The majestic Ameristar Casino, seen here in all its -47° glory. My right hand literally froze up and chemically bonded with the camera when I took this photo, so I'm currently researching who I can sue.

Please take a moment out of your busy schedule to think about the state of Missouri. Yes, I realize this is an outrageous request and will undoubtedly interrupt your daily smut-surfing procedure, but do me a favor and simply collect all the excitingly colorful thoughts which pass through your mind when you attempt to mentally envision this wonderful wad of American heritage. If you're like me, and I know I am, the mental image of classy, high-stakes gambling never ever ever came into consideration when brainstorming impressions of Missouri. You probably thought of dirt, fat bald people wearing spandex NASCAR sweat pants, broken-down cars rotting alongside the highway for decades, and dirty fat bald people sitting inside their cars rotting alongside the highway. Note that "classy, high-stakes gambling" is nowhere to be found on this exciting list, and if it hypothetically was featured on a collection of things this state is famous for, it would be listed right below "the beautiful white sand beaches" and "the popular Missouri city of Los Angeles."

Now don't get me wrong; Missouri has plenty of financially successful casinos thanks to the semi-recent legalization of riverboat gambling along the Missouri River past the scenic downtown "go here to be murdered" area of the city. It's just that these casinos are, well, not exactly that classiest joints compared to similar established institutions in Las Vegas or Atlantic City or one of those Indian reservations full of Native Americans who spend all day smoking and leaning against walls while looking surly and glaring at anybody who passes them. Although I've been to Vegas before and had an enjoyable experience, I often refuse to enter any institution which promises me the chance to give them money in exchange for a chance to win money because I am the absolutely unluckiest human being ever born. The only thing I ever won in my entire life was when I was 12 and entered a raffle for a cutting board in a paint store, and that damn thing broke after I used it as a skateboard ramp.

So why did I decide to travel 30 minutes north to the Ameristar Casino? As you may have read, I recently contracted some type of Venusian Death Flu which obviously failed to murder me but still had the exciting side effect of causing complete deafness in my right ear. I spent a solid week expelling copious amounts of sticky green goo from every orifice of my body, and now I'm desperately attempting to regain the ability to hear critical sounds such as gunshots and people shouting, "hey you!" to the right of me. If anybody out there knows why I lost half my hearing during my fight with the flu and how I can possibly trick Jesus into restoring the functionality of my right ear, please email me at [email protected], but keep in mind that I'll only be able to understand the left half of your message.

My girlfriend and I drove up to the Ameristar Casino a couple days ago to celebrate my successful failure to die while fighting off the Venusian Death Flu which not only stole the hearing from my right ear, but also stripped me of my ability to hold an erection longer than an average margarine commercial. Now any of you readers unfortunate enough to have read my previous Something Awful updates undoubtedly know of my tendency to exaggerate things for the effect of some mythological goal dubbed "comedy" which I have unfortunately never reached and will probably never reach unless I am murdered in some intensely hilarious way. So before I continue this update, allow me to present you the following actual billboard which we passed on the way to the Ameristar Casino, an advertisement which serves as an uncannily accurate representative of Missouri's booming tourism industry:

Death cleaning. Yes, you read that correctly: DEATH CLEANING. What's a better way to sell your state than by placing colorful suicide billboards offering a cheap and effective way to dispose of corpses and the cumbersome mess they leave behind? Exactly who is the Bio Cleaning Services of America, Incorporated marketing these signs towards? Do they assume that millions of murderers across the United States flock to Missouri casinos after finishing up a particularly messy job, constantly wondering if there's an "easier way" to remove the copious amounts of blood and vital organs from the curtains of a Motel-6? Do they hope that thoughtful depressed people in the Kansas City area will see this phone number and helpfully phone them in advance before blowing their brains out with a 12-gauge shotgun? "Yes, hello? Is this the Bio Cleaning Services of America, Inc.? Do you still clean up suicides? I plan on scattering my various entrails around the bathroom in approximately an hour and I was hoping you guys could come by and remove my brain bits from the rug before my mother comes back, she's a real bitch and would get all pissy if she saw the mess." If you plan on committing genocide or if you're a member of a terrorist organization do you get a group discount rate? I would call that number and ask them myself but that image of the dead dude on the right with the bloody head frankly scares the Christ out of me and I fear that they could murder me and clean up the crime scene within minutes, therefore committing the perfect crime and leaving my mysterious disappearance eternally unsolved. If I suddenly drop off the radar before my next update, please point the authorities to this update and ask that old guy from "60 Minutes" to do a little investigative journalism on Bio Cleaning Services of America, Incorporated. In the meantime, feel free to visit their website, which is unfortunately very boring and appears to have been designed with a freeware program downloaded from a website decorated with numerous animated gifs of Santa Claus.

