite, I’m not voting for it.
    Rage away, Comonian. As for me, I am hoping that someday there will be a category for favorite Restroom with a beer list. Then maybe I wouldn’t mind when my kids want to wash their hands for the 763 time because they like the hand dryer.

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