Hello, and welcome to the first official blog for the Museum of the Weird! However you may have found us, we’re just glad that you did. Now you may be asking yourself, “What is this Museum of the Weird?” I’ll attempt to answer that in the next couple of entries, since what the Museum started out as is beginning to morph into something much grander than what I had originally intended it to be… which I’m very excited to share with you. Back in July 2005, my wife and I had the opportunity to open our own little gift shop in the heart of downtown Austin, TX on the world-famous 6th Street. We wanted our shop to be different from the ordinary run-of-the-mill tourist shops and convenience stores that were already in the area, and I (being a long-time fan of horror and sci-fi movies) had the idea: wouldn’t it be neat to be the owners of one of those creepy little curiosity shops you see in those late-night B-horror-movies, where perhaps one might actually find, browsing among the dusty shelves, an actual cursed monkey’s paw, or an authentic mummified fiji mermaid, or maybe even a “mogwai” or two. Well, needless to say, my wife (then-girlfriend) Veronica thought that I was out of my mind, but agreed to humor me and let me explore my fantasy of this strange gift shop of oddities. And so was birthed our little store here in Austin, Lucky Lizard Curios & Gifts, and the beginning kernel of what would grow into the future Museum of the Weird. It’s kind of funny how we came up with the name “Lucky Lizard” for our shop. After several hours of brainstorming trying to come up with a catchy name, I remembered something a friend of ours had casually suggested. He knew that I had a couple of lizards as pets, an iguana and a nile monitor. I had mentioned to him I intended on housing them somewhere in the back of the store in a big glass case for our customers to see, and so he suggested why don’t we name the store “6th Street Lizard,” or something along those lines. While I knew it didn’t have quite the ring I was looking for, the idea of adding the word “lizard” to the name stuck in the back of my head. Later in our brainstorming session, Veronica and I were looking for adjectives that would convey a good feeling with our patrons– “joyous”… “happy”… “LUCKY!” That was the one! As soon as the word popped into my head, it just came out naturally: “Lucky Lizard!” It was perfect. I decided to add “Curios & Gifts” because without it, being situated on 6th Street, I knew people would get confused and think it was a bar. “Yeah, let’s go on down to The Lucky Lizard and have a drink!” So we named the place Lucky Lizard Curios & Gifts, and the rest, as they say, is history. Believe it or not, even with the full name clearly written on our outside sign, people still stumble in time to time thinking we’re a bar. “Hey! Do you guys serve margaritas???” –Steve Busti, owner of Museum of the Weird
TO BE CONTINUED! TOMORROW: Part 2 of The Origin of the Museum of the Weird!