If the death cleaning sign didn't create enough of a festive upscale atmosphere traveling towards the casino, perhaps this beautiful view of the surrounding scenery will win you over:

This is the majestic Missouri River upon which all legalized gambling revolves around. If you'll look to the left of the river, you'll notice a large gathering of dead trees and tractor trailer tires abandoned at some point in the mid 1970s. If you'll look to the right, you'll see a series of hulking concrete production plants and large fields of rocks which could possibly be used to display important items like farming tools which don't function properly or large metal crates containing some sort of item or items. What's a better place than this exciting, dynamic area to construct a series of multi-million dollar casinos and tourist attractions? Some of you dopes who failed to major in Civic Engineering from the University of Southern Illinois may ignorantly believe that perhaps a casino would make more money if it were located near a major city or within walking distance of something like a mall or shopping center, as opposed to an asphalt processing plant that employs nine people who are all named some variation of "Bud." Regardless, the Missouri Department of Stupid Ideas decided that legalizing all gambling would be a bad idea, whereas permitting the development of certain casinos along a polluted, deserted river would be an outrageously great idea ranking up there with the decision to hire Greg Robinson as the Chief's defensive coordinator. The Ameristar Casino is surrounded by truck stops, large silos containing magic ice-melting highway salt, and mysterious locations like the following:

"SubTropolis" is apparently some type of underground storage place which allows you to take things you own and move them to an area located significantly below the ground. I assume this is a wonderful service for clumsy people who don't want to run the risk of accidentally walking into something they own while casually strolling around the top of the Earth. If you have ever purchased something that's always tripping you up, like a coffee table or cat, perhaps you should mail it to the kind folks at SubTropolis and pay them to store it in a location out of your way, unless of course you live below the Earth's surface. I personally believe that the word "SubTropolis" sounds like a way cool futuristic city name that's full of zombie vampire cyborgs who live in an expansive underground labyrinth and only come out at night to suck the blood of the living or maybe travel to a location that isn't jam packed full of coffee tables and cats. You'll also see a very futuristic Texaco gas station sign in the background, so rest assured that the legendary city of SubTropolis truly has everything a person could possibly ask for, unless that person is allergic to cats. Or coffee tables.

The bleak, frozen wasteland of depression surrounding the Missouri River fails to end once you enter the Ameristar Casino since somebody from the aforementioned Missouri Department of Stupid Ideas was apparently aiming for consistency when planning out the gambling situation here. Take a look at the beautiful scenic parking lot surrounding this veritable cornucopia of unbridled chance:

That appears to be a series of very festive electricity generators in the background along with those things from Half-Life which contained a large amount of breakable wooden crates that held highly important items like a single clip of ammunition or a bulbous blue battery. The eternal blanket of grey depression above is what's known as the grandiose Missouri skyline, famous for such ingenious weather phenomenon like "the really windy day" and "the really windy cold day which suddenly turns into the really windy cold and rainy day." Although you can't see them in the photo, there are a significant amount of vehicles in the parking lot which proudly display a large white one or two-digit number along with a crude image of a racecar below it and an American flag helpfully reminding us to never forget. Furthermore, various truck owners have elected to adhere large stickers which boast the name of the company who manufactured either there truck or the 500-inch monster tires below it. This is helpful for people with poor eyesight who look at Ford trucks and wonder what company made that truck.

The limitless natural beauty of Missouri decorates every inch of travel linking the parking lot to the casino, and if you mistakenly breathe in too deeply you run the risk of choking to death on raw elegance. Behold, if you dare, the stunning landscape surrounding the Ameristar:

WOW! A gigantic concrete smoke stack and a bridge which has not supported commercial traffic since the day JFK was shot! This is the kind of prime real estate that this state can proudly boast about across their tourism pamphlets that sport such catchy slogans as "MISSOURI: MOTHER NATURE'S COLON INFECTION" or "MISSOURI: WE'VE GOT THE DIRT." The Missouri River truly has everything a man could ask for; lots of dead trees, stagnant polluted water, a series of subterranean storage units, a gas station which offers a fantastic deal on six-inch subs assembled by an obese man who sweats significantly more than he probably should, and a dead body removal service. Please note that nowhere in this update did I actually write about the Ameristar Casino, which I am saving for next Tuesday's article. Until then, please keep Bio Cleaning Services of America, Incorporated in mind while planning your next murder. Thank you and god bless.

I'm a little late. Sorry about that.

You remember the old song from Sesame Street, right? One of these things is not like the others; one of these things does not belong. Now that I think about it, I don't remember if there is more to that song or not. Either way, the SA Goons have decided to educate and confound you with wacky foursomes where there is always an odd man out. Which odd man really depends on how nit-picky you are, so have fun and talk about what you find with your friends.

Maybe that little Fark catchphrase will get me linked on Fark. I doubt it. Drew Curtis of Drew Curtis's production of Fark.com has forsaken me. And here I think he's a nice guy.

DAMN YOU DITECH!

– Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka (@lowtax)

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